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May 12, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:46am

Live from Stockholm: Eurovision Song Contest gears up on Visa’s wearable contactless technology

News: Payments company launches limited wearables edition to be used at all Eurovision venues in Stockholm.

By Joao Lima

Visa Europe is using the Eurovision Song Contest to launch a global collection of limited contactless wristbands that can be used to purchase goods.

The wearables use near field communication (NFC) technology and are being introduced in Stockholm, Sweden, where the contest is being hosted this week after Måns Zelmerlöw’s victory last year in Austria with his song "Heroes".

Visa says that the wristbands can be used at any merchant with the right IT infrastructure to accept such payments.

However, the wearables will only function until October 31, according to Eurovison.

Attendees of the festival will be able to purchase the devices at the Eurovision Village, Kungsträdgården in Stockholm, and use then at the same village where every day and night Eurovision-related concerts happen.

Visa‘s Eurovision launch is the latest of a string of releases of such technology that puts an end to the need of carrying cash around. In the UK, Download Festival and Glastonbury have also trial similar technology.

The pre-paid wristbands at Eurovision also carry with them VIP perks, such as offers on food and drinks, and fast tracks into the several Eurovision areas built around Stockholm.

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Efraim Preisler, Senior Relationship manager for Israel and Malta at Visa Europe, remarked: " Visa Europe is delighted to be sponsoring this year’s contest as well as enabling those attending in Stockholm to experience the speed and convenience of contactless payments.

"Contactless is becoming increasingly prevalent across Europe, providing consumers with the benefits of faster checkout experiences, expanded acceptance as well as curtailing their need to carry cash for low value payments.

"Together with key stakeholders, Visa Europe will enable contactless acceptance across the Eurovision venues as well as facilitate contactless experiences."

The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 marks the 61st anniversary of the first contest, and is set out to be the largest event thus far, reaching over 200 million television viewers across the world. The event will also be broadcasted live for the first time in the USA and China.

The 2016 edition started with a semi-final on May 10 and will see the second semi-final on May 12, with the Grand Final being held on 14 May.

As part of the Big 5, the countries that financially support the contest the most, the UK as a direct pass to Saturday’s final.

Former The Voice competitors Joe & Jake will be flying the flag with their song "You’re not alone" hoping to avoid the dreadful nil points.

Justin Timberlake is also due to perform in the grand final’s interval with his new single "Can’t stop the feeling".

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