In amongst the fine detail of the Olympic frenzy, the jazz-a-matazz of fanfare music, dancing and, oh yeah, sport, comes the surprising and slightly shocking revelation that the Visa financial organisation has been awarded (spin for ‘bought the rights to’) exclusive rights, being the only credit or debit cards permitted because of their status as an official partner of the Olympics.
It was this unsavoury financial detail that left tens of thousands of people without food or drink yesterday, when Visa card payments crashed at Wembley. As Visa had a complete monopoly as the only payment facility, this fiasco lasted for the entire evening. Surely there is strong logistical argument to prevent such a situation being permitted at similar events?
Why have Locog allowed big businesses to buy their way into using the Olympic event as a platform for exclusively marketing their own products? Money. The Olympic dream has a harsh and somewhat sordid reality.