Visa Inc. said Monday that spending on its cards in China increased 11% from a year earlier on the day the Summer Olympics officially began in Beijing.
The payments network said tourists using its credit, debit, or prepaid cards in China spent almost $10 million on Friday. The cards were used primarily for hotel and retail purchases, it said.
Tourists from the United States accounted for 19% of that day's spending on Visa cards, the largest amount by nationality, while those from Japan accounted for 13%.
Visa said it and its customer financial institutions have installed more than 90,000 automated teller machines in China and generated acceptance at about 216,000 merchant locations there.
Richard Chang, an executive vice president and the general manager of greater China and the Philippines for Visa, said in a press release, "Visa is committed to help China develop a world-class financial infrastructure, and is working closely with the government, tourism bodies and client financial institutions to build a robust electronic payment system in China."
Visa, which has sponsored the Olympic Games since 1986, is in the midst of a companywide overhaul of its marketing strategy.
In an interview last month, Antonio Lucio, the San Francisco company's global chief marketing officer, said the Olympic sponsorship has produced "higher volume growth," an increase "in acquisitions and retentions for our clients," and "a growth in the brand equity indicators," including top-of-wallet status for Visa cards.
Mr. Lucio said Visa was "expecting to meet every single one" of those targets for this year's Olympic sponsorship.