AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless Introduce “Isis”

Credit.com and Bloomberg News report that that a new mobile wallet payment system is rolling out as a joint venture between the nation’s three largest mobile phone service providers.  Isis, the mobile wallet service from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, will pilot in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah in September, 2012.  The NFC-based (Near Field Communications) mobile payment system was created by Verizon, T-mobile and AT&T to try and make mobile payments a common practice.

  • Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters for applications including contactless transactions and data exchange.

The Isis mobile wallet app that will be available to more than 100 million United States Credit Card holders and compete with Google Wallet and Opera, offering a secure and convenient way to use a mobile phone to pay with a credit card.

Chase, Capitol One, and Barclay were the first to sign up for the service. Isis added a batch of new financial partners earlier this year, including American Express’ various credit card offerings  (including the company’s own mobile-linked Serve cards), which will let users of those cards load them into the Isis app and make payments with their NFC-equipped smartphone. While American Express had already signed on as an Isis partner last year, this is the first time that the company has committed to tying its cards to the platform.

A simple UI lists your current payment options. At the bottom is “Isis Feed” which is likely a payment history page, “Directory” which is a list of shopping outlets that will accept the Isis payment system, and “More” (settings).

The pilot was delayed since late last year because Isis decided to use a different method for processing payments than originally planned. The original plan involved having the phone companies behind Isis process all the payments made with the program, but instead, credit card payment processors will process the payments to increase the security of transactions for both consumers and businesses.

Bloomberg reports that another possible reason for the delay is that there are currently still very few smartphones on the market capable of handling such a transaction. T-Mobile has just four smartphones equipped with the near-field communications that Isis runs on that are compatible with its network. Verizon came under fire late last year when it was discovered that Google Wallet was not supported on their version of the Galaxy Nexus phone.

Many believe that Isis has a far better chance of catching on with consumers than some of the other mobile wallet programs available now, such as Google Wallet, or in development because of the perceived value for consumers whose phone companies’ products and services they already use every day, which will make for a seamless mobile wallet entry.

Click on the image to see videos of Google Wallet in action

Mobile wallet adoption could become the norm within the next few years, as many consumers become convinced of its safety and convenience. For more information on ISIS, see their website at paywithisis.com.

Related Article:

Google Wallet Leads the Way

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