Isis Debuts in Two Cities


As NFC (near-field communication) comes to more mobile devices, it opens up new opportunities for a range of applications. One of the most often-mentioned uses of NFC is for mobile commerce, allowing people to pay with their devices. Consumers with NFC-enabled phones in some areas now have another option to consider when choosing how to pay.

Isis,, is a joint venture developed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, and the companies have announced Isis is now available in Austin and Salt Lake City. Consumers in those locations can now select an “Isis Ready” handset at AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon retail locations, and the companies say nine models will be available, with an expected 11 additional handsets coming to market by year end.

With Isis installed on a device, consumers will be able to use the system to make payments, store loyalty cards, and redeem coupons and other offers at merchants’ stores, all by tapping their phones. The NFC function allows the device to transmit data over a short distance. Isis has said it wants the system to remain open, meaning it’s designed to be available to all merchants, banks, and mobile carriers.

To use Isis, consumers with an Isis-compatible mobile device would download the Isis Mobile Wallet app from Google Play, and then load an eligible American Express, Capital One, or Chase credit card into the app. Alternately, consumers can use the Isis Cash card that comes in every Wallet. When paying at a location that accepts Isis, the consumer would tap-to-pay, simply tapping the phone to transmit the data.

Research firm Parks Associates,, reports almost 50% of U.S. smartphone owners find an NFC-enabled mobile wallet application appealing. Isis is not the only mobile wallet solution in the works. One of the most well-known is Google Wallet, which also allows the user to store credit cards in a mobile app and tap-to-pay using NFC.

While the uptake of NFC for payments has not yet reached a critical mass, more phones coming to market with the technology may increase adoption. The carriers involved in Isis certainly hope so, as they are looking to gain additional revenue from transactions using the Isis system. It seems these days everyone wants a piece of the payment market.

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