AUSTIN, TX – Isis, a joint venture of three wireless carriers, has kicked off its new mobile payment system in Salt Lake City and Austin, TX. Isis Mobile Wallet users can make payments anywhere contactless payments are accepted with a simple tap of their smartphones.
Consumers in those markets can purchase a smartphone at AT&T, Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile stores equipped with NFC technology and a SIM card containing the Isis "secure element" to protect credit card information. Nine models of Isis-ready smartphones are sold by the carriers and 20 will be available by yearend.
Those who already own one of the Isis-supported smartphones can get a free SIM card to insert into their phones.
Users also need to download the Isis Mobile Wallet app from Google Play and load a credit card onto the mobile wallet. An Isis Cash card in the wallet can be loaded with cash separately.
The joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile will compete with Google Wallet for NFC-enabled smartphones, which rolled out a year ago.
Apple surprised the mobile payments industry when it did not include NFC technology in its latest phone. Instead, iPhone 5's new Passport mobile wallet app uses barcodes presented to optical scanning terminals at retail locations to take advantage of coupons, tickets and boarding passes loaded on the device.
Earlier this month, Isis contracted with cashless vending specialist USA Technologies to promote use of Isis's near-field communications technology in vending machines. | SEE STORY