Isis Carrier Support Will Add Momentum to Mobile Payment Adoption

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2013-11-16 Print this article Print

Isis also made a smart decision by releasing its first app for Android phones. Many new Android smartphones already come with the built-in NFC support, so all that's needed is the Isis app to make it work. Of course, mobile purchases also require the involvement of the carrier, which must provide the necessary link to enable the purchase. This is something that wireless carriers have rushed to deliver in the past. Now, with some assurance that Isis will be widely used, the carriers are on board.

A Verizon spokesperson told eWEEK that the company expects a lot of use of the Isis payment system in the coming weeks. "With the holidays just around the corner, and the biggest shopping day of the year—Black Friday—nearly upon us, Isis is sure to have an impact on payment choices this year," the spokesperson wrote in an email to eWEEK.

Of course, a great deal depends on which stores you shop at. Toys "R" Us and Radio Shack appear to be early adopters of the Isis payment system as do some drug stores such as CVS. But it's not clear that every store in these chains is on board, so check before you rush out.

Other deals for using Isis are available, such as a 20 percent rebate from American Express Serve. The sad news is that there's a $200 limit on Serve mobile purchases, so you're not going to be saving a bundle on that BMW you've been lusting after. Other rebates include things such as free soft drinks from Isis-enabled Coca-Cola vending machines or free smoothies from Jamba Juice.

For merchants, this is another way to make purchases easy, fast and secure. While it will require that merchants using Isis get their hands on a point-of-sale terminal that supports NFC, many such retail POS terminals are already out there and only need to have the NFC capability enabled. For businesses where high volume is important, such as coffee shops, the Isis system can speed up sales, especially when compared with using cash.

Whether Isis fulfills its promise remains to be seen. But for the first time, it seems to have all of the elements in place. The major carriers support it, two major credit card companies support it, and it works or will work on most relatively new mobile platforms. It's a nearly perfect combination, and if all goes well, this effort should succeed.



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