ISIS Earmarking $100M to Challenge Google Wallet

ISIS is reportedly planning to spend big to compete with Google Wallet in mobile payments. Will $100 million help the cause in a market consumers haven't fully embraced.

With summer days dwindling, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has less than two weeks to make good on its pledge to launch its Google Wallet mobile payment service.

Google Wallet is a mobile application service that will let owners of Sprint's (NYSE:S) Samsung Nexus S 4G smartphones use their phone as a wallet at some 20 retailers and restaurants.

Users tap their phones to a point-of-sale system made to pay for goods. Citi, MasterCard and First Data are enabling payments for Google Wallet, which leverages near field communication (NFC) to enable the smartphones and point-of-sale terminals to process purchase transactions.

The company aims to launch the service this summer in New York City and San Francisco. Wallet hasn't launched yet, and there is no sign that it is coming with a little over two weeks left in the summer.

"Our hope is to make an announcement in the next few weeks but don't have anything set yet," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK earlier this month.

ISIS, the mobile payment group backed by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile, apparently isn't taking any chances. Bloomberg said the carrier group, which unveiled its own tap-and-pay effort in July, plans to invest $100 million to build out its mobile payment plans to challenge Wallet.

An ISIS spokesperson declined comment, referring all questions to the carriers themselves. A Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson told eWEEK: "We're not commenting on this rumor."

Bloomberg said the $100 million infusion in ISIS would go toward securing more banks and merchants. What's interesting about this is, on paper, ISIS' deck of cards has got Google Wallet's deck soundly beaten.

ISIS' access points for mobile payments are far superior. Google has only secured Sprint and its Nexus S 4G phone for the NFC-based service. The carriers will be able to offer ISIS across multiple NFC-based Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" handsets.