Only one mobile payment solution is likely to flourish in the United States, and Isis – the joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon – wants to be the one. And though Google Wallet has been available for a few months now, Isis will be ready for the Highlander-style clash soon.
Isis announced today that it will begin testing mobile payments through near-field communication (NFC) in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas by mid 2012. The trials will be done at participating merchants and allow consumers with eligible debit and prepaid cards to link their banking info securely into their phones and make payments using NFC-capable phones.
The venture also announced that Chase, Capital One, and Barclaycard have all joined its mobile commerce effort. The three new merchants follow American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa as companies that have signed-on to offer the ability to make payments through NFC. The newly-announced banks will have branded experiences within Isis according to the announcement.
Google Wallet is outgunned by Isis in terms of smartphone manufacturers, wireless carriers, and merchants signed on to support it. While I’ve been pleased with the experience so far of using the app, security mistakes, carrier resistance, and the stiff competition in an already tight market have me worried for its chances.
In a year or two when NFC mobile payments are really supposed to take off, we’ll see which solution proves to be the most successful.
“We believe Isis is strongly positioned to bring the convenience, value and simplicity of mobile commerce to consumers. We’re excited to build this offering for customers and our card partners with Isis and look forward to shaping the future of payments.”
- Stewart Holmes, senior director-mobile commerce strategy, Barclaycard US
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