ISIS is a mobile wallet that consumers with ISIS-ready phones—available through Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile—can use to make payments, redeem offers, and earn loyalty points at participating local businesses starting in mid-2012. The system is compatible with Chase, Barclaycard, Capital One cards and available selected markets like Austin and Salt Lake City. However offering a simplified checkout, ISIS gives merchants a way to engage with customers through integrated loyalty programs and special rewards and offers. ISIS has not disclosed the transaction costs for merchants.
The companies will support the Isis Mobile Commerce Application in current and future products. Consumers who use the Isis app on their phones will be able to tap their phones at point of sale terminals to pay and redeem coupons and enter loyalty information. Retailers will need to upgrade their existing terminals in some cases with hardware add-ons and in other cases, through remote software updates.
The Isis system, like Google Wallet, relies on near field communication (NFC) for contactless payments. That requires NFC chips inside both a handset and at the point of sale terminal. By lining up partnerships with the big POS terminal makers, it makes it easier for retailers to move forward and adopt Isis, which will launch first in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah in this summer.
Isis previously won agreements from hardware manufacturers HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, RIM, Samsung Mobile and Sony and also signed up the four main payments network- Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Last week, it announced its first banking partners: Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard, who will place their credit, debit and pre-paid cards on the Isis app. Isis also showed off the first look of its mobile wallet app.
Isis is not rolling out as fast as chief rival Google Wallet, which launched in September. But it’s methodically lining up all the pieces it needs to make a big push. And since the venture includes three of the four biggest carriers, they have the inside track in pushing an NFC-based wallet, since they can control the NFC secure element. Isis still has a lot more to show off and the launch this summer will help determine how viable the venture will be. But looking at the deals it’s lined up, Isis is serious about being a contender.
March 20th, 2012