Mobile payments platform Isis announced plans to roll out its mobile wallet nationwide later this year, following pilots in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The services initially launched in the fall of 2012. Formed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, the mobile wallet venture uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow customers to make point-of-sale purchases by waving their smartphones over scanners. To use the Isis Mobile Wallet, consumers need an NFC-enabled smartphone and a SIM-based secure element.
According to Isis, nearly 20 million smartphones in the U.S. market currently feature NFC technology. Thirty-five mobile devices across AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless currently support Isis, and the consortium expects that support for iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry 10 to feature the technology will be introduced later this year.
Consumers that use Isis can pay at retail locations that have the hardware to accept contactless payments. While they're not broadly featured in the U.S. market, Isis claims that twenty-five of the top 100 national retailers have deployed or are deploying contactless terminals. Further, Isis cited an Aite Group study that projected that 1.3 million locations in the U.S. will have contactless-ready payment terminals by year end.
The consortium has forged partnerships with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express and previously reached agreements with Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard to include their credit, debit and prepaid cards in the Isis mobile wallet.