Near Field Communication or NFC-based mobile payments might start showing up over counters anywhere and everywhere as Isis starts rolling out its Mobile Wallet system nationwide later this year. Isis is a mobile commerce joint venture created by T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T to implement a system for tap-to-pay and redemption transactions at counters.
Isis started a trial run last October in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas, partnering with Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. The trial was considered a success, prompting Isis to make plans to expand their coverage nationwide. Research group Aite Group estimates that by the end of the year, 1.3 million stores will have mobile payment systems.
Data gathered from the trial run showed that use of the Isis Mobile Wallet averaged more than 10 per month. Most of the transactions were made in cafes, gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, and quick service restaurants. Isis CEO Michael Abbott promised to incorporate the feedback from the test into the next generation of the Isis Mobile Wallet, which is set for national availability later this year.
Users need an NFC-enabled Android smartphone as well as a SIM-based "security element" to be able to use the Isis Mobile Wallet system. Currently, only a total of 35 devices from the three joint-venture carriers are certified as "Isis Ready", with more to follow. Phones running iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry 10 will eventually also be supported in the near future.