Isis Mobile Wallet is Here

November 27, 2013

Isis Mobile Wallet Debuts Using NFC Technology

A joint venture between AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile known as Isis Mobile Wallet has released a revolutionary mobile payments app that promises to change the way people pay for goods and services. The trio of mobile service providers are ecstatic to finally debut this mobile payment platform right before Black Friday and the rush of the holiday shopping season, as this technology lets consumers conveniently utilize their mobile phone to pay for goods and services. Use of the platform makes it easier for merchants to accept a wider variety of payments and the Isis system itself encourages repeat purchases through loyalty programs tied into the app and its software.

The debut of Isis also heralds a huge step forward for Near Field Communication technology (NFC), a topic we’ve been consistently covering since our Official Merchant Services Blog began.

What Is the Mobile Wallet Platform?

The Isis Mobile Wallet platform is a completely free mobile application that utilizes NFC technology to allow consumers to pay for purchases by waving their mobile device in the air at a terminal that captures the pertinent information out of thin air.  The mobile payment industry has been dealing with one large obstacle from NFC recently, as Apple hasn’t made its iPhones compatible with NFC. And so an Isis representative said that iPhone support would come at a later time. Until then, the app is available on all other compatible phones, but users should be aware that downloading the app could cost money if they are not subscribed to a monthly plan with unlimited data.

 

How the Platform Works

The NFC technology used in the mobile payments app allows mobile devices to transfer information when they are tapped together.  Merchants who use devices with this technology can accept payments quickly and securely from customers who have compatible devices. But wait, there’s more.

Mobile payments represent just one of the benefits of the Isis app.  Merchants can offer loyalty rewards to customers through the app.  These rewards can be earned and stored directly on a mobile device. We’ve delved into some of these types of incentives in our coverage of the Barclays bPay app, as well as social gifting articles. The basic idea of what’s happening is the app is giving customers yet another avenue for savings through their mobile device, in hopes to spur more purchases. Discounts are automatically deducted from a sale when Isis is used to pay for a product or service.  There’s no need for merchants to have cards or keychains printed, and customers do not have to worry about keeping track of dozens of loyalty cards.

Some specific incentives that are tied with the Isis debut: Isis Mobile Wallet customers can use My Coke Rewards and Isis to get three free drinks at select vending machines, while Jamba Juice is giving away 1 million free smoothies to Isis users. Purchases made from an American Express Serve account through the Isis wallet are eligible for a 20 percent discount (up to $200).

A PIN is used to protect personal information if a phone is lost or stolen.  The wallet can be locked when a phone is lost to prevent information from being breached.

Phone Compatibility With NFC Technology

NFC technology requires a cellphone user to have personal payment information stored on their phone.  The sensitive nature of this information means that extra precautions must be taken.  An enhanced SIM card that specifically details that it has been made for secure data storage must be used in conjunction with the application. Interested customers will have to get an enhanced SIM card to run Isis. They will also have to download the app on Google Play or get signed up at retail stores run by the three carriers.

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