Isis Set for October 22 Launch

Mobile wallet rolling out first in Austin, Texas, Salt Lake City

Published in CSP Daily News

NEW YORK-- Mobile-payment system Isis, a joint venture of wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, is set to launch its mobile wallet in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City on October 22, according to a report by Wired magazine.

Developers had delayed a summer launch for unspecified reasons. In September, they officially put the launch on hold.

As has always been the plan, though, Isis' initial rollout will be limited to a few hundred retailers in Austin and Salt Lake City, said the report.

Major retail chains such as 7-Eleven, Foot Locker, McDonald's, Macy's, The Home Depot, Jamba Juice and Coca-Cola (for use in its vending machines) have all said they will accept Isis payments ( click here to view lists of retailers in both cities), but its not knownr whether they will be part of the launch. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all announced that they will accept payments made through Isis.

New York City-based Isis is not yet identifying which phones the Isis app will work with, said the publication.

"By year end, as many as 20 Isis-ready handsets are expected to be in market," Isis marketing head Jaymee Johnson told Wired. "We look forward to sharing more details on Oct. 22."

After Austin and Salt Lake City, Isis intends to expand to other major U.S. cities, it said, but would not offer details.

Two major fuel dispenser manufacturers, Wayne, a GE Energy Business, Austin, and Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Greensboro, N.C., have agreed to provide integrated support for the Isis "SmartTap" mobile commerce application (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage).

Isis will work largely the same way as Google Wallet, using an app to store a user's credit or debit card data, or a preloaded amount of money, on a near field communication (NFC) chip found in many newer Android smartphones. At participating retailers, consumers will be able to make purchases by waving or tapping their smartphones on NFC-compatible checkout scanners.

Google Wallet is up and running in more than 100,000 stores. Click here to view the list, which includes Sunoco (tap and pay) and Chevron (coming soon).

And retailers including 7-Eleven, Alon, Shell and Sunoco, have teamed up with Walmart, Target and CVS forming a venture--the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX)--charged with developing a single mobile payment platform (see Related Content below for previous coverage).

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