Isis Invests $100 Million for Mobile Payments Venture
August 29, 2011 3:50 PM
Isis consists of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile
This investment is a move to attract banks and merchants, and will likely force Google to step up in what could be mobile payments "showdown"
According to Juniper Research, the market for mobile commerce may reach $670 billion by 2015. This year alone, it is expected to generate $240 billion. With such potentially attractive numbers ahead, several mobile companies are rushing to develop services and devices that will embrace near field communication (NFC) technology with mobile commerce.
allows wireless devices to interact with specialized readers in order to make everyday payments. For instance, using a phone like Samsung's Nexus S with NFC support, a user could walk into a store and pay for their items simply by tapping their phone on a specialized reader at the cash register. This eliminates the need for cash or a mess of credit cards.
AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile announced a joint venture called
last year, where the three wireless carriers will construct a nationwide mobile payment infrastructure. It was first decided that Isis would work exclusively with Discover Financial Services' national payment network in an effort to steal market share away from MasterCard and Visa, but the team later said it would
embrace new alliances
like MasterCard and Visa to insure that it does not fall behind in the race for the No. 1 spot in the mobile payments market. Now, its complete list of partnerships includes Discover Financial Services, MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
In late May of this year, Google announced its own NFC mobile payments system called
The search and mobile giant partnered with Sprint, Citi, MasterCard and First Data to offer a service that allows users to store credit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and offers.
With competition already starting to heat up, Isis is taking the next step by investing more than
$100 million in the joint venture
. This investment is a move to attract banks and merchants, and will likely force Google to step up in what could be a mobile payments "showdown."
Isis is also offering coupons through users' mobile devices, much like Google. The team plans to rely on all three mobile carriers' existing customer relationships to help push it ahead of Google. In addition, many predict that Isis software will be pre-installed onto their phones to encourage use.
"We have yet to announce our national rollout plans," said Jaymee Johnson, head of marketing for Isis. "Isis remains on track to launch in key markets, including Salt Lake City and Austin, in early-to-mid 2012."
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