Isis network coming to the US
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA will build a mobile payments network in the US and make the service available to their 200 million subscriber base over the next 18 months.
The network, branded Isis, will aim to use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to streamline payment processes and facilitate point of sale purchases through mobile devices. Take up of mobile money services has been a more notable feature of emerging markets than developed ones, offering fInancial inclusion to populations underserved by the traditional banking segment. The principle of Isis is different, say its investors, since its aim is to leverage the advanced communication possibilities of the smart phone.
“While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start,” said Michael Abbot, newly appointed CEO at Isis. “We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes.”
Isis marks the first project Verizon and AT&T have worked on together since 1983. The companies will use Barclay-card US and the Discover network to provide the financial services backing for the mobile payments. The Isis programme will originally launch as a point of sale purchase platform, but through its smart phone application will develop to use encrypted registered financial information embedded on a microchip.
Isis said that its system will ultimately terminate the need for suppliers to transfer credit card or banking information every time a purchase is made. As the service is rolled out to key geographical markets over the next 18 months, manufacturers will have the opportunity to develop appropriate microchips and build point of sale readers for stores taking up the service.