Isis adds American Express cards to mobile wallet

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Isis, the nationwide m-commerce network spearheaded by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, will support American Express' U.S. Consumer, OPEN Small Business and Serve Cards when its mobile wallet service begins consumer trials later this year.

American Express officially joined the Isis network in mid-2011 alongside rivals Visa, MasterCard and Discover. But the financial services provider is only now linking its cards with the Isis wallet, which allows consumers to conduct point-of-sale transactions, redeem coupons and use store merchant loyalty cards via Near Field Communications-enabled mobile device.

Beyond conventional credit cards, AmEx is also connecting the Isis wallet to its Serve digital payment and commerce platform, which the company introduced last year. Serve unifies online, offline and mobile payments into a single account that consumers can fund from their bank account, debit, credit or charge card, or by receiving cash from another Serve user. After consumers set up an account at Serve.com or by downloading the appropriate iOS or Android application, they can send and receive money, pay bills and make digital purchases. In addition, AmEx issues each Serve subscriber a reloadable prepaid credit card linked to their account, which they can use at any merchant or ATM that accepts American Express.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA first announced Isis in late 2010, and will begin consumer tests in the Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas markets later this year. In addition to AmEx, Isis has signed card services partners Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard. Six device manufacturers--HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Samsung Mobile and Sony Ericsson--have committed to introducing products that support the Isis platform.

Mobile payments for digital and physical goods, mobile money transfers and NFC-enabled contactless transactions will almost triple from $240 billion in 2011 to $670 billion in 2015, Juniper Research forecasts. The firm credits the accelerating adoption of mobile ticketing, NFC contactless payments, physical goods purchases and money transfers in both developed and emerging markets as the catalysts behind the expected growth, adding that the number of mobile money users will double by 2013.

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