Isis confirms Oct. 22 launch, up to 20 payment-ready devices by year's end


Isis, the nationwide mobile commerce network spearheaded by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, has confirmed it will begin consumer trials next week.

"Isis will be launching in Austin [Texas] and Salt Lake City on Oct. 22," the firm's head of marketing Jaymee Johnson said in email Wednesday. "By year end, as many as 20 Isis Ready handsets are expected to be in market. We look forward to sharing more details on Oct. 22."

The Isis announcement matches up with information contained in leaked documents pointing to the Oct. 22 kickoff, lending credence to other data points the company has yet to confirm. A document provided last week to Android Central stated "The Isis Wallet allows customers to pay for purchases, use store loyalty cards and even redeem discounts and coupons (at participating locations)--all from an Isis Ready device!" Isis will award customers $10 free on their Isis Cash Card for activating the service, adding "Upgrade Isis Cash Card to reloadable, add funds via a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card or Green Dot Moneypak and get $15 added to the Isis Cash Card as a bonus incentive."

A subsequent leaked internal memo obtained by T-Mo News appears to answer other lingering questions about the software and hardware powering the Near Field Communications-based contactless payment service. In order to use Isis, consumers must obtain an Isis SIM card from participating Salt Lake City and Austin retailers and download the free Isis app from the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront to one of three known approved devices: The Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II or Galaxy S Relay 4G. Isis' launch confirmation makes it clear the service will expand to support additional devices in the weeks ahead, although specifics are presently unknown.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile first announced Isis network in late 2010. The payment network was slated to begin consumer trials this summer, but last month, the company scrapped those plans to continue fine-tuning the overall customer experience.

"At launch, consumers in Austin and Salt Lake City will be able to use the Isis mobile wallet at hundreds of contactless-enabled merchant locations in each market," Johnson recently told Mobile Commerce Daily. "In addition to national partners such as Macy's, Jamba Juice, Aéropostale, Foot Locker and Whole Foods, we have partnered with many iconic local merchants including Book People, Iron Works and University Co-Op in Austin, and Deseret Book, Energy Solutions Arena and Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City."

In addition to Visa, MasterCard and Green Dot, Isis has so far inked financial partnerships with American Express, Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard. The firm has also established alliances with point-of-sale terminal manufacturers VeriFone, Ingenico, ViVOtech and Equinox Payments as well as vending machine services firm USA Technologies. Along with Samsung Electronics, five other device manufacturers--HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Sony--have committed to introducing products that support the Isis platform.

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