Report: Isis to launch service in September


Isis, the nationwide mobile commerce network pushed by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, will formally launch service in September, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report, citing VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron, said that the service will kick off in Salt Lake City and San Antonio, Texas, next month. VeriFone, the mobile payments terminal specialist, is working with Isis on the venture. Both markets have been noted in the past as the first in which Isis will launch service. Isis declined to comment on the report but has said it intends to launch service this summer.

Mobile payments are on pace to grow nearly four-fold over the next five years, eclipsing $1.3 trillion in annual transaction value by 2017, according to a new forecast issued by Juniper Research. Despite the potential of mobile commerce, it has yet to take off in the United States, mainly because of a lack of both NFC-enabled smartphones and a widespread payments infrastructure to handle such transactions.

Brad Duea, senior vice president of product management at T-Mobile, told Bloomberg that the carrier will roll out "many more" NFC-enabled phones this year to add to the four it currently offers.

The carriers have been focused on the security of the payment system and will also be able to remotely erase a device's information if stolen.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile first announced Isis in late 2010. The Isis digital wallet allows consumers to conduct point-of-sale transactions, redeem coupons and use store merchant loyalty cards via NFC-enabled devices and corresponding point-of-sale reader technologies. Isis has inked partnerships with card services partners American Express, Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard. In addition, six device manufacturers--RIM, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony--have committed to introducing products that support the Isis platform.

Initially, Isis was intended to go head-to-head with mobile payment processors like Visa and MasterCard. however, in May 2011 Isis said it would instead open its system to all interested credit issuers and banks, aligning its technology with the existing m-payment infrastructure.

Earlier this month Isis joined Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PayPal VeriFone and Intuit, as well as with operators Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile to forge the Mobile Payments Committee, an effort to create policies and business strategies to guide the fast-growing m-commerce segment.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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