Report: Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile pumping $100M into Isis rollout
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA reportedly plan to invest roughly $100 million in an effort to roll out Isis, their nationwide Near Field Communications-based m-commerce network slated to launch trials in early-to-mid-2012, more quickly.
Bloomberg reports the three operators are mulling several options to ramp up Isis adoption and distribution, including pre-installing Isis software onto their phones and pushing manufacturer partners to adopt the solution. Sources add Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile will determine the funding amount depending on how successful Isis is in its efforts to attract banks and merchants. The carriers declined to comment; Isis confirmed it remains on pace to go live in "key markets including Salt Lake City and Austin, [Tex.]" during the first half of next year, but declined to comment on financing.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA first announced Isis in late 2010, promising services enabling consumers to conduct point-of-sale transactions, redeem coupons and use store merchant loyalty cards via mobile device. In May, Isis said it would open its system to all interested credit issuers and banks, and last month welcomed financial services providers Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express to its ranks. According to Isis, the moves significantly expand the payment options available to mobile subscribers, at the same time extending the fledgling network's reach to encompass payment terminals already installed at U.S. merchant locations.
Isis faces mounting competition from rival mobile commerce initiatives including the new Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet, which aligns Google with U.S. network partner Sprint (NYSE:S) and financial services firms MasterCard, Citi and First Data to enable subscribers to purchase goods and redeem coupons and loyalty rewards via Android smartphones. Contenders also include PayPal, which projects its 2011 mobile total payments volume will reach $3 billion, and startup Square, which now processes $4 million in transactions a day.
Near Field Communications-based mobile transactions are expected to reach nearly $50 billion worldwide by 2014 according to a forecast issued earlier this year by Juniper Research. Based on internal analysis, as well as interviews with industry players, Juniper anticipates NFC-based mobile payment services will launch in up to 20 international markets over the next 18 months, with North America and Western Europe together accounting for 50 percent of the worldwide market by 2014.
- read this Bloomberg article
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