It looks like we may really have NFC mobile payments pretty soon, as the Isis joint venture has just announced a relationship with American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
When Isis first started, it represented an ambitious move to reshape how we pay for things by placing a strong emphasis on NFC. The joint venture included Discover, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon and many thought it would go after an alternative to the existing payment giants. You knew that wasn’t going to sit well with the likes of American Express, MasterCard and Visa and it wasn’t surprising to see Isis change its strategy.
Now that Isis has secured the four major payment processors, its chances of actually succeed have skyrocketed because this also comes with the existing relationships with banks and retailers that these payment companies have. Once the Isis system is widely rolled out in the first half of 2012, users will potentially be able to go into a store and swipe their NFC-enabled phone to pay for things. The funds can be tied to one of your American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa cards.
“Visa has long championed an open approach to mobile commerce that allows consumers to choose which account they want to enable for mobile payments,” said Joe Saunders, chief executive officer, Visa Inc, in a prepared statement. “We are committed to working closely with Isis, handset manufacturers, platform providers and financial institutions to offer consumers a suite of mobile services – mobile payments, coupons tailored to location and lifestyle, real time account information and more.”
The one major carrier missing from Sprint is Isis and it appears to be taking a different path to bringing NFC payments to its users. The third-largest carrier has teamed up with Google on Google Wallet and it will be bringing this payment platform to multiple phones.