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ISIS - A Promising Mobile payment solution

|November 21 2010 |Mobile Payments

Three of the America's largest Wireless service providers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have come together to create a country-wide mobile wallet called ISIS - a mobile commerce network - utilizing the modern capabilities of Smartphones and the Near Field Communication technology. The idea is to use your mobile phone to make payments at retail outlets by just waving!


ISIS will begin with the focus of completing the payment solution that can work at retail stores. ISIS expects to introduce the services in key geographic areas in the next 18 months. Talking about this ambitious plans, Michael Abbott, CEO of ISIS said "While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes."



Isis is working with Discover Financial Services’ payment network currently accepted at more than seven million merchant locations nationwide, to develop an extensive mobile payment infrastructure for the joint venture. Barclaycard US, part of Barclays PLC, is expected to be the first issuer on the network, offering multiple mobile payment products to meet the needs of every customer. "We believe the venture will have the scope and scale necessary to introduce mobile commerce on a broad basis. In the beginning, we intend to fully utilize Discover’s national payment infrastructure as well as Barclaycard’s expertise in contactless and mobile payments" said Abbott. "Moving forward, Isis will be available to all interested merchants, banks and mobile carriers."

NFC uses short-range, high frequency wireless technology to enable the encrypted exchange of information between devices at a short distance. The new system is being designed and built to include strong security and privacy safeguards.

The initiative is not without any doubts. How secure is this solution? What if the mobile phone is lost? What if the mobile phone battery runs out of power? What if the NFC is compromised? Can mobile phones handle the encryption processing requirements? What would be the minimum smartphone configuration required? The questions are lined up..but I am sure the challenges and obstacles would be overcome one by one...


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