Macy's, Foot Locker join Isis as mobile wallet merchant partners
Isis, the m-commerce network spearheaded by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, will offer its mobile wallet services across hundreds of national and regional merchants when consumer trials begin this summer.
Isis will initially test its Near Field Communications-based tap-and-pay platform in the Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas regions. On Tuesday, the company announced it will roll out services across Aeropostale, Coca-Cola Company, Champs, Dillard's, Foot Locker, Jamba Juice and Macy's locations in those markets. Isis also will support mobile wallet access across dozens of local, independently owned businesses ranging from restaurants to retailers to professional sports venues. Isis adds that all merchant partners are already equipped with compatible point-of-sale terminals.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA first announced Isis in late 2010. In addition to mobile payments, the platform will enable consumers to redeem coupons and present loyalty program credentials via smartphone. Financial services providers Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have committed to supporting the Isis initiative, affording banks the flexibility to enable any major network payment card while giving consumers the choice to decide which cards to load into their digital wallet.
Six device manufacturers--HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Samsung Mobile and Sony Ericsson--have committed to introducing products that support the Isis platform. Late last year, Isis announced a partnership with digital security firm Gemalto to boost safety around mobile payments and related services, and in March, the firm inked agreements with point-of-sale terminal manufacturers VeriFone, Ingenico, ViVOtech and Equinox Payments to integrate Isis into current and future product lines. According to Isis, retailers will become Isis-enabled through a combination of new payment acceptance systems and NFC add-ons--merchants can also leverage remote software upgrades of selected devices already in the field.
Isis faces competition from a host of rival m-payment services, including the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet tap-and-pay application. Another formidable rival is Square, which enables small businesses and other users to accept credit and debit purchases by swiping cards through a small dongle that plugs into the device's audio jack. Square said last month it is now processing mobile transactions at an annualized rate of $5 billion.
Mobile payments for digital and physical goods, mobile money transfers and NFC-enabled contactless transactions will almost triple from $240 billion in 2011 to $670 billion in 2015, Juniper Research forecasts. The firm credits the accelerating adoption of mobile ticketing, NFC contactless payments, physical goods purchases and money transfers in both developed and emerging markets as the catalysts behind the expected growth, adding that the number of mobile money users will double by 2013.
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