New York - The nation's four major
payment networks -- American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa -- have
agreed to support a mobile commerce platform developed by AT&T, T-Mobile
and Verizon Wireless.
The carriers announced the open platform,
dubbed Isis, in November, and have since made it available to all merchants,
banks, payment networks and mobile carriers.
The backing of Amex, Discover,
MasterCard and Visa is expected to help foster the growth of m-commerce by
providing a secure and convenient way for consumers with Isis-enabled phones to
make point-of-sale purchases wirelessly.
The system, which employs near-field
communication (NFC) technology, will also allow shoppers to redeem coupons and retail
loyalty cards through their smartphones, while retailers can leverage the
platform by providing Isis-enabled payment terminals within their stores.
The program is slated to initially launch
in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, in the first half of 2012.
"We have been committed to building a mobile
commerce platform that aligns and advances the interests of consumers,
merchants and banks," said Isis CEO Michael Abbott. "By working with the
nation's payment networks ... we significantly advance the vision of an open and
secure platform that provides banks and merchants with a new and highly
relevant way to connect with consumers."
Said Visa CEO Joe Saunders, "Visa
has long championed an open approach to mobile commerce that allows consumers
to choose which account they want to enable for mobile payments. 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."
MasterCard Worldwide president/CEO Ajay
Banga said, "We fully support an open commerce ecosystem which will drive the
scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile payments, providing consumers
with exciting new possibilities for shopping and saving. Our work with Isis
reinforces MasterCard's commitment to the continued development, innovation and
evolution of mobile payments technologies."
Discover chairman/CEO David Nelms
said, "Discover has been working with Isis from the start to facilitate mobile
commerce, which will provide added convenience and benefits to consumers while
delivering increased loyalty and sales to merchants. Isis' open strategy is the
right approach to establishing a highly secure environment for mobile commerce
that will be achieved through the participation of banks and payment networks
Bill Glenn, global merchant services
president, American Express, added, "Isis is able to bring choice and
opportunity to mobile commerce by helping card members bring the cards in their
leather wallet onto their mobile device. This relationship is another way for
American Express to expand the digital experience in the social marketplace. As
the line between online and offline continues to blur, American Express is
leveraging our digital closed loop to help connect our merchant network with
our card members in any environment."
The joint venture is between
AT&T Mobility LLC, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and is based in New