New York City – Isis, the joint venture between carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, launched Isis Mobile Wallet contactless payment in two cities.
A total of 500 retail locations in Salt Lake City and 470 in Austin, Texas, have rolled out contact payment terminals that let consumers pay for purchases by tapping their smartphone against a contactless payment terminal.
The terminals use nearfield communications (NFC) to communicate with Android smartphones equipped with an Isis Mobile Wallet app downloaded from the Google Play store.
Isis technology competes with a contactless-payment technology backed by Google and carrier Sprint.
Isis declined to say when additional markets would be rolled out.
Nine Isis-ready handsets are available from the three carriers, and nine more are expected by the end of the year, Isis said. The handsets include HTC’s Droid Incredible 4G LTE for the Verizon network, with compatibility with Verizon’s Droid Razr by Motorola and Droid Razr Maxx by Motorola due this week.
Stores with compatible contactless-payment terminals in the two markets include 7-Eleven, Petco, Footlocker, Chevron, Sports Authority, CVS, Office Depot, The Home Depot, Macy’s and local stores.
Besides Isis-ready support, handsets also require a new secure SIM card, which can be obtained at carrier stores. Once the SIM card and app are installed, users add credit, debit and participating merchants’ loyalty cards to the Wallet. Participating credit card companies are American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard. Participating banks are Capital One and Chase. Users can also add cash to a Wallet by using an Isis Cash card.
Credit and debit card information is encrypted on the phone’s SIM’s Secure Element, which is a dedicated hardware component that operates independently from the rest of the phone to limit access to apps such as the Isis Mobile Wallet. The Isis Wallet is also PIN-protected.