Isis is in the business of mobile payments, and it has been working towards allowing users to use their cell phones instead of their credit card. The company first made mobile news when it partnered with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in November 2010. Today, Isis announced that in conjunction with its existing relationship with three of the four major cell providers, it has now teamed up with all of the major credit card companies. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express have all joined the Isis bandwagon, to allow payments to be made through their networks.
Isis’ technology is based around near-field-communication (NFC) chips that will communicate with existing hardware already in place in many stores. The technology will be the same as Google Wallet, which also uses NFC. The main difference right now between the two mobile payment competitors would be the partners. When Google announced Google Wallet, it had MasterCard and Sprint as initial partners. Google Wallet is already being tested in Oregon, and will be rolling out to more markets in the future. As of right now, only Sprint Nexus S 4G users can use Google Wallet, which really limits how many people can use the service.
Today’s announcement is ultimately great news for consumers, as it offers more freedom of choice. Isis plans to bring mobile payments to phones in early 2012 along with all of it’s partners. The question now is if Sprint will join the ranks of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile on the Isis train. Sprint is already alone using WiMax as its 4G technology, will it also be alone using Google Wallet?