Another new player in the world of mobile payments has launched nationally this week, this time with the blessing of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. It’s called Isis and the system has been undergoing public trials for more than a year, and has finally been judged ready for the big time.
Well, big-ish time, as you’re still going to need a specific smartphone to enjoy Isis, and jump through a few hoops before trying it out. First up, your phone needs to have NFC, which isn’t so much of a problem as it was a few years ago, but does restrict Isis to approved Android phones. The list includes the HTC One, Galaxy S4, LG G2, and various Droid phones on Verizon.
Then you need a special SIM card with upgraded security options from your network, before finally downloading the Isis Mobile Wallet app from the Google Play store, and adding a supported credit card. Even then, according to AT&T’s press release, you’ll still need to visit the card issuer to approve its use on your phone.
So, if you’ve got the right phone, been to see your network and the bank, and met all the other criteria, you’ll be ready to pay for stuff using your phone. So where should you go? Apparently, partner stores include Macy’s, Walgreens, Radio Shack, Jamba Juice, and logically enough, AT&T’s stores too. Coca-Cola has partnered with Isis to offer free drinks from certain vending machines when using Isis to pay, and if you use Amex’s Serve digital wallet, you can get 20 percent back on certain purchases.
Will Isis catch on, when success has eluded those which have preceded it? Only time will tell, but we think a lot of the hassle needs to be filtered out before we all start paying for our weekly shopping using a phone.