Today, T-Mobile announced that it is teaming up with the other two major U.S carriers, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless to bring Isis, a mobile payment system to customers. Isis will use near-field communication (NFC) based technology to allow smartphone owners to use their handsets as a form of payment, thus replacing the need to carry around credit cards or even cash. Currently, there are no NFC enabled smartphones on the market, but one is coming very soon. That one handset, happens to be the upcoming Nexus S which was demonstrated by Eric Schmidt yesterday at the Web 2.0 Summit. You can expect more handsets to have the NFC capability built in, as that is one of the new features in Android 2.3.
Full press release after the jump!
AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless Announce Joint Venture to Build National Mobile Commerce Network
Isis to Lead the U.S. Payments Industry from Cards to Mobile Phones; Available to All Merchants, Banks and Wireless Service Providers; Venture Led By Former GE Capital Financial Executive
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless today announced the formation of a joint venture chartered with building ISIS™, a national mobile commerce network that aims to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save.
Isis’ initial focus will be on building a mobile payment network that utilizes mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases. By utilizing smartphone and near-field communication (NFC) technology to modernize the payments process, Isis intends to deliver new levels of competition and value to consumers and merchants. Isis expects to introduce its service in key geographic markets during the next 18 months.
Michael Abbott has been named as Chief Executive Officer of Isis. Formerly with GE Capital, Abbott is a veteran financial services executive with extensive experience in the payment and technology industries.
“Our mobile commerce network, through relationships with merchants, will provide an enhanced, more convenient, more personalized shopping experience for consumers,” said Michael Abbott, Chief Executive Officer of Isis. “While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes.”
Isis Brings Both Consumer and Merchant Scale
Founding members, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, collectively provide wireless services to more than 200 million consumers who will have access to the Isis service. Isis is working with Discover Financial Services’ payment network, currently accepted at more than seven million merchant locations nationwide, to develop an extensive mobile payment infrastructure for the joint venture.
Barclaycard US, part of Barclays PLC, is expected to be the first issuer on the network, offering multiple mobile payment products to meet the needs of every customer.
“We believe the venture will have the scope and scale necessary to introduce mobile commerce on a broad basis. In the beginning, we intend to fully utilize Discover’s national payment infrastructure as well as Barclaycard’s expertise in contactless and mobile payments,” said Abbott. “Moving forward, Isis will be available to all interested merchants, banks and mobile carriers.”
How It Works
The new venture will enable contactless mobile payment and commerce services using near-field communication technology. NFC uses short-range, high frequency wireless technology to enable the encrypted exchange of information between devices at a short distance. The new system is being designed and built to include strong security and privacy safeguards.
The joint venture is between AT&T Mobility LLC, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and is based in New York City. The venture is chartered with building ISIS™, a national mobile commerce network that will fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save. The Isis mobile commerce network will be available to all merchants, banks and mobile carriers. ISIS is a trademark of JVL Ventures, LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos, product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “plan,” “should” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, those set forth in the discussions of factors that may affect future results contained in AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG’s (T-Mobile USA is the U.S. wireless arm of Deutsche Telekom AG), and Verizon Wireless’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless disclaim any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.