ISIS Mobile Payment System Finally Said To Go Nationwide Later This Year


ISIS, the mobile payment system back by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile said yesterday it would expand its (very delayed) payment system nationwide later this year. ISIS allows consumers to make payments by waving their phones at a check-out terminal in lieu of a credit card. ISIS uses NFC technology that will allow to redeem coupons and use loyalty “with a tap of their smartphone.”

ISIS originally was set to launch in the first half of 2012, but later changed its target date to summer and then October only to miss both dates. ISIS has been up and running in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah with fairly positive results. ISIS hopes that with 20 million consumers already carrying smartphones with NFC technology build in and 25 out of the top 100 retailers installing contactless terminals that the technology will take off.

Still, with Apple choosing to use Passbook over NFC it has led some to question the viability of NFC technology moving forward. Moreover, as certain wireless carriers *cough T-Mobile cough* choosing to opt out of Google Wallet, NFC has yet to hit its stride in the market. Will ISIS bring about a change in attitude toward NFC? That’s a question that will likely be answered based on just how much support and promotion the carriers and retailers can give it. Let’s hope we actually find out later this year.


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  • troysyx

    GOD! i wish i could use Google Wallet on my HTC One….

  • Trevnerdio

    The last time I heard about this system, I fell off my dinosaur…got Google Wallet on my S4. Tired of waiting for this.

  • sorandkairi

    As I look at the world and see just how fast the tech. has advanced in just a short number of years, I can only think of one thing. #watchdogs :)

    • bleeew

      iSIS is really 2011 tech when NFC in smartphones was new…

      • sorandkairi

        …And cellphone are more or less long distance radios… What’s your point!?

        I as making a reference to a game…

      • superg05

        wrong much older they have had it in japan for i think a decade ?

        • kalel33

          According to Wiki pages, the first NFC enabled phone didn’t come out until 2006.

        • superg05

          sorry i was not clear i mean buying things with you mobile phone like isis not nfc

  • Chris

    I don’t like being told what mobile payment system I have to use. That alone is enough to question ISIS.

    • Chris Drudge

      By not telling it straight up, they at least get the ignorant ones who
      can’t think for themselves in addition to the ones that don’t care. Some of those ignorant ones wouldn’t use it as much if they came and flat out told you that their system allowed them to monetize your transactions by either taking a piece of the action or tracking your purchases.

  • Ford_Thundercougarfalconbird

    Really don’t understand why we can’t use both.

    Oh yeah, I do. Profit.

    • bleeew

      I know. Im on Verizon and they blocked Google Wallet. With ISIS you have to pay a monthly fee to use it.

  • kev2684

    dear t-mobile,
    be the un-carrier you’re supposed to be and unblock google wallet kthx.

  • williejackbrainer

    A friend of mine uses Google Wallet and it has to be setup on a PC before you could sync the info to your phone. I haven’t heard anything on ISIS for like two years I think. Either way I’m sure there will be a work around.

  • Deadeye37

    I’m so-so with ISIS. I find it is convenient to use, when you get to a place that uses it. However, I’ve found that its hard to find a wireless payment terminal in most places I go. The places that are listed as taking ISIS aren’t labeled as such in the store, but they do take it.

    The specials that they run for ISIS are pretty sweet (matinee pricing at a high end theater here, free 16 oz smoothie, free rides on public transit, etc). However, the STUPID thing about the deals is that they are based on the zip code that is setup for your account, not on your location. Also, you can’t look for deals based on proximity to you. They assume you stay in your zip code and don’t go into town from time to time.

    There isn’t a monthly fee to use ISIS (at least on T-mobile). However, they do start charging fees on your ISIS card if you haven’t used it for 9 months.

    That brings me to the part that bugs me about ISIS. You either have to get an ISIS card (upgradable to a reloadable card), or you can use an American Express card or a Chase card. You can’t link it to your own cards. That alone makes it inconvenient. So if I want to use my card, I have to go through the annoying process of transferring funds from one of my cards to the ISIS card (or get a card that they have partnered with). The upside to that is that I know my personal cards are safe since I don’t have to use them to make payments.

    I think that ISIS is BS. Its basically setup to be anti-competitive, especially since the phone companies are blocking Google Wallet from being used. As a consumer, I appreciate my freedom to choose. Let me choose T-mobile and Google Wallet.

  • thef00l2

    Isis is worthless since it will not run on a rooted phone – which most sensible users have already done so.

  • FILA

    T-Mobile willing to break the rules on everything else, seems like a great android carrier to go to, which Im already on by the way, but yet they block Google Wallet!! Come on! Who cares, choices T, isnt that what you are all about. Thank god for Rooting, ROMs and Nexus!

  • This is where I am totally on the other side of T-mobile. I am fine if they do that ISIS thing, but never, ever try to take away the choice from everybody. Bring Google Wallet to its customers, T-Mobile. Be the uncarrier thing you say. *finger wag*

    • sean

      so true..isis is awful…they support like 4 banks

  • sean

    i’m in austin and deal with both on a regular basis…people always have issues loading isis…the isis app is crap, rarely works, too many strict guidelines for it to work properly and has a fugly interface…gwallet works great…doesn’t require a special sim or countless hours of dealing with isis support

  • Cripe

    First off I wouldn’t mind ISIS if Google Wallet was active too. You would have choice. Now, about day to day practicality. I have tried to use a store discount card on my phone. The register wouldn’t scan it. I have tried a touch and go credit card, that works but the idiot at MC D’s wanted me to pay again. He couldn’t read the register it seems. Anytime you try to pay in an unconventional way, the clerks behind the counter do not understand how to do it. Education seems to be lacking for the clerks. The only place I see scanning or touch payments working are in larger airports.

    • nycplayboy78

      AMEN…I used my phone at McD’s and CVS and the clerks where like ummm WTF are you doing??!! I said paying and they where like umm money please and I was like wait for it wait for it…BAM…Their eyes where like OMFG…You just paid with your phone…..HAHAHAHAHAHA :)

  • D Velasquez

    depending the business structure they are planning this could work…or not, in Japan is Docomo the one that offers credit services under the DCMX , DCMX mini and DCMX Gold brands, each one have different credit lines if i recall it starts at 100.000 Y up to 200.000 Y with a yearly fee of 1500 Y (roughly $150) , i never used DCMX or iD services but i know docomo also charges you a fee of $13 but i don’t remember if it is monthly for the service or per transaction, iD and DCMX are used in Japan but not massively although i have seen people here in NY using their DCMX credit cards, if it worked for Docomo it may work here but Docomo as far as i know does not act as a bank it depend on subsidiaries (8 i think) for financial services like this. Isis could allow credit lines according to the credit history of the subscriber but the way they want to implement it is …i don’t know how to say it but shouldn’t they be partnering with more stores to deploy their readers? 3 or 4 national retailers is not enough Docomo have readers even in some grocery stores that allow to pay with the phone, going debit is also a great way (which is what they want) and charging a fee per transaction is the way to go however if they charge something outrageous like $8 per transaction i can see this is just going to be a bad investment, blocking Google wallet also does not help them let people use wallet so they can see what Isis can offer aside from wallet; Blocking the competition is no bueno. now ISIS should be smart and allow users to save their own cards on the terminal not just amex, chase or capital one further deploy the system and integrate it with other services like ID uses , transportation, we can have the same system as in Japan problem is people here is more paranoid when using an NFC enabled terminal rather than credit card/debit cards.

  • kawkaw

    I have been using google wallet ever since I got my nexus 4. I absolutely love it. Screw isis!

  • tomarone

    There is a petition on ‘Change dot org’ that our beloved T-Mobile stop blocking Google Wallet. Seems smart to advise all to sign the petit!

    • nycplayboy78

      Signed :)

    • 21stNow

      I signed it, as well.

      • nycplayboy78

        I just love your avatar pic :)

        • 21stNow

          Thanks! Yours is cool, too.

  • nycplayboy78

    meh I am using Google Wallet….LOVE IT!!!! Apple using Passbook is just Apple being well Apple…They will be assimilated to using NFC because WORLDWIDE NFC is the standard…

    • tomarone

      Passbook does not do payments, just coupons and maybe specific companies can support it…?

      • AustineKersey

        Passbook does do transactions……….

    • weezy34

      Apple doesn’t like to use features and ports they did not create, because they have to shell out royalties for each item sold. Apple dreaded installing a SD slot on their notebooks, after a lot of consumers complaints requesting it.

    • D Velasquez

      FeliCa is actually the standard on most parts of Asia and some countries on Europe for what i know, we should have use that too but nooooo , they went ahead and created yet another “standard”

  • Still not going to use it on principle because of the way the carriers are blocking wallet.

  • mingkee

    Isis is a ripoff, period.
    X% service charge on every purchase, F’ off!

    • Paddy_Tanninger_Caddy_Manager

      On the merchant side? Are you sure about this? If that’s the case, it will fail as Google wallet is free for both merchant and buyer

      • Chad Vincent

        Except the ISIS carriers block Google Wallet on all non-Nexus devices.

        • Paddy_Tanninger_Caddy_Manager

          what? irrelavant info. When I said “fail” we’re talking about the viability of ISIS as a business model. He claims ISIS charges a transaction fee. I don’t know that it does, and doubt it as well, because Google Wallet is the competing product line. I’m just saying if ISIS charged a fee, this business might fail b/c google is offering it for FREE to merchants. If I were a merchant and ISIS charged me a fee, I would say thanks, but no thanks, the old credit card and google wallet system is cheaper. (unless ISIS is actually cheaper than the current credit card fees).

          Do you know how Google Wallet makes money for Google, when it doesn’t charge a fee such as those of the traditional transaction processors like Visa, AMEX, MC? It’s free to the consumer to use, but it ain’t free to your merchant.

        • Chad Vincent

          Not irrelevant info. If GWallet is blocked, it isn’t able to compete, thus Wallet being free is not a concern for ISIS. Captive audience rules apply.

          Also, both ISIS and GWallet are irrelevant to the merchant in a physical transaction. They both just use the PayPass reader, and process as such.

    • Chad Vincent

      I’m not seeing that in their terms of service…