AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile Mobile Payment Service Isis Hits a Wall
In late 2012 T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T started trials of Isis
, their NFC-based mobile payment platform that turns your smartphone into a debit card. Isis has seen mixed reviews, with many of the vendors supposedly participating in the limited trial never having heard of the service
. Isis was officially launched last fall
; interested users needing to obtain a secure element SIM card from their wireless carrier, a Near Field Communications (NFC) capable phone, and the Isis mobile app.
But things haven't been all peaches and cream in the telco attempt to get into the banking business. The latest hurdle is the fact that a large coalition of companies, including Best Buy and 7-Eleven, are working together on their own mobile payment platform, and have been turning off Isis NFC sensors, a move that has obviously annoyed the telcos
To hear Isis CTO Scott Mulloy tell it, if you don't use Isis, you're helping the world perpetuate the type of credit-card fraud that plagued Target:
"A handful of retailers are moving counter to the broader industry movement towards more secure payment technologies," Mulloy charged. "This affects millions of contactless [smartcards] already in circulation as well as new mobile wallet innovations. It's a massive step backwards.
"When a merchant with thousands or even hundreds of locations turns off contactless [NFC payments] and chooses a less secure option, it's significant for consumers and the broader payments industry, as we have seen with recent high profile data breaches" at Target and Neiman Marcus, he added via email.
Granted the industry is moving away from magnetic stripe credit and debit cards toward chip and pin technologies (including Target
), making it appear that Mulloy is just hoping to scare people into adopting their preferred mobile payment standard. Isis was already facing adoption hurdles, and more fractured payment options clearly won't be helping.
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Re: This isn't going to work
said by pkorx8:And you're right, PayPass always seems to work at McD's mainly because they run all types of cards as credit. So there's only one button to push no matter what kind of card you've used (or in your case, phone)
MCD is one of the few places that take Paypass. I tend to surprise the hell out of their employees whenever I pay with google wallet on the terminal.
Luckily, the employee does not need to do anything in order for the Paypass terminal to work!
Payback is a bitch ! I recall not too long ago, Verizon and the bunch disabling Google wallet on Android devices because they had Isis in the works. As a matter of fact, Galaxy users still cant access the app because it coughs of some incompatibility despite it being specifically engineered to work with NFC and the app.
So really, all I see is a bunch of greedy corporate idiots who think they can dictate every single thing that a consumer can do with their phones despite the obvious. With T-mobile pushing uncarrier initiative and the rest of the wireless industry rushing to play catchup, I'd be surprised to see people tying themselves down further by signing up for these services vs say Google Wallet, where you aren't restricted by the phone, carrier and so forth. There's going to be European style revolution when it comes to wireless phone service. Just buy the phone and shop for your carrier.
All this being said, I'm not placing an ounce of fault on Best Buy or 7 Eleven. These very fools set the president back in 2011, Yes its been that long since Google wallet launched. You want our NFC contacts turned back on? Sorry we have a competing service were building, besides you just have the wireless service while we have the stores with goods that people want, the contactless pay counters and soon an app to complete the cycle. Bitch !
Lack of payment choices I hate that I can't use a card of my choice. Or if I have the right brand card, I still cannot use it. WTF?!?!?! I had Serve on my account, but my use had dropped, I refuse to pay a fee. I ended up closing it.
As far as checkout goes, I've had success at CVS, a local seafood market, and some McDonalds locations. I never got it to work at Walgreens. When I cant get it to work at the few places I shop, and cant find it at the bulk of the places, and I cant use my financial accounts, I've got something I cannot use.
Happy ISIS User I've successfully used ISIS with my AmEx card. AmEx adds an additional layer of security in that they generate a secondary account number, rather than using the account number on my card, and give that number to ISIS instead. I also like the fact that ISIS is only active when I start the app, as opposed to other contactless cards that sit in a wallet.
I use it to pay regularly at the Coca-Cola machines in my place of work (which also lets me double-dip on Coke Rewards points - 3 points for the purchase, 3 points for the cap code!), I've used it at Toys-R-Us, and used it at the few other limited places I've found I can use it. I'll likely use it the next time I go to McD's.
If retailers are deliberately disabling the contactless payment sensors, they're not only affecting ISIS. They're also affecting Mastercard's PayPass cards, some AmEx Blue cards, and others that also have contactless chips built into them. Given that these are cards that in some cases have been in circulation for a few years now, it's unfortunate to see retailers turning away this technology just because there's a "competitor" of theirs that is using it now. So much for progress.