Some Isis Mobile Payment Retailers Have Never Heard of Isis
Carriers' Payment Ambitions Launch With a Whimper
Stores taking part in wireless carriers new Isis payment system apparently didn't get the memo. As we noted yesterday
, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless this week launched their use-your-phone-as-debit-card effort (dubbed "Isis") in two test markets: Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. Users on select phones need to get a new SIM card that has their banking information on it, then simply walk into supported retailers to use the system. However, Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOM
notes that it has been somewhat hard to find anyone in Austin who has heard of the trial.
Even some companies that are listed as supported vendors in the area say they've never heard of the effort:
In the first few pages of results I encountered a bakery I know and love, so I called Sugar Mama’s Bake Shop hoping to see if anyone had used Isis yet to buy something. The owner, Olivia O’Neal, was confused. She wasn’t part of the Isis launch and said that for months other small business owners had been emailing her about Isis, despite the fact that she never filled out her paperwork and didn’t want to participate. Other businesses listed on the site were out of business (Sole Freco) or were listed in the wrong location (Pueblo Viejo Mexican).
And managers at Chevron and CVS, which were both listed, said they hadn’t heard of the program, and that they didn’t support it when I asked if anyone had tried to pay with their phone using Isis, or if I could use Isis.
The company argues that Isis will work with any contactless payment display, and many vendors may not be aware that they now support Isis. Isis was already delayed several times, and now a trial with extremely limited phone support and vendors who've never heard of the program doesn't exactly scream comprehensive launch.