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Isis calls up some reinforcements against Google Wallet

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Monday, March 19, 2012

US mobile payment venture Isis (which you might recall has the backing of AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) has announced three new financial institutions on board with the service – Capital One, Chase, and Barclaycard.

Add that to support from the main merchants (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discovery) and a number of the top tier handset manufacturers, and you can see that this NFC based solution has some big building blocks it can use in the upcoming trials in America.

Isis shares many features with Google Wallet, which is going to be useful as consumers familiar with one system will find that the other works in pretty much the same way. That’s important for confidence, but with all those names behind Isis, there’s even more to deliver. Essentially, if the man or woman on the street had to choose a platform, they’d probably go with the one that had lots of big names they recognise, including the bank that they use.

With this announcement, Isis is standing up as if to say “people will choose me.”

The Isis trials commence this summer in Austin and Salt Lake City, and while that gives Google Wallet a good head start, with a year of field trials on the NFC enabled Galaxy Android handsets, that advantage can be overstated. A solid trial for Isis and an accelerating adoption of NFC technology in mid and high end smartphones will see customers being presented with the choice their network favours. Google Wallet has Sprint, while Isis has the other three US networks. That balances it out nicely.

Now let’s have the competing systems iterate themselves towards the best solution for the public.