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ISIS Struggles in Austin Trial

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2013

We haven’t heard much about ISIS lately, so I thought I’d check in, as they are currently piloting technology in Salt Lake City and Austin with a full roll out later this summer. The ISIS mobile wallet is a joint venture from AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon, so there’s a lot riding on the success of this system. So when I found this article from an Austin news outlet, it definitely caught my attention as it indicates that ISIS adoption slow at best.

Ken’s Donuts owner Ashvin Patel says although Isis makes payment easy, he only sees about one customer a week use the app. Ken’s Donuts started using Isis six months ago, and even though the business has yet to see a large customer base paying with their phones, Patel foresees growth in the number of people using mobile payment apps, particularly young people.

While this may be only one example, you do have to wonder why there’s only one per week being made? Do customers not know they can pay using ISIS? Do they not understand what it is? This is where NFC technology has the potential to break down as not only do they have to have a phone that is ISIS-enabled, they need to know where to use and how to use it. That’s a huge paradigm shift, and it isn’t like you can round up customers like you would employees and force them into a half-day training session until they get it.

This is one of the failings of NFC as too much falls to the customer and the merchant. The heavy lifting needs to be done higher up the chain with mobile payment being so easy, a two year old could do it. With this example, I do have to maintain that NFC remains Not For Commerce.