AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless announced the formation of a joint venture chartered with building ISIS, a national mobile commerce network that aims to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save.
Isis' initial focus will be on building a mobile payment network that utilizes mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases. By utilizing smartphone and near-field communication (NFC) technology to modernize the payments process, Isis intends to deliver new levels of competition and value to consumers and merchants. Isis expects to introduce its service in key geographic markets during the next 18 months.
Michael Abbott has been named as CEO of Isis. Formerly with GE Capital, Abbott is a veteran financial services executive with extensive experience in the payment and technology industries.
"Our mobile commerce network, through relationships with merchants, will provide an enhanced, more convenient, more personalized shopping experience for consumers," says Abbott. "While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets, and transit passes."
Isis Brings Both Consumer and Merchant Scale
Founding members, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, collectively provide wireless services to more than 200 million consumers who will have access to the Isis service. Isis is working with Discover Financial Services' payment network, currently accepted at more than seven million merchant locations nationwide, to develop an extensive mobile payment infrastructure for the joint venture.
Barclaycard U.S., part of Barclays PLC, is expected to be the first issuer on the network, offering multiple mobile payment products to meet the needs of every customer.
"We believe the venture will have the scope and scale necessary to introduce mobile commerce on a broad basis. In the beginning, we intend to fully utilize Discover's national payment infrastructure as well as Barclaycard's expertise in contactless and mobile payments," says Abbott. "Moving forward, Isis will be available to all interested merchants, banks, and mobile carriers."
How It Works
The new venture will enable contactless mobile payment and commerce services using near-field communication technology. NFC uses short-range, high-frequency wireless technology to enable the encrypted exchange of information between devices at a short distance. The new system is being designed and built to include strong security and privacy safeguards.