ISIS Lines Up Phone Makers, But Where Are The Retailers And Customers?

Written by Frank Hayes
September 28th, 2011

With mobile-payments rivals Google and PayPal breathing down its neck a week before Apple announces its new iPhones (and possibly its own mobile-payments plans), ISIS on Tuesday (Sept. 27) said it has lined up five Android handset makers plus BlackBerry maker RIM to support ISIS-style mobile payments. Actually, that’s a little less than it appears: NFC-equipped phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and RIM will support “preexisting global standards” that “essentially detail how banks and other service providers can securely provision payment credentials in the secure element,” according to an ISIS statement.

That brings six phone makers, four card brands and three mobile telcos under ISIS’ big tent, along with DeviceFidelity, which lets non-NFC phones add NFC through a microSD slot. Problem: ISIS’ card brands have also signed with Google, as have the five Android handset makers (and DeviceFidelity says its deal with ISIS isn’t exclusive, either). Bigger problem: ISIS has yet to demonstrate payments, while Google Wallet is already operating with multiple retailers. It’s hearts-and-minds time, but ISIS has nothing exclusive and nothing to show potential users. Would it kill these telcos to just demonstrate they can actually make a transaction?


One Comment | Read ISIS Lines Up Phone Makers, But Where Are The Retailers And Customers?

  1. ed Says:

    The American rollout of contactless mobile payments is trying to throw a complex solution to a simple innovation.

    The payment processors are the one who distribute the payment terminals to their merchant clients and right now, Visa PayWave is what they dealing with now and at most probably have only a few novelty users despite the huge rollout in places like McDonald’s. So the merchants, especially with Durbin taking effect Oct 1. is not interested in a new form factor unless it is widely adopted by their consumers.

    Second, telcos really have no place and is desperatly trying to position themselves. I have come to realize it is not mobile phones that will drive m-commerce but wi-fi enabled tablets that can deliver much richer data on a larger screen that can be equipped with contactless if need be.

    Third and this is where the card companies are scared, especially of Apple – new startups can use stored valued accounts versus interest-bearing credit cards. If I’m correct, worldwide use of m-commerce are using majority stored-valued direct debit accounts. Visa and Mastercard and AMEX have been aggressively trying to establish a footprint in Africa right now to compete against M-Pesa growing influence.

    The contactless solution is simple, yet highly disruptive to status quo banks, card providers and payment processors and telcos in the USA and that is why you seeing this weird scrambling around trying to create a complex solution.


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