According to a report from Bloomberg, three of the largest mobile carriers in the US are getting ready to make a $100 million investment in NFC enabled payment system ‘Isis’. This is seen as a move to take some of the $240 billion a year (according to Juniper Research) mobile payment market from Google and, specifically, Google Wallet.
While Isis won’t begin testing the technology until next year, they have already signed up Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Google Wallet has been up and running on Android devices since May but is only available through MasterCard and Citibank with MasterCard Paypass. Having support from Visa, the “world’s largest credit card network”, will certainly give Isis an advantage in the U.S. market.
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The report notes that Isis may potentially urge carriers to preinstall the software on their devices. While that may be a bit of a hard sell to OEMs who rely on Android and their relationship with Google, strong partners in AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon will definitely make things a little easier.
Isis is also said to be a competitor to Google’s ‘Offers’ service, as it will apparently incorporates a mobile coupon service as well. It’s clear that we are still in the infancy of NFC technology with a number of big players starting to emerge and more bound to come. It will be interesting to see which platform is welcomed by consumers and merchants. More interesting, however, will be how exactly mobile leader Apple is planning on entering the race to capture the mobile payments market and compete with Google and others.
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