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We noted last week that carrier-backed Google Wallet competitor Isis was nearing an official launch when we noticed the T-Mobile ISIS app on Google Play. Today, the app officially launches on all three of its major carrier partners in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. ISIS issued a press release on its website today to confirm the service would be available to nine “Isis Ready” handsets through Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It will also land on a total of 20 devices by the end of 2012.
“Today’s launch of the Isis Mobile Wallet is a significant achievement in terms of enabling consumer adoption of mobile payments,” said Suzan Kereere, senior vice president and general manager, American Express, Global Network Business. “Mobile commerce holds the promise of dramatically enhancing consumers’ shopping experience, and American Express’ first priority as a network is to provide choice and flexibility for all industry participants as we work together to influence the speed and growth of mobile NFC payments in the U.S.”
The service will be made available to compatible devices, which the press release failed to list, and it can be activated with a secure element SIM card at one of the partner carrier’s retail stores in Austin and Salt Lake City. We know on T-Mobile you’ll be able to use at least the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Relay 4G. You can see Verizon’s selection here. Isis also has a full list of participating merchants here.
The full press release from Isis is below: expand full story
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Google Wallet is now cloud-based, supports any type of credit or debit card, and it is safer than ever before thanks to secure storage and remote disabling.
U.S. carriers are extremely stingy about letting Google put the Wallet app on its own operating system. While Sprint and its Virgin subsidiary have Google Wallet enabled on most of their new Android phones, Verizon has outright banned it—even on the Galaxy Nexus. AT&T and T-Mobile, which, with Verizon, are part of the competing ISIS Wallet standard. Both refuse to carry phones that use Google Wallet, but you can buy an unsubsidized GSM Galaxy Nexus that works on both networks just fine.
Google seems to have found another way around the ban, according to the the official Google Commerce blog:
“Today we’re releasing a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet. With the new version, you can also remotely disable your mobile wallet app from your Google Wallet account on the web.”
Google Wallet is simple: Card information is entered on the app, or on its new online wallet and Google Play, and manageable transaction records for in-store and online purchases appear on the phone (and now the Web!) immediately after payment use.
Google also instantly charges the selected credit or debit card. Well, when a user pays, the virtual card is transmitted to the merchant, but then the back-end charges the selected card. Note: It does not directly charge the card, because it is a proxy card.