News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday July 31, 2013.
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Isis, the mobile payments joint venture between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, will finally start its nationwide expansion later this year. The NFC-based payment solution, which currently supports only a few Android phones, will crossover to the three other major smartphone operating systems later this year.
Isis Mobile Wallet launched a trial run in Austin and Salt Lake City beginning last October. Only customers with a Motorola DROID RAZR M, Samsung S III, or Samsung Galaxy Relay were able to access the payment system in its early days. Support was eventually expanded to more devices that have NFC and a specialty SIM with Secure Element security, and availability will be further extended beyond Android. Isis Mobile Wallet for the iPhone, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10 will be introduced later this year.
Support for iOS devices is interesting because Apple does not yet have an NFC-capable iPhone. Isis' announcement sparks speculation that the next iPhone will have NFC; however, near field communications don't have to be built into the phone. Incipio released an iPhone 5 case that enabled mobile payments on iOS earlier this year, so it could use a case or a sticker to provide aftermarket support for the iPhone NFC functions necessary for mobile payments.
No dates have been given for when exactly Isis will start appearing in retail locations outside of Austin or Salt Lake City. Isis estimates that a quarter of the Top 100 national retailers are onboard. The list of supported businesses includes Champs, Coca-Cola vending machines, Foot Locker, Jamba Juice, Macy's, and many more companies in addition to the local outlets that participated in the trial run.source: Isis Mobile Wallet
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.