Certain to "Keep Austin Weird," Isis has selected the home of SXSW as its second market for a mobile payment tryout. The joint-venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless (with help from MasterCard and Visa), will work with local merchants and the Chamber of Commerce to deliver what it calls a "comprehensive mobile experience" by mid-2012. Isis' latest metropolitan recruit joins Salt Lake City in this experiment that will compete with Google Wallet (which is endorsed by Sprint). Quick advice to Austinites: when out-of-towners begin gawking at you for getting "free" lattes and concert tickets by waving your phone about, be sure to explain the wonders of NFC -- it'd be a shame for them to attempt the same -- only to be taken into custody by the Austin PD. Jump the break for the PR.
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Isis to Introduce Mobile Commerce in Austin, Texas

Austin Among First in U.S. to Adopt Comprehensive Mobile Commerce Experience

Austin, Texas - June 21, 2011: Isis, the mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, today announced Austin, Texas is among the initial launch markets for the Isis mobile commerce program. Austin merchants and consumers are expected to be among the first in the U.S. to adopt a comprehensive mobile commerce experience in 2012.

"Today we are delighted to announce that Austin will be an initial Isis launch market for the Isis mobile commerce program," said Michael Abbott, chief executive officer at Isis. "Austin is home to progressive and tech savvy consumers and merchants – a key demographic for Isis' mobile commerce program. The city's culture of innovation, thriving business community and early adopters make it an ideal launch market for Isis."

Starting in the first half of 2012, Austin consumers will be able to use Isis-enabled mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases and redeem offers at participating merchant locations throughout the city. Isis is working closely with local merchants and the Austin Chamber of Commerce to spur wide scale consumer adoption and merchant support across Austin.

"Austin being chosen as one of the first U.S. markets for Isis to launch is yet another strong confirmation that Austin has cemented its reputation as a national leader in innovation and technology," said Mike Rollins, CCE, president of the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Isis will bring mobile commerce to consumers and merchants by allowing them to use mobile phones to make point-of-purchase sales through the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology.

The Isis system will evolve to offer customers across the U.S. a highly secure and convenient way to pay, redeem offers and store merchant loyalty cards, all with the tap of a phone. Earlier this year, Isis announced Salt Lake City as an initial launch market in the first half of 2012.