Last time we heard from Isis, the aspiring mobile payments collaboration between three US wireless carriers, its CEO Michael Abbott wasn't willing to discuss the company's future plans in specific terms. Three months appear to make all the difference, however: Isis is almost ready to expand beyond its trial runs in Salt Lake City and Austin, and the service will be rolling out from coast to coast later this year. The company isn't giving any more specific details regarding timing or new Isis-compatible devices (there are currently 35 of them spread across Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile), although it's planning to enable the service on BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices later this year as well. The press release will serve up all the details after the break.
ISIS® ANNOUNCES NATIONAL ROLLOUT LATER THIS YEAR
Millions of NFC-Enabled Devices Shipping Monthly; National Introduction to Follow Successful Pilots
NEW YORK CITY – July 30, 2013 – Isis®, the mobile commerce joint venture created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless, today announced plans to roll out the Isis Mobile Wallet® nationwide later this year, following successful pilots in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.
"Over the past nine months, we have proven the power of an open platform, creating an ecosystem of literally hundreds of partners dedicated to making mobile commerce a reality," said Michael Abbott, chief executive officer, Isis. "As part of our commitment to consumers, we are incorporating feedback from our pilots into the next generation of the Isis Mobile Wallet as we prepare for national availability later this year."
The Isis Mobile Wallet uses near field communication (NFC) technology to allow consumers to pay, redeem coupons and present loyalty cards with a tap of their smartphone. To use the Isis Mobile Wallet, consumers need an NFC-enabled smartphone and a SIM-based secure element, which together make the device Isis Ready®.
Nearly 20 million smartphones in market currently feature NFC technology, with millions more being shipped each month by three of the nation's leading carriers – AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless. Thirty-five mobile devices across AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless currently support Isis and that number will continue to grow. Support for iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry 10 is expected to be introduced later this year.
"NFC technology is important to Samsung and is a standard feature in our flagship smartphones, including our Galaxy S® 4, as a powerful way for sharing through S Beam, and a tool for secure mobile payments with Isis," said Kevin Packingham, chief product officer, Samsung Telecommunications America. "At Samsung, we are committed to providing our customers with the most innovative technologies available and the Isis Mobile Wallet is just one example of that commitment brought to life."
Consumers that activate the Isis Mobile Wallet can pay at retail locations that accept contactless payments, the number of which has steadily grown over the past several years. Twenty-five of the top 100 national retailers have deployed or are deploying contactless terminals. Aite Group projects that 1.3 million locations in the U.S. will have contactless-ready payment terminals by year end, making it the most broadly deployed mobile payments technology at the point of sale.
"Working in partnership with Isis, we have been witness to the power of mobile payments and loyalty," said Rick Kanemasu, vending technology strategy, Coca-Cola North America Group. "More than one-third of active Isis Mobile Wallets users in Austin have loaded a My Coke Rewards card into their Wallet since our pilot began and 90 percent of these are new to the My Coke Rewards program. Coca-Cola is engaging with new and existing customers as never before and we look forward to expanding nationwide with Isis later this year."
"Jamba Juice harnessed the power of mobile commerce by introducing offers to the Isis Mobile Wallet in Austin and Salt Lake City," said James White, chief executive officer, Jamba Juice. "Our offer program was successful in driving incremental foot traffic, increasing the frequency of consumer store visits and introducing Jamba Juice to first-time customers. We are now making plans to expand nationally with Isis so that all our franchisees can enjoy the benefits we have seen in our pilot markets."
Isis will be incorporating key learnings from the successful pilot of the Isis Mobile Wallet in Austin and Salt Lake City into its planned national rollout later this year. Findings from the pilot launched in October 2012 show that:
· On average, active Isis Mobile Wallet users tap more than 10 times per month
· Two-thirds of active users opted in to receive offers and messages from their favorite brands, following an average of seven brands
· Contactless acceptance nearly quadrupled to more than 4,000 locations in Austin and Salt Lake City
· More than 80 percent of transactions take place at everyday spend locations such as quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, convenience and grocery stores
· Wallet users engaged in loyalty and offers tap up to two times more frequently than users who only make payments
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