Android Central

It looks like we were dead on for the Isis launch date, limited as the rollout may be. Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah will officially be the first areas to support the Isis starting on October 22. As is there are about 340 Isis-ready merchants in each city. 

Right now, the only device that we know for sure will support Isis is the Droid Incredible, though Motorola, LG, and Sony have all pledged to create compatible hardware. Supported credit cards are currently limited to American Express, Capital One, and Chase, though I'm sure more will come in due time. Just like Google Wallet, Isis will enable tap-to-pay schemes with NFC-enabled smartphones. It can be used for coupons and loyalty cards too, but paying for stuff is the main thing. The only real difference here is that Isis is a joint venture between Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. It's something of a strategic necessity if U.S. carriers want a solid foothold in the mobile payment game without having to play by Google's rules. 

Sure, Google Wallet might have a hefty head start, but with any luck, the competition will spur on speedier development and increase adoption overall. It's still hard to imagine a nearby future where paying for everything (or even anything) on a day-to-day basis with your phone is normal, but I'm sure many of us stand to be early adopters.

How often do you use Google Wallet? What would it take for you to switch over to another service? Do you think a carrier-run solution with the support of hardware manufacturers is more likely to gain broad acceptance, or will Google's natural habit of wriggling into ubiquity win out? Anyone in these early markets willing to give Isis a go?

Source: @PayWithIsis


Reader comments

Isis mobile payment system officially launching October 22


I feel that if the carriers then don't unblock Google Wallet from use as of the 22nd that they should be sued for anti-competitive behavior.

Totally agree. I'm tired of people calling Isis a service intended to compete with Google Wallet. It isn't competing if you don't have a choice. For me it's just evidence that AT&T still doesn't get what Android is about. It took them forever to allow third part apps, now this garbage. They need to know that Android users will leave if they can't really use Android. They're about to lose this one anyway. It's not even that Google Wallet is that big of a deal to me. I just hate being pushed around.

I'm an early adopter of Google Wallet or at least I was after Google finally got it working on the EVO 4G LTE. I think its great that they are going to have some competition. I only wish my phone supported ISIS because I live in Salt Lake City and so I could test it for them. :)

Limited rollout? Two cities and only one phone is less than limited. As far as Google Wallet goes I would describe it as limited given the handful of phones that can use it and lack of carrier support. I was really hoping when I bought my GNote in Feb that NFC payments would come to it quickly but that didn't happen. The only use I've found for NFC is to program a couple of NFC tags which so far have very limited usefulness. Maybe what they say is true, until Apple adopts it it just ain't a gonna happen!

So, it only works on one device and you must have a Chase, AMEX or Capital One card? Why even bother to launch it with such lack of support?

When retailers upgrade their registers to work with NFC, do they have to go with one wallet provider or can they accept all of them? I can't see retailers ever spending money upgrading if some customers use Iris, some use Wallet and others use something else and having to support different hardware for each and having to pay some sort of fee to each wallet provider. They already have to do that with each of the credit card companies.

Likewise, I don't see consumers using NFC if they have to have 3-4 wallet apps setup on their phone or, worse, have to have a specific brand of phone or carrier in order to use certain wallet services. It should, nay it NEEDS to have universal support across all NFC enabled phones, or else it's doomed.

NFC has a great potential to be ruined by too many companies trying to get their hands in the honey pot.

So glad Verizon blocked Google Wallet. This is so much better, thank you for not letting me get hooked on that Google Wallet junk.

Seriously, after years of working on a wallet and this is what they come up with? At least with GW, you could use any credit/debit card(it was just added to the Google Card). Oh well, at least I can keep sideloading the GW updates on my Nexus, at least for now.

And to answer the question of what it would take to switch? First, the need to add support where I live. Second, they need to support all cards. Third they need to add something to sweeten the pot, like some sort of rewards. For the time being, I'm sticking with GW.

so they are blocking Google Wallet for this lame deployment? You have got to be kidding me. Google should sue. This is a disaster and the product manager should be escorted out of the building now.

I've always seen mobile payment systems as a solution looking for a problem. Current payment systems work just fine and don't require you to carry a complex powered device in order to work. K.I.S.S. principle. :)

I use Google wallet on a regular basis here in NYC. Whole Foods, rite-aid, Walgreens, Macy's just to name a few and that was with the pre-paid card!! Now that Wallet has implemented use of credit and debit cards, I'm gonna go H.A.M! no pun intended because I hate swine/pork. Google wallet is great and mobile payments are only going to get better now that Isis is coming soon. The more the merrier!!

Bring it on! Now we need the carriers to send updates to turn on NFC (I'm looking at you AT&T, Verizon, AND T-Mobile) and we are good to go! I have friends down in Austin and would love to test it on my GS2.