Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T Announce Isis, A Mobile Contactless Payment Network

pay-with-cell-phoneVerizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T, the biggest U.S. mobile carriers, announced yesterday the project is a reality by forming a joint venture with the Discover credit card company and Barclaycard US. The project marks the first time AT&T and Verizon have worked on a joint venture since the breakup of the AT&T phone monopoly in 1983, according to a Verizon spokeswoman.

The initiative, now named Isis, will change the way customers buy goods and services. Consumers will no longer have to carry around multiple credit cards in a bulging wallet if they can use a smart cell phone instead.

“Consumers are looking to do more and more with respect to simplifying their lives,” said Ryan Hughes, vice president of new business development for Bernards Township-based Verizon Wireless and a member of Isis’ steering committee, in an interview. “What we’re trying to do is, as we’ve seen in many industries that go from analog to digital, is lead the transition from plastic to mobile and simplify the way you shop, pay and save.”

The wireless companies plan to roll out the venture within 18 months. Manufacturers will use that time to create cell phone microchips consumers will need for wireless payments, and to build point-of-sale phone readers for stores.

To make a purchase, a shopper would log in to a password-protected application on an Isis-ready phone and hold the phone near an electronic reader at the checkout counter. The microchip allows the customer to transfer encrypted information to a bank or credit card company. Consumers would sign for the amount and receive a bill much like a traditional credit card each month. Full story in Star Ledger.

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  1. Eric Schmit (Google CEO) just announced yesterday that this technology will be in upcoming Android phones (called N.F.C., or near field communication) and software to support it will be built into Android 3.0 (or 2.3…) which is coming out in the next few weeks.
    The idea is that u have ur phone linked to ur CC and u ‘bump’ ur phone into the CC terminal and the info is sent over.

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