Mobile providers infuse $100 million into Isis payment platform

Summary:The Isis mobile payments platform hasn't launched yet, but an additional investment $100 million could help launch the system on a larger scale much faster.

Although it has taken awhile for the mobile payment platform Isis to get off the ground, nationwide deployment might happen faster now thanks to a major financial infusion.

Three of the nation's largest mobile carriers  -- AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T- Mobile USA -- are reportedly planning to invest over $100 million into Isis, Bloomberg reports.

Although none of the carriers have come out with any official comments about this rumored investment, Bloomberg's sources point towards a step up in the game against Google:

The venture’s carrier owners may decide to increase the pace of the service’s deployment to compete with rival mobile- payment efforts, one of the people said. Google is equipping merchant cash registers to accept its Google Wallet service.

In case you're not familiar with Isis, it's a joint mobile payments venture among the three aforementioned service providers. Originally, Isis was set up to enable users to make purchases with a smartphone, and then the charges would appear on the user’s phone bill rather than on a credit card statement.

However, given the emergence and shift towards integrating near field communications (NFC) technology onto smartphones now, the carriers changed direction to follow suit of this trend in May.

In July, momentum for Isis continued to build as all four of the nation's payment networks -- Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express -- inked deals ahead of a major deployment set to roll out across the United States starting in 2012.

However, just because these credit card companies are getting involved with Isis does not mean that they won't be supporting other mobile payment services. Don't forget that MasterCard is also involved with Google Wallet, and Visa is also developing its own NFC-enabled platform.

It's also likely that we'll see more mobile payments options emerge within the next year or two with these payment networks and more tech companies. Sprint also hasn't gotten involved with this scene much yet either, so expect more partnerships there as well.


Topics: Banking, Mobility


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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