The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) held an interview with Isis, a joint venture, mobile commerce company, and published it Wednesday. Consequently, the story was picked up by several other media companies, including Computerworld. The Marketing Chief for Isis came to Computerworld, saying the article was “profoundly incorrect”.
Here is the recap of what has happened. When the WSJ published their article Wednesday, they reported that Isis had dropped its plans to become a system carrier for mobile payments. However, the Isis marketing chief says this is not true; they had announced last month in a press release that the joint venture company was going to be open for all merchants, carriers, payment networks and banks.
Some analysts suggest that Isis may have over reacted a bit. The WSJ article apparently named Barclaybank US and Discover Financial Services as initial participants, but not exclusive to Isis. While Isis had been talking with all the major banks and credit card processors, they refused to confirm anyone’s involvement.
It was widely known that Citibank was working with Isis, but that couldn’t be confirmed either. Isis had made a business decision last year to launch with fewer companies and stay open to all (payment) networks. They also stated that they were an open mobile system, and that was a continuation of their original plan.
They were not backing up, changing strategies or slowing down, as “insinuated” in the WSJ article. It was mentioned that there seemed to be a difference of opinion pertaining to who should be responsible for the security of personal information used to make transactions.
Isis believes the info should be contained in the Smartphone card (as many others feel also), but the Smartphone makers think it should be embedded in the phone or NFC chip. This is a debate to be watched later as the technology evolves more.
Isis is still months away from their pilot testing for NFC or mobile payments. Isis is comprised of AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA.