Next year, Austin, Texas, will be the staging ground for a new mobile payment venture platform known as Isis. It is a joint venture comprised of wireless technology companies AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Isis will be testing the viability, popularity and efficiency of mobile payments throughout 2012 in preparation for nationwide launch the following year.
The platform makes use of NFC technology and a number of applications for various types of smart phones are being developed to ensure that a large number of people will be able to participate in the test.
NFC was once thought to be a marketing tool, allowing businesses to target consumers with smart phones and offer them a unique and engaging experience. The technology has since shown its prowess at facilitating mobile payments. More companies are becoming interested in NFC for this reason.
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Seemingly drawing inspiration from Google’s Mobile Wallet, Isis will eventually take a similar form. The venture is already in talks with major credit card companies and banks to make this possible. The aim is to use a mobile device to store financial data that can then be used to make purchases. In its current state, Isis will be little more than a terminal installed in stores, enabling customers to engage in contactless payments.
The vast majority of phones available today are not capable of interfacing with NFC technology. Companies like Nokia, however, are developing new smart phones that will be NFC-enabled. As these new devices begin to swarm the market, the adoption of NFC for contactless payments is expected to rise.