The mobile wallet payment system being promoted as a joint venture between the nation’s three largest mobile phone service providers has faced numerous delays in the last few months, but is now ready to be unveiled.
Isis – the mobile wallet service from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless – will begin its pilot run in both Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah, at some point in September, according to a report from Bloomberg News. The test run was originally slated to begin in the first half of the year, but had to be delayed a few months for a number of reasons. However, the exact date of the official start is unclear, with Isis saying only it will begin in the “summer,” which ends on September 21.
The most significant reason for the delay is that, late last year, Isis decided that it would use a different method for processing payments than it originally planned, the report said. While the original tactic involved having the phone companies behind Isis process all the payments made with the program, that was changed to have credit card payment processors do so instead. The reason for this was that it would increase the security of these transactions for both consumers and businesses.
Further, the delay might have been caused by the fact that there are currently still very few smartphones on the market capable of handling such a transaction, the report said. For instance, T-Mobile only has four smartphones equipped with near-field communications – which is what Isis runs on – that are compatible with its network.
However, many experts believe that Isis has a far better chance of catching on with consumers than some of the other mobile wallet programs that are either available now or in development, the report said. This is because there is a perceived value for consumers in the fact that the phone companies whose products and services they use every day will be the ones administering Isis’ mobile wallet entry.
“The carrier platform with Isis has more of an opportunity for success than some of the others, and at least more than Google Wallet has demonstrated so far,” Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research LLC, told the news agency.
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Mobile wallet adoption is expected to become the norm within the next few years, as many consumers may be convinced of its safety and convenience over time.
Image: Daryl_Mitchell, via Flickr