Isis Mobile Payment System Launching In Utah

All the rage in the mobile payment space has centered around NFC, but there's a new game in town, now. Well, at least in Utah. Isis, which is described as a mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, has just announced plans to pilot a payment program in Salt Lake City in early-to-mid 2012. It's rare to see these three rival carriers work together on anything, but we're sure having a unified system would benefit their wallets equally well. Isis has also entered into an agreement with Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to make the entire UTA transit system Isis-enabled, marking the deployment of Isis as the first commercially available mobile transportation fare payment program in the U.S. Additionally, Isis is investing in the necessary infrastructure to enable mobile commerce on a nationwide basis and will be available to all merchants, banks, payment networks and mobile carriers.

How will this fare against the growing competition from Google, Visa and Mastercard (among other outfits)? Hard say, but there's some serious firepower backing this initiative. Isis, which announced its formation in mid-November 2010, is focused on bringing mobile commerce to Salt Lake City using mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases through the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology. The Isis system will evolve to offer customers a highly secure and convenient way to pay, redeem coupons and store merchant loyalty cards, all with the tap of their phone. In other words, NFC is still at the heart of this, but a lot of the backend stuff may be different. The initial program will allow users to use Isis-enabled mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases at retailers across the Salt Lake City area and on UTA transportation.

Let the price wars begin in the pricing industry...or something to that effect.