With every new technology comes a wave of early adopters. You know the people; these are the ones who are the first to buy a new gadget or those willing to wait in line overnight for the latest Apple® product release, regardless of whether or not they need it. And, there is a group for every technology, including those who have been waiting patiently for the release of the ISIS mobile wallet.
After originally announcing the joint venture in November 2010 (ISIS is a joint venture of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon), ISIS was officially launched in two U.S. markets in October. Currently, those wanting to use the ISIS mobile wallet regularly are inherently limited to the launch cities, which are Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. If a consumer is in those markets, the process is fairly simple.
Because the ISIS mobile wallet relies on near-field communication (NFC), consumers must have one of the designated NFC enabled-smartphones, which vary by mobile carrier but include the HTC Incredible 4G, Motorola Razr HD, Motorola Razr MAXX HD, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Relay S 4G, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate, LG Escape and the Samsung Rugby Pro, as well as a special SIM card with a secure element. Once a consumer has the NFC phone with the SIM card, they can download the application via Google Play. Currently, the digital wallet is only accessible through Android, but ISIS plans on offering an iOS version in the near future in concert with an NFC iPhone® sleeve.
To begin using the ISIS wallet, consumers have two options. They can either attach a credit card issued by Chase, Capitol One or American Express or create a pre-loaded ISIS Cash Card. Once the wallet is active, consumers can begin paying and saving at merchants accepting contactless payments in both markets. A few of the big-name retailers accepting ISIS include Foot Locker, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Jamba Juice, and Aeropostale. ISIS also launched a new initiative with the Utah Transit Authority that allows ISIS mobile wallet customers to use their wallet at one of the transit authority’s electronic fare readers. And, as part of the launch and to raise awareness, Isis will offer free rides on bus, TRAX and FrontRunner for anyone using mobile payment now through January 31, 2013.
Consumers in Salt Lake City and Austin are getting the first look at the ISIS wallet. For those outside of those markets, it will be a wait and see on future launch cities as nothing definitive has been released to this point.