The Isis Mobile Wallet is a mobile application designed to replicate many of the functions of a physical wallet by holding virtual versions of payment and loyalty cards. Isis Ready merchants can accept payments directly from users' mobile phones through contact-less technology.
Isis is a software-based mobile payment solution that organizes credit and debit cards, loyalty cards and special offers in one free app. To interact with merchants, Isis takes advantage of near field communication (NFC) technology, which sends encrypted information from the mobile device to the payment terminal with no need for swiping or direct contact.
Companies and Locations
AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are all participants in the Isis program, and the app can store card information for three major credit card issuers: American Express, Capital One and Chase. Isis has been launched in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Isis Mobile Wallet includes a unique Chase-issued Isis Cash debit card and can be expanded to include several participating credit cards. Currently, American Express, Capital One and certain Chase cards are eligible for inclusion in an Isis Mobile Wallet. Isis is also compatible with participating loyalty cards, which can be linked to the mobile wallet and automatically redeemed by the appropriate merchants.
As a program that stores sensitive financial information, Isis comes equipped with several security features. Each user can set a unique four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to verify transactions, and the program uses constantly changing security codes to make counterfeiting more difficult. In the case of physical theft or loss of the mobile device, the remote wallet freezing feature allows users to immediately suspend their mobile wallets with a call.
Coupons, Deals and Offers
The Isis Mobile Wallet automatically stores and organizes the user's mobile coupons, other deals. Users can access these deals through the Wallet Directory, which includes special offers, current events information and messages from participating businesses. Isis is also compatible with quick response (QR) codes and automatically stores offers when those codes are scanned.
History and Information
The Isis app automatically stores the user's transaction history and displays current balances for all associated cards. The program encrypts all of this information for privacy purposes, so each transaction is between the user and the merchant.
Restrictions and Drawbacks
Because Isis depends on NFC technology, only mobile devices equipped with NFC chips can actually use the app. Certain NFC-equipped phones are still not "Isis Ready;" in order to use the mobile wallet on these devices, users need to visit a dealer and get a special SIM card that can meet the app's requirements. Until more NFC-equipped devices and accessories with NFC chips become available, these requirements will limit the number of users who can take advantage of the mobile wallet.
Furthermore, the number of merchants who accept Isis payments is still quite small, as the mobile wallet has only been launched in two cities. Even within those markets, merchants need to invest in new NFC equipment to accept payments via Isis, plus additional training for managers and cashiers to efficiently use the new technology. Because of this additional cost, many businesses are hesitant to become "Isis Ready."