Mighty Isis: What Does Mobile Commerce Have to do with an Egyptian Goddess?


Isis may be the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and magic, but she would surely have her lid flipped if she were given a digital wallet that only needs to be tapped in order to pay for something.

Such is the power of Isis, the name of the mobile commerce joint venture launched by a trio of U.S. mobile operators — AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless — to bring financial services brands’ credit, prepaid, and banking customers to mobile. The venture this week signed Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard US, expanding on charter credit card members Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

It’s a “testament to the vision and commitment of Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard to make mobile commerce a real and positive experience for their customers,” stated Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis. “Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay; it’s about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor.”

Sprint, the fourth major player in the U.S. mobile-phone industry, has instead partnered with Google on its Google Wallet, which PC Mag notes has some kinks to work out. PayPal is also promoting its digital wallet to retailers and other businesses.[more]

Chase is committed to making mobile commerce a reality, said Richard Quigley, president, Chase Card Services.  By working with Isis, we are excited to help pave the way for innovation in the mobile payments space and to provide cardmembers with a secure option for easier and faster payments on the go.”

“We believe Isis is strongly positioned to bring the convenience, value and simplicity of mobile commerce to consumers,” stated Stewart Holmes, senior director-mobile commerce strategy, Barclaycard US. “We’re excited to build this offering for customers and our card partners with Isis and look forward to shaping the future of payments.”

The idea of the Isis Mobile Wallet — which was announced last April and will be market-tested in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas this summer — is to allow consumers a way to “pay, redeem coupons and present loyalty credentials, all with the tap of their phone,” according to FierceMobile.

Isis will also allow loyalty cards to be hooked into the digital wallet as well, GigaOm reports, which will allow consumers to build up points without fumbling through their real-world wallets for their cards. 

In its homeland, Barclays just launched a mobile payments app in partnership with Pingit, which “it’s calling Europe’s first person-to-person service for sending and receiving money using mobile phone numbers.”

In the first two days, 20,000 U.K. residents signed up. The national Isis rollout in America will take place after the pilot tests in Austin and Salk Lake City are assessed.