The mobile payment situation in the US is really bleak. Google Wallet is the best option at the moment, but that isn’t saying much. Adoption for the service is beyond slow. Only some Sprint and Virgin phones have Wallet support, along with unbranded Nexus devices. The three biggest carriers in the US are refusing to support Wallet, basically dooming it.
Why won’t T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon support Wallet? Because they’re investing in their own mobile payment system called Isis. Yes, all this time we have been denied Google Wallet because the carriers have been building and delaying a new system they can personally control. I prefer it to be in the hands of Google, but that’s just me. However, we might finally see the launch of Isis this year!
After testing in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas, Isis may be ready for release across the United States. With 25 of the top 100 national US retailers supporting the mobile payment terminals, and 20 million people with NFC-enabled smartphones, this system is long overdue. So Isis will provide basic payments, coupons, deals and more.
Now just because it isn’t Google doesn’t mean we don’t want it. I am personally excited to try out Isis, but I’m dearly hoping it won’t be extremely controlled and locked down. If the carriers are in control, I have a strong suspicion that Isis won’t work on rooted phones. Then half of us are out of luck. We’ll just have to wait and see. Are you excited to give Isis a try?