Jul 31 AT 12:53 PM Dima Aryeh 14 Comments

Isis mobile wallet to launch nationwide this year


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?

Source: Reuters

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • stewartsoda

    Isis user here. Can confirm it checks for root and/or any modifications and won’t function if it finds any.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh


    • Sam N

      New high end smartphone: around $200 w/ contract
      Knowing the 3 most monopolistic carriers are shooting themselves in the foot by excluding half of their customer base: priceless.

      There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Google Wallet.

  • http://aboyandhistv.blogspot.com mvndaai

    I live in the Salt Lake area and have used it for about 6 months. Luckily the grocery store near by has Google Wallet registers so I can use it… ironic, huh. The app is really clunky. They have some deals, which is nice, like free Jamba or bus/train rides, to get people to use it, but I haven’t used it enough. It only work 3/4 times at the grocery store.

    I have two big complaints. 1. It doesn’t support all credit cards, so I don’t get to use my favorite. 2. The app is clunky and needs constant weird in app updates, that seem to crash it.

    I really wish I could just use Google Wallet…

  • Gina

    I use Google Wallet…on T-Mobile? With a Nexus 4?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Keyword: Nexus 4. the T-Mobile N4 is unmolested, and a stock model identical to the one sold on the Play Store. Nexus devices support Google Wallet.

  • Dan

    Am I the only one who feels like digital wallets are a solution without a problem?

    Can somebody explain to me the benefits to them? Especially since they’re tied to Credit Cards which already track and detail my spending (often times without giving me access to the information)?

    I see tons of value for Google et. al., but what value is there for me as a consumer?

    • http://aboyandhistv.blogspot.com mvndaai

      Only three things:
      1. Not having to carry a credit card if you don’t want to, therefore people can’t steal it.
      2. Built in loyalty cards, so paying with your phone automatically give you points.
      3. If google (or ISIS) is tracking your spending everywhere they can focus coupons just for you.

      I just don’t like bulky pockets, if I could just have a phone for everything (Money and Keys) I would totally do it. The only thing holding me back is battery life.

      I wish in a few years we can even have ID’s on a phone… but I don’t see the government backing it in any time in the future.

      I would love for a phone in my pocket and nothing else.

    • Dan W.

      I see the use for when I don’t want to carry my whole wallet, like when I go to the gym or for a run. I could still go pick up a tub of ice cream on the way home. Slightly more convenient than carrying a separate credit card. I’d probably only use it in a limited number of scenarios.

  • J3R3MY_H

    Isn’t temporary unroot a pretty standard feature in root apps now?

    Also, are ISIS POS readers locked to only except ISIS app payments? I mean, NFC is NFC so can’t we just use google wallet on ISIS enabled registers?

    • Max.Steel

      Yes let me just unroot my phone real quick so I can pay for this smoothie. Smh.

  • Ell.a.y (Formerly TruFactz)

    I JUST CALLED ABOUT THIS TODAY!!!!! And now I get this news, cause tmo reps dont even know what the hell it is. I called today and the lady was like “whats that?” I literally had to explain to her what it was. And even then she asked “would you like to make a payment?” Geez I wish Tmo would inform they reps about stuff….

  • donger

    Want to try it out.

  • Bryn Boyle

    I find this news about Isis exciting. As a merchant I was initiated into mobile payments when I used mPowa’s card reader (http://goo.gl/L03lj) at festivals last year. I would like to see some NFC action real soon!