Three of the largest wireless carriers in the United States have teamed up to turn your mobile phone into a wallet. We know you've probably heard that before, but the promise of NFC - Near Field Communications - might just make Isis a reality:
Rival carriers Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile will be working together to create a “national commerce network that aims to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save,” the three announced Nov. 16.
The venture, called Isis, relies on smartphones and NFC (near-field communications), which uses short-range, high-frequency wireless technology to pass encrypted information between devices. In countries such as Japan, consumers have used such a service—which essentially turns one’s smartphone into a wallet—for several years now.
Michael Abbott, formerly with GE Capital, has been tapped to lead Isis, which is expected to roll out its service to “key geographic markets” over the next 18 months.
“Our mobile commerce network, through relationships with merchants, will provide an enhanced, more convenient, more personalized shopping experience for consumers,” Abbott said in a statement. “While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes.”