Sunday, February 26, 2012

Isis Details Mobile Wallet Plans

"The Isis mobile wallet, set for release in two US cities this summer, will feature a prepaid card with cash already loaded and a capability to 'follow' participating merchants to receive coupons and other offers," reports Digital Transactions, which attended an event held by Isis last week in Austin, Texas.

According to a report in Communications World, "Users will also be able to add further cards from participating issuers onto their mobile wallet, Digital Transactions adds, and will be offered a 'clip to Isis' service that lets them 'load offer details directly from print media, posters, or online displays by scanning QR codes.'"

An overview of how the wallet will work was presented Wednesday by Isis officials to an audience of software developers and terminal-manufacturer execs in Austin, Texas, where one of the two test launches will take place (the other is in Salt Lake City, Utah).

One marketing tool not initially included with the wallet is location-based services that let users’ smart phones alert merchants when the user is nearby in order to trigger an offer for the user. “It’s an area we’re treading lightly in,” Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer at Isis, told the audience, adding that Isis fears offers could be viewed by consumers as intrusive. “It’s wise not to venture into this until the consumer is comfortable and feels in control,” he noted.

According to Digital Transactions, a future release of the wallet will let users generate a list of nearby participating merchants on their screens.

Summarizes Digital Transactions, "Dallas-based Isis, launched in 2010 as a joint venture by carrier titans Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., and T-Mobile USA, has already reached agreements to support the contactless-payment products from American Express Co., Discover Financial Services, MasteCard Inc., and Visa Inc. Like competing products from Google and Visa, the Isis wallet depends on near-field communication (NFC) technology to transmit payment details from handsets to point-of-sale readers and to allow phones to receive offers."

In interviews with Digital Transactions News, Isis also disclosed that it plans to have about 1,000 merchant locations supporting its wallet in each of the two launch cities from the beginning of the tests. The two-city “soft launch,” as Isis officials characterize it, is expected to start some time in July.

Isis will be at SXSW 2012 Interactive in Austin next month as the event's official mobile wallet sponsor (and will have an "Isis lounge" and a booth at the event).

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