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Isis 1 year on: don't forget security on NFC payments

Happy birthday, Isis! This week sees the one-year anniversary of the initial launch of Isis, the US joint venture formed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to create a national mobile payments network that will allow consumers to use their phones to pay for goods at the point-of-sale using NFC technology. 

The opportunity for NFC take-up is huge. According to a Gartner VP Research, speaking at the Gartner IT Symposium last week, there are currently, 800,000,000 smartphones, 1,500,000,000 PCs and 5,000,000,000 Internet-connected devices in circulation. So it’s good to hear that Isis is on track to bring its product to market next year.  Given that there are so many players in the mobile payments / NFC space, it takes a group like Isis to bring all the necessary parties together and drive development forward.

However, it’s not all plain sailing. In my view, ensuring that security is a key element of the offering could go a long way to generating traction.  Security is a real consideration for consumers, and a perceived weakness in this area could have a serious impact on overall take-up of the system.

Isis could use security as yet another differentiator and show customers that it has been considered from the outset (“by design”). This would reassure customers about the safety of their transactions, and at the same time would not compromise privacy nor customer experience.

There is a fantastic opportunity in NFC. But we all need to work towards on the best solution to make it happen.


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Pat Carroll

Pat Carroll

Founder/Executive Chairman


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17 Mar 2011



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