Isis, the mobile commerce joint venture set up by a group of US telcos, says it will launch its NFC-based wallet nationwide later this year - and expects it to work with Apple's iPhone.
The Isis Mobile Wallet uses NFC technology to allow consumers to pay, redeem coupons and present loyalty cards with a tap of their smartphone.
Following pilots begun late last year in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah, the venture - owned by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless - says it is now finally nearly ready for a full roll out across the US.
To use the wallet, customers need a SIM-based secure element and an NFC-enabled handset. With manufacturers such as Samsung getting behind the technology, there are now nearly 20 million NFC handsets in the market and this number could be set to soar if, as Isis claims is expected, support for Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and, crucially, the iPhone is introduced by the end of the year.
Michael Abbott, CEO, Isis, says: "Over the past nine months, we have proven the power of an open platform, creating an ecosystem of literally hundreds of partners dedicated to making mobile commerce a reality."
Isis will hope to fair better than Google, which has seen its similar NFC-based wallet fail to pick up momentum since launching in 2011. Another major rival, retailer-owned MCX, is also preparing to enter the market.
Finding from the Isis pilot programme show that:
- On average, active Isis Mobile Wallet users tap more than 10 times per month;
- Two-thirds of active users opted in to receive offers and messages from their favorite brands, following an average of seven brands;
- Contactless acceptance nearly quadrupled to more than 4,000 locations in Austin and Salt Lake City;
- More than 80 percent of transactions take place at everyday spend locations such as quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, convenience and grocery stores; and
- Wallet users engaged in loyalty and offers tap up to two times more frequently than users who only make payments.