Mobile payments collaborative Isis has announced its first trial market, Salt Lake City. The group, which is comprised of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, plans to bring its contactless payment system to the Utah merchants in “early to mid-2012.” Isis also announced a working agreement with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to enable Isis payments throughout the entire public transportation system. “By working with the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake Chamber and Salt Lake City-area merchants, Isis is bringing the mobile commerce vision to reality,” said the group’s CEO, Michael Abbott. “Salt Lake City consumers will experience a new way to shop, pay and save.” The announcement comes one day after a report suggested Sprint would develop its own mobile payment solution for future use. The full Isis press release is after the break. More →
According to Bloomberg, U.S. wireless provider Sprint is working on a mobile, touchless payment service based on NFC (Near Field Communications) technology. Sprint’s vice president of product platforms, Kevin McGinnis, told the publication that his company plans to make its touchless payment system “an open solution” that will work in a variety of physical locations. “Because we’re allowing other brands and other institutions to participate, they can also tell their consumers that this is available on Sprint,” McGinnis continued. The wireless company hopes to share in revenues generated by point-of-sales purchases, coupons, and other sales-related offerings delivered to user handsets. Gartner projects that 340 million mobile payment users from around the globe will be responsible for $245 billion worth of transactions by 2014.
U.S. carriers continue to jockey for position in an attempt to properly position themselves to ride the impending mobile payments tidal wave. Back in November of last year, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless announced a partnership — dubbed Isis — that will bring mobile payments to their customers. Should the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger go though, it could pit the forces of a united AT&T and Verizon Wireless against Sprint.
Sprint has yet to publicly comment on its mobile payment plans. More →
According to a report filed by Bloomberg, online retail giant Amazon is toying with the idea of launching a mobile payments service. Citing two anonymous sources, the publication notes that the service would “let consumers pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores using their mobile phones.” Amazon is purportedly testing payment technologies based on NFC (Near Field Communications) in an effort to expand its Payments service. This is the company’s latest venture into the mobile world. Amazon officially opened its Appstore for Android on March 22nd and its Cloud Drive music storage/streaming service on March 29th. The company has not made any public statements about future plans involving mobile payments or NFC. More →
On Thursday Samsung and Visa announced a new partnership under which the two firms will provide an NFC mobile payment solution before, during, and after the London 2012 Olympics. The two companies will release an Olympics and Paralympics Games mobile handset in London that’s equipped with mobile NFC technology, Visa’s payment application, and a special SIM card. Here’s how it will work: When you’re ready to make a purchase, you’ll just have to open the Visa application on your phone and then hold it in front of a special contactless reader. There are over 60,000 contactless readers already in London, and Visa says it’s continuing to work with banks and retailers to increase its NFC foundation. The NFC-enabled phone, with its Visa SIM card, will first be available to Samsung and Visa sponsored athletes, and it will also be available to consumers through mobile operators. It’s unclear what the phone model is, or how much it will cost. “This mobile payment device will be available in the UK initially, and we plan to expand the service to other countries in Europe and around the world where contactless payment facilities are available in the near future,” said Seokpil Kim, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics Europe. Visa is currently rolling out its NFC mobile payment program in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Brazil, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the United States. Hit the jump for the full release. More →