It turns out clues to Isis' plans may not be so hard to decipher after all. And all signs are pointing to Isis finally launching a working mobile payment application sometime soon. 

The first clue comes via tech site Engadget. Engadget noticed that a T-Mobile update to Samsung Galaxy S II phones includes an improvement called "ISIS/NFC UPDATE." That's a pretty clear indication that the NFC-enabled device is getting the software it needs to run the Isis mobile payment app.

The second clue may be even clearer. In fact, it's less a clue and more a direct admission that Isis will be introducing its services next month. Doug Bergeron, CEO of point of sale manufacturer VeriFone (a partner with Isis in deploying its mobile payment solution), told Bloomberg to expect Isis to launch in September. It's possible, though unlikely, that Bergeron is mistaken. Isis didn't respond to Bloomberg on the matter.

Isis, the joint venture between Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA, has been circumspect (to say the least) about when it will actually launch a mobile payment product. It has announced partnerships with issuers, card brands, POS vendors and handset manufacturers since Isis itself was announced in November 2010. It has also chosen two cities to pilot its product in: Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City.

So now it's just a matter of playing wait-and-see.

For more stories like this, visit the contactless/NFC research center.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Philip Cohen
    Isis, PreyPal, Amex, Discover, et al; the criticism is the same; they are all "middlemen"; additional layers on the existing payments process between the payer's bank and the payee's bank ...

    In the meantime, the reality of Discover+PayPal ...
  • Ryan Harding
    I'm not too sure yet how to feel about this but the changes in NFC are rather exciting. So far none of the customers I've asked had NFC-enabled phones, so I can't really tell who's going to win this NFC race because as far as I can see it still has a long way to go. In the future when it becomes more mainstream, as a small retailer I would love to get an NFC-enabled POS system so I can take NFC payments from customers who are able to. But for now I am quite happy with my mPowa ( mobile card reader. I have used it a lot specially in fairs and when I travel.
  • Philip Cohen
    What's the worry about NFC-enabled phones when Visa and MasterCard will issue you with an NFC-enabled piece of plastic?

    By the way, mPowa is just another middleman, like Square, but without the interest that Visa has taken in Square ...
  • Margaux Panlilio
  • Margaux Panlilio
    Welcome to the MPOS bandwagon Isis! May the best MPOS win! And I think my mpos mPowa ( and square ( are leading the race now.
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