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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.