We’ve had to wait a few months longer than expected, but if recent reports are true, the Isis mobile wallet payment service will finally launch this September.
Originally planned for a debut in the first half of 2012, Isis decided to delay its product as it shifted transaction responsibilities from carriers to credit card issuers. As a result, Isis has had to push back its launch date in order to ensure payments security.
Isis is backed by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, giving it a broad range of carriers the company believes will give it an advantage over other mobile wallet competitors, such as Google Wallet. VeriFone announced that Isis will first launch in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, using the two cities as test markets for its mobile payment system.
While Isis’ launch must be viewed as a step in the right direction for the company, questions about the practicality of its business model remain.
Yesterday, Google Wallet executive Robin Dua characterized Isis’ implementation model as “not scalable.” While Dua’s motives for making such a statement are obvious, his concern about Isis’ method of “direct provisioning” of cards from issuers to individual SIM cards is reasonable.
Both Isis and Google Wallet will also have to overcome the lack of NFC-equipped phones currently circulating in the U.S. market, while mobile payment processors such as Square flourish using dongle-based processing.