updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed May 4, 2011
Isis members make NFC payment plan less advanced
Isis, the coalition of US wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to bring NFC payments on handsets to the masses, will not go forward as planned earlier, according to reports on Wednesday. While trials were due to start early in 2012, the three carriers have now purportedly agreed to change their approach and make it less advanced. Instead, they will create a "mobile wallet" that will link users' existing Visa, MasterCard or other major credit cards to the account, though this is not official yet.
This is a significant turnaround from the earlier idea, which would compete with the credit card companies, though it would partner with Discover Financial Services and its national payment network. Discover's network includes seven million merchant partners in the US.
An Isis spokesperson said Discover is the current partner, but new alliances are welcomed.
Isis as originally planned was to have been a complete network of handling payments using NFC (near field communication). The technology is already present in the Google Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S II, and should be coming soon through phones like the BlackBerry Bold 9900, but currently has relatively little support. Rumors persist of an iPhone 5 with NFC.