Isis, the mobile payments venture of AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, today unveiled the first set of retailers that will participate in beta tests in Austin and Salt Lake City.
I counted more than 50 different merchants, and Isis says the tests will involve "hundreds" of locations.
The merchants include national businesses and local retailers. National businesses include Aeropostale, Coca-Cola Company, Champs Sports, Dillard's, Foot Locker, Jamba Juice, and Macy's.
Local retailers in Austin include Ben White Florist, Book People, Brodie Park Market, Downtown Burgers, Elbe Body, Rosemary's Catering, Texenza Coffee, and University Co-Op. Salt Lake City retailers include Barbacoa Mexican Grill, Cactus and Tropicals, Deseret Book, Great Harvest Bread Company, McKay Diamond, Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres, Salt Lake Running Company, and the Utah Transit Authority.
The tests require phones with Near Field Communications (NFC) capability. Isis isn't yet disclosing exactly when the tests will start, but says this summer users will be able to visit cellular phone retailers to "choose from a selection of NFC-enabled devices and walk out of the store with the Isis Mobile Wallet enabled and ready to use."
Isis was announced early last year, and has been slowly building partnerships with financial institutions and retailers. As I've been writing for years, the mobile payments ecosystem has become flooded with numerous participants, such as MasterCard and VeriFone Systems.
With participation from three of the four top-tier US cellular operators, Isis certainly could be one of the major players.
Suggestions or questions about my Weblog? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org