It's becoming increasingly clear that in order for Isis's mobile-payments system to achieve critical mass, the big wireless companies backing it will need to ink some deals.
That's why the joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless announced today that it has signed agreements with VeriFone, Ingenico, ViVOtech, and Equinox Payments. Those companies will integrate the near-field communication-enabled Isis Mobile Commerce Application into their existing and future products. VeriFone, for example, will integrate Isis into its payment systems. Ingenico said today that Isis' NFC-enabled payments have been integrated into its Telium payment terminals.
Isis is the carriers' answer to Google Wallet, a mobile payment solution the search giant unveiled last year. Isis, which lets users pay for products from their smartphones, has been criticized for taking far too long to come to the market. However, the service has made some strides over the last couple weeks, signing partnership deals with BarclayCard, CapitalOne, and Chase.
The deals come at a time when criticism has grown over the viability of mobile payment solutions. Last month, security researchers discovered a way to crack the Google Wallet PIN, potentially leaving hackers with full access to personal and financial information.
Although that hack would require a device to be rooted and serious technical knowledge is needed to hack into the service, an easier method involving resetting Wallet cropped up just days later that forced Google to issue a warning to users. Google announced it had patched that flawfive days later.
In an interview with CNET last week, Isis CEO Michael Abbot didn't seem too concerned with the security issue, saying that "there will be hiccups with any new service."
Isis is so far unavailable to mobile customers. According to its Web site, it plans to make its mobile wallet service available to AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers this summer.