By Stephen Schenck | February 5, 2014 7:27 PM
Mobile payments have been around for a while by now, but they haven’t really taken off in the way that a lot of the companies behind them would presumably want. After seeing the carriers and banks backing Isis place so much effort into derailing Google Wallet, we assumed that when Isis finally went nationwide we’d be seeing the big showdown that would ultimately reveal the victor. But instead, things just keep plodding forward with no decisive winner, and neither Isis nor Google Wallet have really blossomed into a mainstream payment service. Are they doomed to remain in the shadows like this, or is there still a way to get people interested in the technology? After hearing about some of the latest promotions going on with Isis, we wonder if the answer couldn’t be as simple as cold, hard cash.
Both Isis and Google Wallet don’t just let users make payments – they also offer discounts. There’s Google Offers baked-in to Wallet, and Isis has a number of deals of its own: save $15 here, get a free item there – there’s even a tie-in with Coke that lets you redeem points for free sodas directly from vending machines. But where Isis may have a leg up is in giving users cash back, no matter where they shop.
Back when Isis went nationwide, American Express started giving 20% cash back with certain accounts when used with Isis, adding up to a possible $200 in savings. A new deal – and the one that brings this all to our attention – lets Wells Fargo account holders get in on that 20% cash back action too, with a promotion running through the end of April and offering users up to $300, just for paying with Isis instead of their cards. Heck, you even get $20 for just trying Isis once.
Say what you will about Isis fighting dirty and undermining the natural evolution of mobile payments – throw enough cash at users, and you can easily start redefining how they see you and your service.