AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have just joined their hands and wallets to invest $100 million in a joint venture for mobile payments that’s called Isis, and that plans to hit on the Google Wallet project. Just like Google Wallet uses NFC technology to allow you to pay for goods and services from your smartphone, Isis will allow you to do the same.
Sadly this is just another great example of how fragmentation complicates things when a standard is not defined. Google Wallet currently only has Citibank, MasterCard and Sprint onboard their Wallet project. Citi may not be an underdog in the market, but Sprint and MasterCard are. With Isis bringing competition that includes the two largest US carriers (AT&T+T-Mobile and Verizon), VISA’s credit card service and other major banks, this does seem to be the project that will rule them all, turn Isis into the NFC standard, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars according to Bloomberg.
Isis was born last year, and aside from allowing mobile payments, it’ll also give you the ability to redeem coupons via their mobile payment service. It’s planned to debut in several unnamed major cities next year and will monetize by charging marketers a fee for sending offers to consumers’ phones.