Isis, the mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, is to launch commercial pilot programmes in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas in H1 2012.
Austin joins Salt Lake City as an initial launch market for the Isis venture, which will enable consumers to use NFC-equipped mobile phones to make POS purchases and redeem offers at participating merchant locations.
In Texas, Isis says it is working closely with local merchants and the Austin Chamber of Commerce to spur wide scale consumer adoption and merchant support across Austin.
Michael Abbott, chief executive officer at Isis, says: “Austin is home to progressive and tech savvy consumers and merchants – a key demographic for Isis’ mobile commerce programme. The city’s culture of innovation, thriving business community and early adopters make it an ideal launch market for Isis.”
The joint venture partners anticipate a staged roll-out, gradually adding new markets to the initial launch sites into 2013 and beyond.
Isis is trailing Google in the US, which last month initiated field trials of its Google Wallet NFC Android app in partnership with VeriFone, MasterCard, Citi, Sprint and First Data. Full-scale pilots of the service have been lined up in New York, Portland and San Francisco in the summer.
Speaking recently, Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, said he expected mobile payments and advertising to spawn a “trillion dollar industry”. He said Google was working to encourage payment processors to upgrade a third of their terminals to enable ‘tap and go’ mobile transactions, paving the way for widespread consumer adoption.