updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed July 31, 2013
Company promises 'vastly improved' service
Mobile phone-based payment service Isis has announced plans for a nationwide US rollout, including support for the iPhone. The service -- backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon -- is currently only in testing at around 4,000 sites split between Austin and Salt Lake City. As a part of deploying nationwide, the company claims that people will see "a vastly improved product, a variety of new places to use it, [and] a vastly improved user experience," without elaborating further on details.
The mention of iPhone support could have broad implications. To date Isis has only been available on NFC-equipped Android phones. While such phones are now fairly common and popular, the bestselling individual phone in the US is the iPhone, which to date has lacked NFC. That could imply that the iPhone 5S and/or the low-cost iPhone will gain NFC when they're released this fall. It might also indicate one of the purposes for upcoming fingerprint sensors on Apple devices, and on a software level, Apple might choose to integrate Isis support into iOS 7's Passbook app.
Isis says that during tests, users have made an average of over 10 payments per month. Two-thirds of users are claimed to have opted into receiving ads and promotional offers from favorite brands.