Isis, the mobile payment system, was almost becoming as mythical as Isis, the Greek godess. Since it was announced over a year ago as a joint venture between wireless carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, plans for an early 2012 had been stalled. The company just announced that test sites in Austin and Salt Lake City will go live next month. Better late than never I guess. Wired reports:
If you happen to live in Salt Lake City or Austin and happen to have an NFC-equipped phone (all 50 or so of you), you can use that phone to pay at stores that have terminals that can read the tiny chips. (Isis said this spring that participating retailers will include Foot Locker, Macy’s, Jamba Juice, and others, as well as Coca-Cola vending machines.)
Got it, I can buy shoes, clothes, and snack drinks in Salt Lake City or Austin. I’m all set. To be fair, the plan offers payments at local retailers like cupcake shops, pizza joints, and the Utah Jazz too.
The announcement comes at an interesting time too, after Square announced a deal with Starbucks a few weeks ago, mega-retailers banned together to launch the MCX payment system, and PayPal entered into a partnership with Discover. I’m hoping to only have to buy one more wallet in my life, because pretty soon it’s going to be all phone all the time everywhere for everything.