The new service is to be called Isis, will be introduced in key geographic markets "during the next eighteen months" and aims to ultimately eliminate "the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes."
AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA have officially announced the formation of a joint venture "chartered with building Isis, a national mobile commerce network that aims to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save."
"Isis' initial focus will be on building a mobile payment network that utilizes mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases," says the official announcement. "By utilizing smartphone and near field communication (NFC) technology to modernize the payments process, Isis intends to deliver new levels of competition and value to consumers and merchants. Isis expects to introduce its service in key geographic markets during the next 18 months."
The announcement also confirms that Discover Financial Services and the US arm of UK bank Barclays are involved in the project and that Michael Abbott has been hired as chief executive of the new venture. "Formerly with GE Capital, Abbott is a veteran financial services executive with extensive experience in the payment and technology industries," say the partners.
"Our mobile commerce network, through relationships with merchants, will provide an enhanced, more convenient, more personalized shopping experience for consumers," says Abbott. "While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes."
"We believe the venture will have the scope and scale necessary to introduce mobile commerce on a broad basis. In the beginning, we intend to fully utilize Discover's national payment infrastructure as well as Barclaycard's expertise in contactless and mobile payments," Abbott continued. "Moving forward, Isis will be available to all interested merchants, banks and mobile carriers."
The new venture is based in New York City. Further information is available at its website, www.paywithisis.com.