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Isis appoints head of marketing

Isis has appointed Ryan Hughes as its chief marketing officer, responsible for marketing the NFC mobile payments joint venture to merchants, advertisers and other businesses across the US, All Things Digital reports.

Hughes joins Isis from Verizon Wireless where he was VP of business development and partnerships. Verizon is a partner in Isis along with AT&T and T-Mobile and Hughes has been heavily involved in the build-up to the formation of the joint venture and its launch in November 2010. Hughes will report to Michael Abbott, chief executive of Isis, who joined the venture from GE Capital. The business will have its headquarters in New York City and will have two additional offices in Atlanta and Seattle.

A further thirty vacancies are still open at Isis, with opportunities including roles in sales, marketing, product management and business plan development as well as technical roles such as product development device requirement leads for Android and Blackberry, QA managers and testers.

In an interview with All Things Digital, Hughes and Abbott discussed the current thinking on the future of the mobile payments venture:

Hughes said they are open to working with everyone and is optimistic about all of the suppliers working together — even the fiercely competitive carriers. “It’s going to happen faster than any of the pundits think it will happen, for near-field, in particular,” he said.

Over the next 18 months, the organization has the goal of introducing its service in a few key markets.

Abbott added that meeting its goals will have a lot to do with relying on standards and technology that already exist. NFC has been around for years, and already the likes of Google is integrating it into its next version of Android.

The longer-term vision is that it won’t be just about payments, but about the whole wallet — by combining coupons, location check-ins, loyalty points and cards in one place.

Abbott declined to provide specifics on how the organization is funded, other than that it’s supported by a substantial investment from the carriers involved.

For now, Sprint is the only one missing from the list of major U.S. carriers.

Hughes admits that the initiative will likely need as many carriers on board to get enough scale.

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