VeriFone, Ingenico, Vivotech and Equinox are all adding support for the US NFC venture's SmartTap service, enabling merchants to both accept payments and process coupons and offers via Isis mobile phones.
Isis has announced that the top four US point-of-sale terminal makers have all agreed to integrate support for the Isis Mobile Commerce Application in their devices. The move means that Isis mobile phone users will be able to make a payment, redeem an offer and earn loyalty rewards with a single tap of their mobile phone to a 'SmartTap' POS terminal, Scott Mulloy, Isis' chief technology officer, has told NFC World.
SmartTap support will be provided across a range of current and future VeriFone, Ingenico, Vivotech and Equinox devices. And, while most merchants will need to upgrade their POS hardware to process SmartTap transactions, those with the latest generation contactless terminals who choose to offer the service will only need to receive a remote software upgrade.
Any merchant with a contactless POS terminal will be able to process payments made with an Isis mobile phone, Mulloy pointed out to NFC World, since Isis mobile payments will be made using MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover's existing contactless payments protocols. SmartTap functionality will only be required if a merchant also wishes to take advantage of the Isis Mobile Commerce Application to process offers or identify loyal customers.
Isis customers will receive special offers from brands and merchants via an Isis Feed within their mobile wallet app, the NFC venture revealed last week. The wallet app, Mulloy told NFC World, will include a directory of participating merchants. Users will be able to choose which merchants they wish to receive offers from and deals from those merchants will then appear automatically in their feed. Merchants will also be able to use their existing communications channels to promote offers that can be redeemed via SingleTap.
Offers of interest can then be "clipped" from the feed. Clipping an offer causes details of the deal to be transferred from the mobile wallet app to the secure element in the user's NFC phone, Mulloy explained, ready to be automatically redeemed at a SmartTap terminal — a process designed to both mirror and improve on the traditional action of cutting a paper coupon from a newspaper and placing it in a leather wallet.
Isis will be providing merchants with a portal and an API they can use to manage the NFC offers they wish to make, Mulloy added. And, while the company is not yet ready to provide the names of any merchants who have signed up for SmartTap, Mulloy says that "this new channel to communicate with their customers is resonating well" with merchants.
In the run up to Isis' launch in Salt Lake City and Austin this summer, VeriFone and Isis' sales, marketing and implementation teams will also be making joint approaches to large retail and petroleum/convenience merchants in the cities, the POS maker has revealed.
"We are excited about the opportunity to help launch Isis with retailers in Salt Lake and Austin and we are ready to provide the expertise and services necessary for a national rollout," says VeriFone's Jennifer Miles. "NFC-enabled payments allow merchants to engage their shoppers in new and powerful conversations, and Isis' open platform and scale are helping make mobile commerce a reality."