& cplSiteName &

Isis Adds 600K NFC Wallets in 30 Days

Sarah Thomas
5/14/2014
50%
50%

Remember NFC? It was the overhyped abbreviation du jour before NFV pushed it aside. Well, now NFC operators are claiming real progress in the US, as Tier 1 operator joint venture Isis says it has activated 600,000 new mobile wallets in the past 30 days.

Isis is the joint venture among AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless , T-Mobile US Inc. , and a number of credit card companies and financial institutions promoting Near Field Communication-based mobile payments. (See NFC Payments Forecast Scaled Down.)

It got off to a slow start, but it launched nationwide in November 2013. Now the company says it has activated an average of 20,000 new Isis Wallets per day in the past 30 days, twice the growth rate it had in the prior month. The Wallet is preloaded on 14 Android smartphones, but 68 mobile devices across the three Tier 1 operators also support it. On the iPhone, it requires the purchase of an additional Isis Ready case with an NFC antenna and a Secure Element micro SD card. (See Isis Opens Its Mobile Wallet Nationwide and Verizon Ready to Flash Isis Mobile Wallet.)

These are the only numbers Isis is revealing so far, although one partner, Jamba Juice, also offered up some stats. The smoothie chain has been offering free drinks for those who pay with Isis Wallet. It has seen a month-over-month growth in Wallet use of more than 50%, with more than 270,000 customers cashing in on their free smoothies in the first quarter. It expects to hit 1 million by the fall.

Isis says it will continue to broaden its ecosystem of partners, which today includes Wells Fargo and American Express, as well as continuing to craft offers to get customers comfortable with paying via their phones.

Why this matters
With few other details, it may be too soon to declare Isis a success, but the company is at least demonstrating traction for its mobile wallet in the US. [Ed. note: Or it shows the lengths people will go for a free smoothie?]

The operators, however, are still experimenting with mobile payments and what works (if anything). Most have other offers outside of Isis. For example, T-Mobile announced a mobile money service for the unbanked in the US earlier this year, and AT&T recently launched a Square Inc. competitor for small businesses.

Related posts:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(18)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 11:41:50 PM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Interesting read. I had been wondering what had happened with Isis, and based on these numbers there is now some traction. 

I think that there is major potential for smartphones to replace wallets, and this is what the operators are hoping for, too. But it is important to remember that the activation of these wallets does not necessarily mean that people will actually use them. Only the test of time will prove that. 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
5/15/2014 | 7:07:25 PM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Well it's only one free smoothie per person so it'll top out eventually. If it were free smoothies for life, that'd be a different story entirely.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 1:25:09 PM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Promotions like the Jamba Juice deal is certainly one way to get publicity and more signups. I would expect this promotional trend to continue which should bring lots more thousands of users to the newly joined 600K NFC wallets.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
5/15/2014 | 12:47:36 PM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Ah, thanks Mordyk. That's good to know. The actual total users and monthly/weekly/daily usage stats will be the most interesting.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
5/15/2014 | 12:46:43 PM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
But if you have an iPhone, you'll have to buy an extra case for it, so kinda outweighs the money saved on your free smoothie...
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
5/15/2014 | 12:45:43 PM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Good news -- you don't have to! It works on AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. Just not Sprint.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 9:58:38 AM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Just so long as you're not basing your investment decision and credibility on it...
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 9:43:49 AM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Sirius XM has played the same game for years with its subscriber numbers. Few figure it out, and fewer still seem to care.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 9:40:37 AM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Exactly MendyK! The numbers could be pre-installed, accidentally clicked and installed, registered but never even entered a card or a test transaction and never used again.

I would look at the numbers that they're using internally, because these numbers sound just a bit too good to be true for an app in which nothing changed but the numbers.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 9:28:20 AM
Re: Why the growth spurt?
Good catch -- these are the kinds of details that are left out of some amazing growth stories and press releases.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
The time has come for a telecom app store to save the industry.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink CTO on Transformation

5|16|17   |   7:43   |   (0) comments


The 50-year-old telco has already gone through several transformations, including every time it made an acquisition, but its purchase of Level 3 coupled with changes in technology and customer expectations necessitates its biggest transformation yet.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2017

5|15|17   |   5:05   |   (1) comment


Find out who made it into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Interviews
Site Visit: AT&T's Tel Aviv R&D Center

5|15|17   |   09:58   |   (1) comment


Nir Shalom, general manager and VP of application development at AT&T Israel, talks about the key service developments undertaken at the AT&T R&D facility in Tel Aviv and how the team there has adopted new ways of working.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Act on Your Intelligence With Amdocs aia!

5|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Amdocs CMO Gary Miles explains how communications service providers can seize the AI opportunity with Amdocs real-time digital intelligence platform.
LRTV Interviews
Logtel CEO: Making Sense of IoT

5|15|17   |   09:48   |   (0) comments


Jacques Bensimon, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv-based training and consultancy Logtel, talks about the need to make IoT more than just a buzzword.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Challenges of Mobile Banking Implementation

5|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Kamal Quadir of bKash Limited explains the challenges and needs of implementing mobile banking in the Bangladesh market.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
AT&T's Donovan: Women Adapt Faster Than Men
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/18/2017
Verizon on M&A: Who Needs a Cableco?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/17/2017
Standardization Needs Room for Innovation
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/17/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.