Isis Adds 600K NFC Wallets in 30 Days

Operator JV claims 20,000 new mobile wallet activations per day in the past month.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

May 14, 2014

2 Min Read
Isis Adds 600K NFC Wallets in 30 Days

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

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like