Paying for goods with mobile phones is shaping up to be one of the next big tech service battlefields, with some very big revenue numbers hanging in the balance. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile plan to invest more than $100 million into their Isis business, according to a report from Bloomberg, in their effort to capture the payment market and compete with Google Wallet.
Isis aims to set up an NFC (near field communication) system that allows payments to be made at retail stores by tapping an enabled phone on a sensor. The system is scheduled to launch in several large US cities, including Salt Lake City and Austin in 2012. The NFC payment business is expected to generate $240 billion this year, with an anticipated increase to $670 billion by 2015, according to Juniper Research.
Success in the venture is dependent on support and partnerships with banks and credit card companies. Isis has already formed partnerships with Visa, MasterCard, Discover Financial Services and American Express. The other part of the puzzle is hardware suppliers, with NFC handsets from Samsung and RIM (makers of BlackBerry) already available, and entries from Apple, Nokia, and others, rumored to be on their way.