14
Nov
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Remember when everyone was pissed off that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus couldn't use Google Wallet because of "security concerns"? ISIS Mobile Wallet, the alternative carrier-sponsored NFC payment system (and the reason that last sentence was equipped with sarcastic quote marks) is finally available, just two years after Google Wallet was coincidentally blocked by the carriers that are pushing ISIS. Nice work there, fellas.

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ISIS has been in a beta testing mode in limited markets for just over a year - the necessary Android apps have been available on the Google Play Store since then. Of course you'll need an NFC-enabled phone, but you'll also need a model that's supported by both ISIS and your carrier: here are the ISIS -compatible offerings from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. You'll also need an ISIS-enhanced SIM card from your carrier.

For all that trouble you can use ISIS as an NFC payment system, linking credit and debit cards to your ISIS account and switching between them on your phone... at least at those merchants that have an ISIS-equipped checkout. Currently the retail partners for ISIS are looking a little slim: a few big names like CVS, Office Depot, Texaco, Macy's, and Jack In The Box are showing up on the map, but there are also a lot of Coca-Cola vending machines and carrier stores. So, I suppose ISIS is useful if you've run out of cash and you really want a Sprite, but it's not going to be banishing your wallet any time soon. ISIS also supports discount offers and loyalty cards, but apparently early users are having serious issues getting any of them to work.

Thanks for killing Google Wallet, American carrier consortium. It's a a good thing you had something better to offer, isn't it?

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Isis®, the mobile commerce joint venture created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Verizon Wireless, today announced the latest version of the Isis Mobile Wallet® is now available to consumers for download in the Google Play app store and at thousands of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless retail stores nationwide. The Isis Mobile Wallet allows customers to pay at contactless payment terminals, and to save money through special offers and loyalty cards at participating merchants – all from their Isis Ready® smartphone.

The Isis Mobile Wallet allows consumers to shop and pay using their mobile phone, by securely storing virtual versions of a customer's participating credit or prepaid cards, as well as coupons and merchant loyalty cards. To use the Isis Mobile Wallet, customers simply select a payment card and tap their smartphone on the point-of-sale terminal.

The redesigned Isis Mobile Wallet features a simplified user interface with a clean, white background and easy-to-navigate toolbars. Integration with American Express Serve® makes it convenient for Isis Mobile Wallet users to load funds to their American Express Serve Account from a U.S. debit or credit card, bank account, or through direct deposit, as well as pay bills online and send money to friends and family using an American Express Serve Account.*

"Today's nationwide launch of the Isis Mobile Wallet is a milestone for consumers, merchants and banks. It's the start of a smarter way to pay," said Michael Abbott, chief executive officer, Isis. "Together, with our partners, we've built a seamless mobile commerce experience. We're pleased to bring the magic and simplicity of the Isis Mobile Wallet to consumers across the U.S."

Starting today, customers with one of the more than 40 Isis Ready smartphones available from AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless can receive a free enhanced SIM card from their wireless carrier and download the Isis Mobile Wallet for free from Google Play.** Customers who visit a carrier retail store to activate the Isis Mobile Wallet will receive hands-on support and education from store associates.

Customers can use the Isis Mobile Wallet at merchant locations nationwide that accept contactless payments such as Toys"R"Us, Jamba Juice and Coca-Cola vending machines. Aite Group projects that hundreds of thousands of locations in the U.S. will have contactless-ready payment terminals by year end, making it the most broadly deployed mobile payments technology at the point of sale. Explore local merchants at www.paywithisis.com/where.html.

Isis Mobile Wallet users can take advantage of hundreds of dollars' worth of money-saving deals, with full offer details available in the Isis Mobile Wallet:

  • Free soft drinks at Coca-Cola vending machines. With My Coke Rewards in the Isis Mobile Wallet, users get their first three drinks free. 
  • Free smoothies at Jamba Juice. Isis and Jamba Juice are giving away one million free smoothies to Isis Mobile Wallet users at participating Jamba Juice stores across the country.
  • 20 percent back on purchases made with American Express Serve. Isis Mobile Wallet users can get 20 percent back every time they tap to pay using their American Express Serve Account for up to $200 in statement credits.  Offer available now through January 31, 2014. Additional terms apply.*
Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • JPB

    Does anyone know if the terminals used by Isis will work with Google Wallet also? That is, those Coca-Cola machines, for instance, can I tap with Google Wallet?

    • sluflyer06

      Coke machines have worked with G.Wallet for long time now, I think all the machines with the CC/NFC brick on front have always been G.Wallet friendly, I've yet to try one that didn't work, we have some at my work as well.

      • JPB

        I've yet to even see one but now I'll look for them. I suppose the good news here is that maybe we'll see Google Wallet friendly places expand even more. Around here (suburban NYC) there are quite a few places already - Sports Authority, Radio Shack, Macy's, McDonald's, CVS, Walgreen, ShopRite (when they keep their terminals in working order), and two local bagel shop/delis near me. It would be nice if they become even more popular.

        • Andrew

          I have one at work, the caveat for me is I have to be on my network. My employer's wifi blocks the transaction for some reason.

          • KanishkSingh

            It works with nyc and chicago cab which have NFC POS. My company cafetaria has Discover and Chase NFC POS works great.

            I was driving from Chicago to Indiana, I was on the toll road and they had a credit card machine with NFC, used my wallet worked perfectly.

          • tcope

            You do not need a data connection at all to pay with ISIS or Wallet (wallet requires a data connection only to change payment cards).

      • http://nicholsonrecords.com/paul Paul Nicholson

        They used to, but they don't any more. The vending machines in my office took my Google Wallet from my stock Nexus no problem until last week when it now fails out and gives me some sort of error about ISIS. I think they've rigged it for ISIS only, which is beyond stupid.

        • sluflyer06

          I'll go down and try mine today just to see if it works.

        • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

          Since PayPass is MasterCard, I lodged a complaint on MasterCard's official contact site, and tweeted my displeasure to @MasterCard. I'm not sure who the right people are to annoy about this, but if people don't let them know that they're displeased there's little incentive for them to go back.

        • sluflyer06

          Just went and tried Tap&Pay on a coke machine and it worked fine here in St. Louis. Our machines actually have a G. Wallet logo on them :)

    • Groovypotato

      I have one of those Coke machines by where i work and wallet works like a dream on it.

      • http://nicholsonrecords.com/paul Paul Nicholson

        does it still? Mine stopped taking Google Wallet this week

    • Andrew Beard

      Yes

  • moelsen8

    can't wait to see this crash and burn.

  • Dominic Powell

    Will Google wallet work on any android 4.4 phone from here on out?

    • itlnstln

      Yes, provided the device has an NFC chip.

      • Dominic Powell

        If true I can't wait for my moto x 4.4 update I miss wallet from my N4

    • sluflyer06

      Not Sure, but the device would at least need NFC.

      • JPB

        Be careful about saying "Yes". Google Wallet working does not necessarily mean Tap to Pay with NFC is working. http://phandroid.com/2013/09/19/google-wallet-nfc-payments-blocked/

        • Dominic Powell

          Yeah well I guess I will know in a month

        • sluflyer06

          But I didn't say "yes"??? I said "not sure" and added that you'd at least need NFC capability for it to even be possible.

        • didibus

          I read that phandroid article, and I am confused. Either I don't understand something, or the author of the article does not.

          Google recently changed wallet so that it does not require the secure element, instead, it is emulating it. That feature is part of Android 4.4 kitkat. I don't know if it could be brought back to older versions of Android. From my understanding, if your phone has NFC, and KitKat 4.4, there is nothing stopping Google Wallet anymore.

          • jm9843

            Yeah, somebody with the 2013 Nexus 7 (sans secure element) should see if they can tap to pay with Google Wallet after receiving the KitKat update.

          • Sir_Brizz

            You can't, but the Wallet update that allows that hasn't launched yet. There is a Tap & Pay section in Settings (that is mysteriously absent on the 2012 N7) but Google Wallet doesn't show up there right now.

          • Andrew Beard

            Tried it last night, and it doesn't work. There's a tap to pay section in settings, but nothing's listed even if Google Wallet is installed. I'm wondering if there needs to be a Google Wallet update to take advantage of the Kit Kat virtual SE support, but right now it doesn't do it.

          • NemaCystX

            That article is pre-KitKat, completely irrelevant to what your asking

          • chenxiaolong

            Host card emulation is only implemented for Broadcom NFC chips right now, so missing code for other NFC chips is likely to be the only limitation now.

          • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

            The Phandroid article came out several months before KitKat.

  • ITGuy11

    I hope this fails miserably...

    • Liquidretro

      It will fail as long as it doesn't work with any credit card and requires a secure sim which you have to swap out your current one for.

      • Andrew

        Don't forget, doesn't work on rooted devices (at least not the verizon app). The reviews say it all. Can't wait for Google Wallet to go Secure Element-less for all phones.

        • Matthew Fry

          I actually was recruited for an Isis focus group. I stressed the rooting thing as much as I could, but nobody cared.

          • youcrazy

            ay man what you doing what you thinking??? don't help them out hinder them! let them suffer and fail and fall just like how they tried to do with Wallet.

          • Matthew Fry

            Gotta make the best of the situation. If everyone gets Isis-ready payment systems and nobody uses them, they're gonna have a sour taste in their mouth toward NFC payment.

          • youcrazy

            yes but that's only true if their not educated about Google Walet.

          • Chris Farlee

            You average consumer has never heard of Isis...or NFC probably.

          • tcope

            I agree 100%. Love or hate ISIS, it _will_ push vendors to add NFC systems. Right now Google is not doing anything to push NFC payments.

          • tcope

            I think the issue with that is with the way ISIS is set up, they could not get certification if allowed to run on a rooted phone. Not only is the Secure Element on a SIM but ISIS also stores fiancial information diffeently then Google.

        • Erik Lively

          Its dead already. The new Coin devise looks very promising. NFC payments with phones is never going to take off. NEVER! We have complete saturation of all businesses with card readers already. Proprietary boxes will never gain enough reach to be a replacement for all your payments. You can throw your ISIS reader in the same box as your Sega Saturn and that stupid robot that came with the NES.

  • scuttlefield

    Snarky Yoda sez: The sarcasm is STRONG with this one. :D

  • Anthony Branch

    So now that they have FINALLY launched they're payment poster child, will they at least allow Google Wallet to be used on the carrier phones? Yeah ....I didn't think so either. When KitKat finally is pushed to phones, I understand id won't matter if they allow it or not. Is this correct?

    • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

      Yes, and no. KitKat Google Wallet doesn't require carrier-supplied hardware to work, but there's no reason to think that locked phones can't have the carriers keep the app off anyways.

      • David Thoren

        Except that the reason they were using before will be moot. In which case they will have to come up with some new reason it can't be allowed.

  • SkullOne

    Welp looks like Verizon is hiring reviewers for their ISIS app. Joe Caravello - Excellent New Intuitive payment methodThere is so much to offer with Isis and it's all free, the app works well so far today is the first day. There is alot of incentive to use Isis and it costs nothing actually you can save a lot of money with coupons, value cards and credit card promos and you can use the cards your already using :)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Andrew

      Yeah, I tried to see if they would list their occupation on their google+ pages, but those are conveniently blank.

      • SMH

        Joseph Caravello "RSR at Verizon Wireless " << Retail Sales Rep HAHA

    • Matthew Fry

      And yet have you seen how abysmal their review scores are? I hate the app it's ugly as sin and buggy as hell.

      • tcope

        Ironic.... several months ago I have some jump all over me as ISIS's app was not complient with Google's standard for apps. Now that it is... it's "ugly as sin".
        I've used v1.0 since 10/12 and only had one or two issued. Same issue with v2.0 but that is sometimes it does not see the SIM and phone needs to be rebooted. Over the course of a year I think it's happened 3 times. I don't see the app as buggy at all.
        I know of a_lot_ of ways it could be improved though.

  • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

    Unfortunately, it's telling me that it's not compatible with my Verizon Galaxy Nexus, so I can't even install it to give it a 1-star rating.

    • sluflyer06

      No go on my Nexus 5 either. But then again I didn't bother to check the device list beforehand.

      • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

        I doubt the Nexus 5 will be supported, ever. But Google Wallet works fine on it...

  • ISIS user in Salt Lake

    I think if you want to kill ISIS use the hell out of the promo's. ISIS pays the companies back for their products. In Salt Lake you can use ISIS at a bunch of different restaraunts for $1 meals that are a great deal. ISIS pays the businesses full price for every meal sold. One of them is a pizza place and they will let you order as many one dollar medium pizzas as you want. We bought 35 pizzas for $35 for a kids football party. ISIS has to pay the company back for all those pizza's. So, if you want to hurt ISIS fail it and make them pay. Then after the deals go away at the beginging of the year uninstall the ISIS app so they know you aren't using it any longer. I have had some problems with the ISIS wallet but overall they have been pretty helpful and while I have seen a bunch of different bugs with the app I have to admit I use it everyday. I get a really good turkey avacodo sandwhich, chips and a drink for a dollar and then I can go to Jamba juice and get a free smoothie. I get a free jamba juice everyday and I usually eat at least one dollar meal from one of the local places that offer the dollar deals every day. My biggest problem with ISIS is I am gaining weight from eating out too much now.

    • http://jefferai.org/ Jeff Mitchell

      Hahahahaha

    • Josh Williamson

      oh man, Im so doing this

    • Eric Jones

      That's sweet! How do you track down the deals?

    • Erik Lively

      Google Wallet did card processing for our business for free for a quarter, then we got Groupon Breadcrumbs to give us 10K free processing, then switched back to our normal merchant account. Same deal. Lot of competition and everyone trying to buy market share.

  • DrakeTungsten

    I just used Google Wallet NFC payment ironically at T-Mobile two days ago.

  • Google Wallet User

    Except that ISIS works at absolutely ANY contactless payment terminal, just like Google Wallet. The whole "it only works with specific retailers" scaremongering is just FUD.

    • didibus

      In Canada, almost no retailers support the NFC chip on credit card, and those that do, it never works lol.

    • Sir_Brizz

      Hardly any retailers have tap to pay terminals anyway. So I don't see how it's inaccurate to say "only works with specific retailers".

      Also, all the "deals" you can get through ISIS only work at a few places.

  • Google Wallet User

    Oh, and unlike Google Wallet, there's no virtual credit card - the reason ISIS only supports Chase and AMEX cards is because the bank sets up the card in your app, not ISIS. This way, if a transaction goes astray, you call the bank directly instead of having to deal with a middleman.

    • jm9843

      That sucks and is a step back.

  • Dheeraj Chowdary Nekkanti

    This shit is way too pink.

  • ecubuntu

    Doesn't work on root phones

    • Brad

      Might still work... I know google wallet warns you if you're rooted - but still works.

      Though this probably isn't a great app anyway and may still be blocked.

      • Andrew

        You can't get past that screen. It blocks ALL root users from using the app.

        • Brad

          That's total butts.

  • mak

    People need to stop complaining about Google wallet,isis works fine for me with my note 3,if you hate it so much and want to tap to pay,move to sprint!

    • Sir_Brizz

      No. We are being forced to not use something we want because carriers want a piece of the pie. I absolutely will not stop complaining about it anywhere and everywhere I can. ISIS is total garbage, it is by far one of the worst apps I have ever used.

    • Keith Russell

      Nor will I stop complaining. It's total junk and garbage. The fact that Isis is so crippled is appalling that they blocked Google wallet over it... Took their sweet time getting it out in full implementation (over a year) and it only works with two stupid credit cards (capital one was smart and pulled out). I don't want to use Amex Serve. I don't want another credit card.

  • jr

    And it doesn't work with the Verizon HTC One. Smooth move, ISIS & Verizon!

  • anon

    lets all give this shit 1 star ratings on play store.

    • Bazar6

      That most probably won't help... Remember the horrible Blockbuster ratings because it was preinstalled on a ton of VZW phones? Ratings don't get their attention, hitting them in the wallet does.

  • Brad

    Glad I've got Sprint!

  • jamaall

    It's under 2 stars even with the fakes lmao

  • Matthew Fry

    Just in time for me to stop using it here in SLC. It's pretty widespread but the problem is that only American Express cards work, (the reloadable card was discontinued) and mine doesn't. I called and they looked into it and left me a message but it wasn't fixed. Was not worth the hassle.

    • Sir_Brizz

      Same. I used it for a couple weeks then I gave up on it. The app is utter garbage, it hardly works with any cards, it fails to read half the time. Google Wallet has been way more accurate for me. I'm looking forward to them failing hard.

  • NickAVV

    I know of 3 things named Isis: The laughably bad security organization from the cartoon Archer, my university's laughably bad intercampus student information system, and this. I think the name is cursed.

    • NexusKoolaid

      You're probably too young to recall the cheesy Saturday morning show.

      • NickAVV

        I am indeed

      • tcope

        Kimba the White Lion.... never a fan of ISIS.

    • Crispin Swickard

      And you know, the god.

      • NickAVV

        Yeah, she crossed my mind, I almost worded that first bit "3 modern things named Isis", but decided against it

  • NemaCystX

    I hope AT&T still can't block Google Wallet from using NFC on the Moto X once it receives KitKat, thats total bs if they do because it won't use the secure element like ISIS does. (Which the Moto X doesn't have anyway) If they do, they need to submit another complaint to the FTC and FCC about it because there is no excuse blocking better software in favor of their own backed software, thats monopolization at work because they want money and they don't get it with Google Wallet because its free

  • NemaCystX

    BestBuy has the terminals at their POS but they have deactivated them. Not sure why because it seemed to work until the cashier said "I'm sorry, we don't accept wireless payments" Well cover up your damn NFC/wireless payments receiver.

  • Rovindra Singh

    Also heard that it only works with Chase and American Express.

  • lensgrabber

    So according to my local AT&T store, they have to enable a "feature" on your account before you can use the service. So if your phone isn't listed as supported they can't enable the feature. I can't wait for 4.4 on the X!

  • http://nicholsonrecords.com/paul Paul Nicholson

    The really frustrating part is that the vending machine at my office accepted Google Wallet via NFC until this last week, when it suddenly stopped taking Google Wallet from my phone and said "Can't Verify ISIS Payment". What's worse is that I'm a T-mobile customer with an unlocked GSM Nexus 5, but I can't install ISIS for some reason which makes no sense. These guys won't take my money when I try to give it to them. So incredibly dumb

  • simp1istic

    Fuck ISIS and AT&T and Verizon.

  • Wyatt Neal

    Interestingly enough, our PayPass vending machines at work got "upgraded" to work with the ISIS system (it even advertises "Use ISIS to pay!" on the machine) ... but not it won't work with my Nexus 5 and Google Wallet. Anyone else seeing the same thing or have I managed to get the first Nexus 5 with a bad NFC device?

    • shadlom

      Not just you, the same thing happened at my office and now I can't use google wallet, annoying!

      • Wyatt Neal

        That's a little disturbing...I'd like to see what's breaking on it. Mine appears to be dying on the authorization of funds. Have you tried telling it to not use Google wallet funds first and picking a different card? I've done all of these with no luck but I'm curious if it's just back end provider or if there's something they jacked in the firmware of the device

    • tcope

      There has never been any "upgrade" done or needed". All payments are done via Paypass, PayWave and American Express (it all depends on the card you use). You could always use ISIS on any NFC payment device.

      • Wyatt Neal

        They upgraded the software, not the hardware. With the upgrade you can't use Google wallet anymore due to a software restriction

  • Ror

    Yea, thanks, I'll just stay with Google Wallet.

  • Jerecho

    I see your bitterness, and raise you seven times that.

    Fail and die with the impotence of a male geriatric's genitals, ISIS. May you wither with a whimper, for the glory of a bang is far too good for you, you usurper of a mobile payment system that actually did work and have potential to be better.

    Et tu, Google. I see what you did there, you spineless rollovers.

  • Adriano Corte Real

    So hold on... why is it incompatible with my HTC One? It has NFC. I would be willing to get a secure element SIM from AT&T. There's no reason why it should be incompatible.

  • Bob

    Anybody have the T-Mobile APK? For some reason even with APK Downloader I can't download any of the Isis apps.

  • Jeff

    I have a galaxy nexus I bought from Verizon almost 2 years ago(it is NOT rooted) and I use tap and pay with Google wallet. I have used it several times at CVS, Walgreens, Bloomingdale's, etc. No issues. I don't know the reason, but interested if anyone else is as lucky as me!!?!

  • caren young

    Isis is horrible. It has been nothing but a headache. The people working the customer service line have no clue what they are doing and just give you the the run around. I had over 150.00 dollars on my acct and it somehow got "locked" and they wont return the funds to me. DO NOT USE THIS PROGRAM!

  • Joe Haly

    Hey guys, can't load my AMEX onto isis, I get an error message, any advice?

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