Isis Forms Partners With Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express On Mobile Commerce

July 20, 2011

Isis, the national mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, announced that Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express will join Isis in making mobile commerce a reality for millions of U.S. consumers and merchants. Isis’ relationships with all four payment networks mean that with Isis-enabled phones and payment terminals in place, merchants and consumers will have ubiquity and freedom of choice when it comes to payment network acceptance.

“Since the formation of Isis in November, we have been committed to building a mobile commerce platform that aligns and advances the interests of consumers, merchants and banks,” said Michael Abbott, chief executive officer for Isis in a prepared statement. “By working with the nation’s payment networks – Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express – we significantly advance the vision of an open and secure platform that provides banks and merchants with a new and highly relevant way to connect with consumers.”

The announcement underscores Isis’ inclusive approach, providing all critical stakeholders – banks, merchants and consumers – with the freedom and choice necessary to foster a robust new industry and make mobile commerce a reality.

“Visa has long championed an open approach to mobile commerce that allows consumers to choose which account they want to enable for mobile payments,” said Joe Saunders, chief executive officer, Visa Inc. “We are committed to working closely with Isis, handset manufacturers, platform providers and financial institutions to offer consumers a suite of mobile services – mobile payments, coupons tailored to location and lifestyle, real time account information and more.”

Earlier this year, Isis announced Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas as initial launch markets, slated to roll out in the first half of 2012 with support from all four payment networks.

“We fully support an open commerce ecosystem which will drive the scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile payments, providing consumers with exciting new possibilities for shopping and saving,” said Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer, MasterCard Worldwide. “Our work with Isis reinforces MasterCard’s commitment to the continued development, innovation and evolution of mobile payments technologies.”

Isis will bring mobile commerce to consumers and merchants by using mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases through the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology. Isis will offer customers a secure and convenient way to pay, redeem coupons and store merchant loyalty cards, all with the tap of a phone.

“Discover has been working with Isis from the start to facilitate mobile commerce, which will provide added convenience and benefits to consumers while delivering increased loyalty and sales to merchants,” said David W. Nelms, chairman and chief executive officer for Discover. “Isis’ open strategy is the right approach to establishing a highly secure environment for mobile commerce that will be achieved through the participation of banks and payment networks like Discover.”

Since its formation, Isis has had a strong vested interest in generating industry involvement and support for a mobile commerce platform that is open and inclusive by design. By working with all four payment networks, Isis will set the standard for what it means to be open, secure and reliable in the mobile commerce industry.

“Isis is able to bring choice and opportunity to mobile commerce by helping cardmembers bring the cards in their leather wallet onto their mobile device,” said Bill Glenn, president, Global Merchant Services, American Express. “This relationship is another way for American Express to expand the digital experience in the social marketplace. As the line between online and offline continues to blur, American Express is leveraging our digital closed loop to help connect our merchant network with our cardmembers in any environment.”

Today’s announcement was made at the annual Fortune Brainstorm TECH conference in Aspen, Colorado.