Isis, the mobile payments venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, officially launched today in its first two trial markets of Austin and Salt Lake City.
According to Isis, customers of these three networks can select from a total of nine devices that are compatible with the system, and 11 more are expected to debut by the end of the year. In order to use Isis, customers will have to obtain and provision a “secure element SIM card” for their handset. The handset must include near-field communications, or NFC. With the SIM card installed, customers then need to install the appropriate carrier-branded Isis mobile payment app on their Android smartphone and load an eligible American Express, Capital One, or Chase credit card (prepaid cards will work, too).
Once these steps are completed, Isis users will be able to make payments by tapping their phones at participating retailers, which include chains such as 7 Eleven, Foot Locker, McDonalds, Rite Aid, Home Depot, PetCo, Sports Authority, and other local establishments.