ISIS hits a milestone

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Few ventures generated the kind of pre-product hype that ISIS did. 

ISIS was seen as a definitive indication that next-era mobile payments was a reality and a major statement by the telecommunications industry that it intended to be a player. But ISIS, a venture by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, has been seen lately as being perhaps a bit slow out of the gate. That's no longer the case.

The service is now live after a delay of several months. ISIS has launched its new NFC-based mobile wallet system in Salt Lake City and Austin, with smartphones now available from various carriers. ISIS has said that it partnered with hundreds of retail outlets, which have NFC-ready terminals installed to allow mobile payments, including 7-11 and McDonald's.  

It remains to be seen of course how quickly consumers will take to this service, but it may be wise to keep expectations muted. The mobile payments revolution has a long ways to go before it becomes the ubiquitous technology that enthusiasts have predicted. That said, there are lots of signs that a legitimate market is taking shape. Google of course has already launched it digital wallet service. Other NFC trials are underway. Some think that NFC is actually becoming mainstream now.

There are of course plenty of non-NFC players that are live with mobile payment services as well, notably Square and PayPal. Lots of others are angling to join the fray, including a venture by retailers known as MCX. Apple also looms as a potential player. It's quite interesting to see a market form before our very eyes.

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