American phone carriers have a new mobile wallet system that will let you emulate your credit card and debit card details to your smartphone – introducing the Isis Mobile Wallet. Available for Android devices that are equipped with an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip, the new mobile application is an emerging alternative to the Google Wallet service. By tapping your NFC-capable device to a point-of-sale (POS) machine, the app will allow you to directly pay for your store purchases instantly. How does it work and what are the features of this new mobile payment system? Read on below as we give everything you need to know about the Isis mobile wallet.
Credit and Debit Card Emulator
Pretty much like the Google Wallet and PayPal application, the Isis app will let you input the details of your credit or debit cards to your Android smartphone or tablet. Known as the process of card emulation, it’ll let you configure as many credit cards as you want. Upon initial setup, the mobile tool will ask you to choose your bank or card issuer (American Express, American Express Serve, or Chase). Then, a secure server will bring you to the mobile website of your bank. After verifying with your log-in details, your account/s will automatically be linked to its server.
Making a Payment
After successfully configuring your cards, your device is now an extension of your accounts. If you have enough funds to cover the amount of your purchase, the payment will be successful. You can only use it at participating stores that uses an NFC payment facility. These merchants have cashier stations that are equipped with NFC-enabled POS machines . Usually, there is a “tap to pay” label in this machine. Just to give you an overview, there are currently more than “200,000 retail locations nationwide (in the United States), including Toys ‘R’ Us, Jamba Juice and Coca-Cola vending machines that are equipped with NFC terminals,” writes David Samberg, a correspondent of Verizon. There are even a growing number of public transit stations and private healthcare facilities that are also using this smart mobile payment solution.
How is it different from Google Wallet and PayPal?
Isis is only limited to American Express, American Express Serve and Chase cards (Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, Slate from Chase, and JP Morgan Palladium) as of the moment. Plus, it is also limited to primary credit card only. Card extensions will not be allowed to configure with the app.
In Google Wallet and Paypal solutions, you can add your MasterCard and Visa credit cards, apart from the ones we’ve mentioned. This isn’t surprising, since Isis is a newbie to the business. So, expect that more banks and card companies will also enter this emerging platform in the future.
What if my phone gets stolen?
Compared to your traditional wallet, this smartphone solution is PIN protected, and supported by all of the mobile carriers in the United States. Once your phone gets stolen, users can call the customer service of their carriers to have their banking accounts frozen. You also have the option to virtually freeze your credit card or wipe your bank details remotely from the application installed in your stolen phone.
Apart from giving you the opportunity to pay for your store purchases, this mobile wallet will also let you save and enjoy a bunch of loyalty rewards. It includes a “Stores and Brands” sections, where you can find real-time deals in coffee shops, fast food chains, pet spa, and grocery stores. Redeeming an offer is as easy as browsing a virtual coupon from within the app. You’ll also be provided with an on-screen directions on how you can avail the offer as well as the nearest redemption places.
As of the moment, the developers of this mobile solution made their application available for NFC-capable Android devices only such as the Samsung Galaxy series, Google Nexus phones, and HTC One. It can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store for free. It is not yet available for the existing NFC-enabled Nokia Lumia devices and the latest line of BlackBerry smartphones, despite having been equipped with an NFC chip.
Are you a frequent shopper and you’ve already tried this type of mobile payment method? What do you think of the Isis Mobile Wallet? Share your experiences with our readers.