While Google appeared to take the initial lead in the mobile-wallet race, it seems Isis is now on top a year Google Wallet first debuted. Google Wallet to start had the support of one wireless carrier and one bank and and has yet to announce any additional agreements. Isis, by contrast, has the support of the founding carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon) and a number of banks.
Some industry analysts, however, are hesitant to believe Isis will have any more success than Bling Nation, the mobile payments company that folded more than a year ago.
From a PaymentsSource article:
Many banks and merchants spoke highly of Bling Nation’s product, which allowed consumers to make contactless purchases with any phone by adhering a payment-capable sticker to it. Merchants paid lower rates for Bling Nation sales, and consumers received an instant digital receipt sent as a text message. But when Bling Nation began pushing a loyalty program on its merchant partners, those partners pushed back.
One reason for this concern is Isis has yet to demonstrate precisely how it will profit from its service. Isis is making final preparations for its tests in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, as well as eventual roll outs with national retailers such as Aeropostale, Foot Locker, Macy’s, and Jamba Juice.
Some analysts also believe Google, despite its struggles, has better positioning to win out in the long run. Google has greater name recognition than Isis, as well as deeper pockets. Google also has expertise in advertising, which will be useful when they begin sending targeted offers to consumers.
There are a number of other competitors in this space, including Square’s Pay with Square wallet, the Apple Passbook, and a group of newcomers that is constantly growing.
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