Despite pilot delays around its Near Field Communication-based mobile wallet, Isis has moved forward in other areas and has a deal in place with vending-machine payments provider USA Technologies that could bring mobile payments to some 7,500 vending machines. About 1,500 of those machines are in Isis’ two test cities: Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City.
From a Digital Transactions article:
The agreement calls for the two companies to solicit vending-machine owners and operators and persuade them to accept the Isis mobile wallet through USAT’s ePort card reader and ePort Connect, a wireless network that processes payment transactions from unattended locations. The pact calls for Isis to pay an undisclosed per-machine subsidy to USAT for up to 7,500 machines that add Isis acceptance by Dec. 31. The two companies can extend the agreement to March 31, 2013.
As NFC-based mobile payments continue to stutter in the United States despite Google Wallet’s best efforts, Isis is still stuck in the starting blocks and an official pilot has yet to be announced. The joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon late in September it would make an announcement about its plans in October. Whether this partnership is part of the announcement remains to be seen, but it does give us a glimpse into some of Isis’ strategy.
Small-ticket purchases such as food and beverage vending-machine items are in an environment where a quick tap of a smartphone is ideal.
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