After months of delays, ISIS Mobile Wallet app, the contactless payment service endorsed by three of the Big Four U.S. carriers, is officially available nationwide. A direct competitor to Google Wallet, ISIS allows users to pay for goods anywhere contactless payments are accepted using their ISIS-enabled smartphones. Stores currently accepting such payments include Duane Reade, Anthropologie and CVS.
The service works by allowing users to store their credit and debit card information directly on their smartphones using what is called a Secure Element SIM card. In addition to payment cards, you can also upload your favorite loyalty card information to the app, ensuring you always get the latest deals at any participating store.
Supported handsets are those that include NFC connectivity and a secure SIM. If your phone doesn’t have NFC or a secure SIM, you’ll have to stop by a carrier store to pick one up. ISIS is the second major mobile payment solution to hit the market. Google’s own Google Wallet is already being offered, though it doesn’t enjoy the same support as ISIS, with just Sprint signed on for the service.
ISIS has been trying to get off the ground for more than two years, but has continually run into difficulties. According to ISIS, there are nearly 20 million NFC-enabled smartphones available on the market, and 35 devices available across AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon that support ISIS. Models include the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
While ISIS is currently available only for Android, the company says it will begin offering the service for Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone devices later this year. However, iOS users will need a special accessory, as the iPhone doesn’t currently support NFC.