Three Networks Turn Phones into Credit Cards
Three major phone networks – AT&T, T-mobile and Verizon – have collaborated on ISIS, a service that turns a simple cell phone into a credit or debit card that can be used to make purchases.
It makes sense; cell phones have already replaced several different items in our lives – landlines, cameras, day planners, even watches – so why not another piece of plastic?
The ISIS service uses Near Field Communications, a wireless technology built into many new phones, to allow a phone to make payments anywhere equipped to receive those signals. The phone is tied to an account, whether credit or debit, and transfers money accordingly. ISIS is more than that, though. Networks plan to include coupons, ID for public transit payments and even reward programs into the service.
AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have around 200 million customers combined, which means ISIS will be a big rollout and could become quite popular. These carriers plan to launch it in stages, though, in "key demographic markets" over the next 18 months. That likely means metropolitan areas first, so prepare to wait if you don't live in a major city.