Major credit card issuers J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and Barclays PLC have signed up to allow their customers to use contactless payment technology that utilizes mobile phones to make purchases.
The service is known as Isis, and it will allow customers to purchase items at shops by simply tapping their mobile phone against the vendor’s payment terminal instead of swiping their plastic credit or debit card through the device.
The mobile phone will need to be equipped with what is known as near field communication (NFC) technology and the vendor must have special dedicated readers to handle the technology.
Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay,
said Michael Abbott, chief executive of Isis, in a recent statement to the press.
It’s about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor.
Isis is run by AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, who had announced plans for the system in the fall of 2010. The technology is only one of several different services that are aimed at changing the way we use our mobile phones to pay for everyday items.
The largest credit card company, Visa Inc. are also looking at releasing their own “digital wallet” that will allow customers to pay for items online using only their name and password instead of typing in credit card numbers for every purchase. The service is known as V.me and could in time be used to make in-store payments in the future, Visa have said.
Isis has said recently that the three major banks, who are among the biggest issuers of plastic cards in the United States, have stated their desire to make the contactless technology available to a portion of their customers beginning in the summer with trials in the Salt Lake City area, as well as Utah, Austin, and Texas. A successful trial will mean that the technology will soon be available across the country.
J.P. Morgan Chase has plans to make the technology readily available initially for its credit card customers, according to Richard Quigley, president of Chase Card Services.
We’re still working on exactly which versions will be available when, but the idea is that this will be a very broadly available payment mechanism,
said Quigley in a recent statement regarding the venture.
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