Feeds

First Austin, now live across the US: Watch Americans pay by bonk

ISIS ready for action later this year, but MCX stands ready to squish it

Top three mobile application threats

US pay-by-bonk platform ISIS will go live across the US later this year following the pilots in Salt Lake City and Austin, as network operators make their big play for big data.

ISIS is jointly owned by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, and has been trialling its electronic wallet for the last nine months. Now it's going national with aspirations of enabling the 20 million bonk-compatible (NFC) smartphones in the United States, allowing their owners to pay for goods and redeem tokens at the 1.3 million compatible terminals across the country.

Not that all those terminals will be connected up. NFC is a standard feature of the hardware these days but not all retailers wire it up, and a subsection of those will have the ISIS SmartTap application that enables the use of tokens and loyalty. The rest will just take payments like a traditional card only without the signature.

NFC Times tells us that, so far, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and American Express have created ISIS-compatible versions of their payment cards. ISIS itself offers a pre-paid card for everyone else. The user can chose which card to apply, or select a default, and payment is made by cryptographic exchange between the NFC secure element in the SIM and the merchant terminal.

ISIS is in competition with Google Wallet, which uses a secure element in the phone but has floundered in gaining public acceptance, and Merchant Exchange (MCX) which is cloudy system based on bar codes rendered on phone screens. MCX should also launch this year and has the backing of Walmart, Target, 7-Eleven, Kmart and Best Buy among others, retailers which understand that this contest isn't about payments but about data.

The data in question is the purchasing habits of the US public, which the retailers currently share with the credit-card companies but want for themselves. ISIS keeps card companies under control, and makes them pay rent to mobile operators for the SIM-card space, but MCX cuts out the card companies entirely and keeps all the data with the retailers, which will leave Visa and Mastercard bereft.

ISIS originally took on the payment duopoly, but backed down when it became clear Visa and Mastercard's presence at the point of sale was unassailable. The members of MCX own that point of sale and while it will be the general public who picks a winner in this battle, don't think for a moment that it's being fought in their interest. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.