Chase Card Services says it will stick with the Isis mobile wallet venture as it prepares for a national rollout after nearly 10 months of testing.
In doing so, the JPMorgan Chase unit also gives its endorsement to Isis' model of using Near Field Communication for contactless payments.
Isis announced July 30 it was preparing for a national rollout after long tests in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City. JPMorgan Chase announced Aug. 12 that it would stay beyond the pilot period.
Chase was one of the issuing banks involved with Isis Mobile Wallet, joining shortly after the venture was formed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless two years ago.
Though Chase's continued involvement with Isis demonstrates its satisfaction with the results of the pilot period, neither Chase nor Isis would provide specific adoption figures or consumer feedback.
JPMorgan Chase and its fellow Isis issuers, Capital One and American Express, are each evaluating multiple mobile payment options, says Jeffrey Green, director of emerging technologies advisory services for Boston-based Mercator Advisory Group.
"They all have tests going or some other technology they are working on developing, and they want to see how those work out as well," Green says.
American Express last week announced it is strengthening its ties with Isis in allowing the mobile wallet's users access to their accounts through the Amex Serve prepaid card.
In response to Chase's public declaration of continued support, Isis issued a statement saying it would engage "in a series of actions across our various partners to ensure a seamless customer experience" rather than focus on a particular, single date it would establish for the national rollout.
"One of the important lessons we learned in our pilots was around getting the initial experience right," Isis says.
The competing Google Wallet has started to move away from totally relying on NFC technology, and companies such as Starbucks have reported significant adoption of software-based approaches to mobile payments. However, Isis says it is committed to NFC for its security and two-way communication capabilities.
Isis' use of NFC for its national rollout will be a major victory for the technology, Green says but "they still have their work cut out for them," he adds.
Relatively few smartphones have NFC capabilities, and the payments industry may halt some technology initiatives as it reacts to a recent court ruling over how the Durbin debit rules were implemented, Green says.
Throughout Isis' tests, the venture provided few details over how its mobile payments system was performing. Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer for Isis, provided the most significant details when speaking three months into the tests at a payments summit in Salt Lake City.
At that time, Stapleton said 65% of the consumers participating in the Isis pilot were revisiting merchants often or taking advantage of the mobile offers made possible through NFC.
Stapleton also credited Chase for initial positive results because consumers trusted its brand.
Chase Card Services president Richard Quigley says the bank is committed to providing cardholders with a "first-rate mobile payments experience."
"Based on the positive results in Austin and Salt Lake, we are pleased to expand our relationship with Isis and provide Chase cardholders nationwide with another quick, convenient and secure way to use their credit cards for everyday spending while on-the-go," Quigley states in a press release.