Despite what you may have heard, the mobile-payment venture Isis did not launch its long-awaited mobile wallet this week in New Jersey.
What happened in the Garden State is more about lunch than a launch. Micros Systems Inc., an Isis partner, delivered a press release Oct. 2 stating it was offering the Isis contactless payment system at Aramark restaurants in Basking Ridge, N.J. — these locations are all in the cafeterias at Verizon Wireless' headquarters.
Verizon, along with AT&T and T-Mobile USA is a founder of the Isis joint venture. The Micros announcement effectively demonstrates that one of the Isis parents can use the system in-house — it is not an official launch open to all consumers.
Isis for the past year has said Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas would participate in the official launch this past summer. Those test launches have been delayed, but Isis insists that more specific information about a launch and the handsets operating Isis will be revealed this month.
“We are currently focused on building a comprehensive mobile commerce experience in Isis’ two launch markets, Austin and Salt Lake City,” says Jaymee Johnson, head of marketing for Isis, in an emailed statement. “Deployments outside of these markets are primarily driven by partners, like Micros.”
Still, for a payments industry anxious to see how Isis plays out in the mobile pay landscape, any word about the technology being in place draws attention.
But Johnson confirms the wait will continue for now.
“The Isis mobile wallet is coming soon to Austin and Salt Lake City,” Johnson says. “We will be back in touch later this month to share launch specifics and additional momentum news.”
In the meantime, Google Inc. has wasted no time in establishing relationships with Salt Lake City grocery stores for Google Wallet implementation, a development that Isis executives say they welcome because of the overall exposure it gives to mobile pay.
Isis has said its launch delays are based on finishing up final details that will ensure a positive customer experience. One of those details likely included a deal Isis also announced Oct. 3 in which USA Technologies will equip 7,500 vending machines with the Isis technology in Salt Lake City and Austin.