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Isis drives repeat visits, purchases in first 90 days of pilot

The Isis mobile wallet app

Active users of the Isis mobile wallet are using it five or more times a week, pointing to the strong value proposition that mobile payments offer consumers.

Isis users who are engaging with the loyalty and offers portion of the wallet are visiting merchants twice as frequently. The Isis mobile wallet – a joint venture of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile – is currently in pilot in Austin, TX, and Salt Lake City, UT.

“What we are seeing in terms of the consumers’ willingness to take on the product despite the fact that it is new and innovative and nothing like they have ever experienced has been good,” said Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer at Isis.

“What we are seeing is once they leave the store, they are also engaging with those merchants,” he said.  “Greater than 65 percent of them are following merchants.

“The average consumer in the early days of our pilot is following approximately 5 different merchants. The active wallet users are using it five or more times a week and for those engaged in the offers and the loyalty aspects, they actually end up frequenting those merchants twice as often as they used to.

Mr. Stapleton spoke as part of conference call for the media that was held for those unable to attend the 2013 Payments Summit in Salt Lake City, UT that also included executives from MasterCard and Visa.

Strong value proposition
Currently, there are 200 hundred carrier stores in Salt Lake City and Austin where consumers are able to engage with Isis, pick one of the 20 plus handsets it is available for and get activated.

To help drive adoption, Isis is loading a $10 card for each consumer who signs up and then, for those who decide to link the wallet to a funding source, they receive another $15 on the card from Isis.

When users open the wallet, the can find approximately 10,000 locations across the two cities where they can use it.

The Isis wallet launched on Oct. 22, 2012.

“I think the value proposition drives a really good adoption rate and activization rate in the stores, “Mr. Stapleton said. “It is free, it is provided by the brands they trust in terms of the handset technology both in terms of the manufacturers and carriers themselves and they can load the cards from the banks they trust, American Express, Chase and Capital One.”

The transit use case
Isis is also working with the Salt Lake City transit authority – which has implemented contactless technology across its entire system – to help drive adoption

For example, Isis is using the transit authorities vehicles as an advertising platform to drive awareness and adoption by promoting the ability to use the wallet on the ride.

Isis has also introduced a free promotion that has been extended through March 2013 enabling early adopters to ride the entire system for free.

Transit systems may be the best way to introduce consumers to NFC mobile payments, per Mr. Stapleton.

“We picked Salt Lake City in no small part due to the fact that the Utah transit authority had already implemented open contactless across their entire system,” Mr. Stapleton said.

“What that means for the consumers who are engaging in the Isis mobile wallet here in Salt Lake City, is that they actually use their phone to tap on and tap off of every one of the vehicles in the transit authority system.

“For many that use this every day to go to and from work, that is four taps a day. For the consumers, that means convenience.”

NFC, EMV synergies
The conference call also focused on the roll out of EMV standard for chip-based smartcards and other smart payments vehicles such as mobile.

Per Mr. Stapleton, retailers are finding a lot of synergies between EMV and mobile payments, with many looking to upgrade to both at the same time.

“Because merchants are upgrading their technology to support EMV, they are also doing it contact and contactless,” Mr. Stapleton said.

“They want a seven year payback on that equipment, they don’t want to be touching it again anytime soon and so for them they are future proofing their investment,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York