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Isis mobile wallet enables Aramark customers to tap and pay

Customers at the Aramark cafeteria in Basking Ridge, NJ, are the first to get a chance to use the Isis mobile wallet to tap and pay for purchases.

Following news that two larger trials of the Isis mobile payments platform are being delayed, Isis partner Micros has deployed Isis SmartTap through Aramark restaurants, with the Basking Ridge, NJ, cafeteria the first to go live. Customers can pay for their purchases by tapping their smartphones on point-of-sale devices at any of the 10 checkout stations.

“We are currently focused on building a comprehensive mobile commerce experience in Isis’ two launch markets, Austin and Salt Lake City,” said Jaymee Johnson, head of marketing at Isis, New York. 

“Deployments outside of these markets are primarily driven by partners, like Micros,” he said.

Contactless payments
The Basking Ridge, NJ Aramark cafeteria is located in the Verizon corporate headquarters. Micros POS terminal equipped with an NFC-enabled reader to speed up service have been installed at all 10 stations.

Isis uses near-field communications technology to enable mobile users who have a phone with an embedded NFC chip to tap their devices on contactless POS terminals to make a payment.

The mobile payments platform, which is a joint venture of AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, was first introduced two years with plans for trails to launch in Austin, TX, and Salt Lake City, UT, this year. However, the trials have been delayed with no new date yet announced by the company.

“The Isis Mobile Wallet is coming soon to Austin and Salt Lake City,” Mr. Johnson said.  “We will be back in touch later this month to share launch specifics and additional momentum news.”

NFC challenges
NFC-enabled mobile payments face several challenges, including that there are still a limited number of NFC-enabled phones in consumer hands. Additionally, retailers are reticent to invest in new POS technology while coordinating all the various players necessary for an NFC payments solution may be proving a greater task than either Isis or Google, which offers its own NFC-enabled mobile wallet, imagined.

As a result, the enthusiasm for NFC as the killer mobile payments solution has cooled somewhat in the past couple of years as other solutions have come on the market that are ready to reach a wide group of mobile users and do not require a significant investment from merchants.

Micros has integrated Isis SmartTap into its Simphony cloud-based POS platform. This will enable merchants such as Aramark restaurants that have the POS in place to give customers a way to make purchases, redeem offers and present loyalty cards with a tap of their smartphones.

Micros is the first POS software provider to integrate Isis SmartTap.

“At launch, consumers in Austin and Salt Lake City will be able to use the Isis Mobile Wallet at hundreds of contactless-enabled merchant locations in each market,” Mr. Johnson said. “In addition to national partners such as Macy’s, Jamba Juice, Aéropostale, Foot Locker and Whole Foods, we have partnered with many iconic local merchants including Book People, Iron Works and University Co-Op in Austin, and Deseret Book, Energy Solutions Arena and Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City.”

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