Slated for launch in 2012, ISIS will aim to bring contactless mobile payments to the majority of American cell phone users. So, how exactly will it work? Forbes, which was recently privy to a sneak preview, examines the nuts and bolts of the exciting new service:
According to Forbes, the ISIS app will come preloaded on NFC-enabled phones - either embedded in the SIM card or in the phone’s hardware. For now, the app only works with phones that run on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon–the founding members of ISIS–though the service is now open to other carriers.
In short, ISIS is designed to replace your real wallet with a virtual one stored on your phone. The app stores credit and debit card information in the form of digital card images. To select a card, you simply tap on the corresponding icon and the account information, e.g. current balance and transaction history, is automatically cued up.
Then it’s simply a matter of tapping the phone against a reader, and the payment information is routed over your bank or credit card network to complete the transaction. ISIS does not handle the payment transaction itself, but rather provides a secure container for the contents of your wallet.
ISIS also stores and keeps track of your loyalty cards and digital coupons.
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