Isis is a unique approach to contactless space formed by the three mobile network operators in the US; AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. It certainly is one of its kind, no other country has had a such organization to handle a new functionality on the mobile phones.It sounded quite exciting.
In the new era, banks and MNOs seem to confront each other -I do not agree, though. MNOs in the US got together to handle it. And they started it in the most US way possible; they announced that they were starting a new payment scheme. They must have thought that they had all the components needed to start a new payment scheme: a mobile network, customer data with constant interaction and distribution channels. However it didn’t take more than a few months for Isis to recognize that it is a far more complicated task to do with what they have. There are thousand other issues to consider and Isis was not prepared for that.
Then on May, Isis announced that they have cancelled the original plan and now they are ready to reconcile with existing payment schemes. And after all, it seems that Isis is turning into a giant TSM for US banks.
It is a reasonable point for me to see that Isis is now a gateway between the banks and the mobile wallet. Isis will develop a mobile wallet in which banks, transport authorities and any other service provider can co-exist with each other. And it is a huge step that all the carriers are in the game; banks and customers will be free to choose (and switch) Isis will play a central role to manage all the applications to reside on a mobile wallet. It is at least a successful step at the mobile wallet wars for the MNOs.
Although it did not start with the current targets, I think Isis is a revolutionary step for the NFC era. Isis will definitely help NFC to reach masses. I will be watching!