Capital One has elected to pull out of the mobile payment pilot program for Isis, a consortium of wireless carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon that have banded together to tackle wireless payments in the US. The bank said they have gained valuable insights from customers that were among the first to try the Isis Mobile Wallet application but didn’t rule out the possibility of collaborating with Isis in the future.
Isis still has a number of big banking partners in their corner – American Express, Chase and Barclaycard – but there’s no real way to put a positive spin on Capital One’s departure. Common sense tells us that it is extremely unlikely for them to break away from the service only to rejoin again at a later date.
If one bank walks away, are others likely to do the same? Only time will tell.
Things were looking up for the mobile payment hopeful just a month ago as word came down that the service would expand across the country by the end of the year following a successful trial run in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The bigger elephant in the room, however, is the fact that NFC-based mobile payments have failed to gain momentum in the US. The wireless technology is only available in a handful of smartphones with some of the market’s largest players like Apple content to completely ignore it for the time being. Consumers haven’t fully embraced the idea of paying for things with their mobile device but with any luck, maybe Isis will be able to change that mindset.
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