Capital One bails on Isis as nationwide rollout looms

By on September 20, 2013, 8:15 AM
nfc, google wallet, near field communication, isis, capital one, mobile payment service, mobile wallet

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.

User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

I live in SLC and tried to use isis on my note 2 and could never get it to work. So much easier to just pull out a card and swipe it then try to use my phone.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I'm the guy who installs those credit card pin pads. I can tell you that there is basically zero demand for these things. I've even tried to hype them up to customers telling them that NFC phone payments are the next big thing... no one cares. For a store owner, there is no point in paying extra for the headache this technology entails. You should see the sheer amount of people who can barely figure out how to swipe a regular old credit card and confirm an amount. I can totally picture ****** talking to their phone telling it to pay the bill for them...

Unfortunately, as much as I despise Apple, it's basically going to require Apple stepping into this arena to convince the hordes of morons out there that it is in fact magical to pay with your cell phone. When people are convinced that Apple invented the idea then maybe some folks will start paying attention.

Personally, I think it's neat but realistically I don't give a crap. I'll get paid to put the pin pads in, and I'll get paid to fix the pin pads when they inevitably break.

Guest said:

What I don't get is when I went to Japan for a month in 2007, I've been using these NFC related technologies (such as Suika) on public transportations and it's widespread and very easy to use. Now it's 2013 in America and we STILL have issues with executions and ton other stuff. Carriers blocking Google Wallet to push their own ISIS system. It's to the point that whatever I found very attractive about this system is pretty much gone. Sure, I would be using it a lot in Japan if I go again since it's great and already well implemented there. Here? Forget it.

Like someone told me "Everyone is trying to make it THEIR systems to make money off of it and in the end, it goes nowhere."

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Makes me sad, as Google Wallet is not available in Australia. From testing, our NFC sensors work really well with Nexus4 and Google Wallet.

Guest said:

Well of course NFC never took off in the states... the flagship program that was GOING to use it was Google Wallet. To which both the banks and the phone networks both stood on its throat and said "no thanks we'll build our own, with blackjack, and hookers" which they promptly did not do. now they are paying the price for that decision, because now they WANT that tech, and it's their own doing that retailers didn't see a demand for it here in north america. (Ebay's massive smear campaign against its predecessor Google Checkout, didn't help matters)

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