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Isis bulks up virtual wallet

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Monday, February 27, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Another mobile wallet is on its way, and it may offer more options than the one made by that certain search engine giant.

Isis, a venture among Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, said Monday consumers will be able to load their prepaid, debit and credit cards from Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard onto their cellphones when its mobile wallet service launches later this year.

The Isis Mobile Wallet will allow phone users to make purchases, redeem coupons or present store loyalty cards by simply tapping their phones.

The venture has been busy signing up partners, which already include the major payment networks of Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, before the debut of its virtual wallet. It plans to roll out the service in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, sometime midyear with a national introduction to follow.

The service will go head to head with Google Wallet, a joint venture with the search engine, MasterCard, Citi, First Data and Sprint. That group unveiled its smartphone wallet last summer, starting in New York and San Francisco before spreading out countrywide. In September, Visa, Discover and American Express jumped onboard.

Still, just Sprint Nexus S4G phones support Google's wallet app now. And the only credit cards that can be loaded onto Google Wallet are the Citi MasterCard or the Google Prepaid card.

Isis is just the latest development in the move from wallet to cellphone, or tangible to virtual.

Starbucks and Target in the last year or so began offering virtual gift cards, and there are plenty of apps that allow consumers to load store loyalty cards onto phones. Digital coupons are becoming more ubiquitous, while executing everyday bank functions by cellphone gets easier and faster.

How do you use your phone? Would you load a credit card onto your phone?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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1 Comment
Alex
March 01, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Mobile commerce and payments are the next logical step for our connected world. As it looks like the Isis wallet has the security concerns tackled, I would look to try this out when available in my area. I always have my phone with me, and enjoy most conveniences using it. This just adds one more item I can use my versatile smart phone.