Ever since smart phones first became a dominant player on the cell phone scene, there have been predictions that someday, in the not so distant future, these handheld devices would begin to double as mobile wallets, freeing people from the need to drag out credit cards or cash to complete a transaction. There seems to be no doubt at this point that the mobile wallet concept will shortly become a reality, but there remain key questions about which system or service will finally triumph in the end.
A new contender has just entered the contest for mobile wallet dominance: Isis, which has become available to cell phone customers in two major cities: Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas. So far, the service is available for those who have service with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. To use Isis, cell phone customers need to obtain an Isis SIM card that will enable their phone to conduct near field communications transactions. Such cards will not run on every phone in existence, however. T-Mobile customers, for example, will need to have a Samsung phone in the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S2, or S Relay 4G lines.
Anyone who decides to get a new phone in order to use Isis should do the responsible thing with their existing handset and look for a cell phone buyback program. This will provide them with a little bit of cash but more importantly it will ensure that their old cell phone gets properly recycled.