Mobile payments by smartphone took a huge step forward this month with the nationwide launch of Isis Mobile Wallet. People who have been waiting for the day they can pay for purchases with their phone are in luck—but only if they are Android smartphone users.
So far, Isis is only available on Google Play, so customers with Isis-ready Android phones from AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless can download the free app. That means iPhones users are left out in the cold when it comes to Isis. In addition to downloading the app, Android users need a special SIM card to make Isis work on their phone. These must be gotten from the user’s mobile carrier and can be ordered here.
Anyone who does have an Android and wants to get in on the mobile wallet action will want to know about the special offers being promoted in connection with the launch. They include:
Free soda. The Isis Mobile Wallet comes with My Coke Rewards, which lets users buy Coca-Cola vending machine beverages with their Android phones—no more smoothing out ragged dollar bills—and their first three drinks are free.
Free smoothies. Jamba Juice also accepts Isis payments, and the two companies have teamed up to offer a 12-ounce smoothie on the house to people who whip out their phones to pay with Isis at the Jamba Juice register. The companies plan to give away one million free smoothies. The offer expires on April 30, 2014, or when the one-millionth smoothie is given away—whichever comes first.
$200 in statement credits. The Isis Wallet is integrated with American Express Serve prepaid accounts, and users can sign up for Serve when they download the Isis app. Through January 31, 2014, every time they pay with their Serve account, customers will get 20% back in statement credits, up to $200.
Chase, American Express cards supported
Currently, the only two credit card issuers that work with Isis are Chase and American Express. Anyone with an eligible Chase card—Freedom, Sapphire, Slate, JP Morgan Palladium—can load their account information onto Isis and pay using their Chase card, anywhere that supports mobile payments. The same goes for American Express—any eligible AmEx card can be uploaded to Isis and used at participating merchants. Folks can find a list of places that accept Isis payments here.
Customers who prefer to pay with a prepaid card, not a credit card, have the opportunity to sign up for a Serve account from American Express when they download Isis. Serve prepaid accounts have a small monthly fee, which can be avoided by making direct deposits. Serve offers free cash loading, mobile bill payment, and linked saving accounts.