Last year when Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile joined forces with Isis Mobile Commerce Platform, we said that their plan to create a true mobile wallet would reduce the need for consumers to routinely carry cash, reward cards, coupons or even credit cards. Now Isis takes another step on the road to the cashless society that many experts predict will become a reality in the next few years by adding American Express cards to its lineup.
American Express network joined the Isis Mobile Commerce Platform last year, but they are only just now announcing that their cards will be available on the Isis platform. They will add their OPEN Small Business cards, their Serve cards, and all their US Consumer cards to the Isis mobile wallet, starting later this year in two locations, on the way to a full roll-out of the program. Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah are the chosen cities for the pilot program.
The technology behind the mobile wallet is known as NFC, or near field communication, and it`s this revolutionary technology that makes the contactless payment revolution possible. NFC allows shoppers to simply tap their phones against a point-of-sale console and have their payment information transmitted to the merchant via radio frequency, making it possible to bypass credit cards, cash, and other payment methods. Not only credit cards, but store loyalty and other rewards cards can potentially be loaded onto a virtual wallet, vastly reducing the bulk in the average American wallet.
Mobile and Social Networking
American Express has been a leader in the technology field, jumping on not only NFC and mobile payments trends, but taking advantage of social media opportunities with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. One of the cities where they are test-marketing their new partnership with Isis, Austin Texas, is the site where they so successfully tested their Foursquare partnership in 2011.
The Chief Marketing Officer of American Express, John Hayes, says of the company`s frequent forays into social media, “Social platforms do so much more than communicate. If you go back through our marketing over the last couple of decades, we`ve built a lot of things that create experiences for people. Our belief is that marketing really needs to be more than just communication.”
Service is Key
Although American Express is on the forefront of social media, Hayes reiterates the importance of mobile technology:” It`s changing the landscape, and we`re looking forward to it. It`s opening up new markets. That`s what mobile is: opportunity.” He stresses that the most important factor in the changing payment landscape will be customer service, saying that “the challenge will be the relationship with the customer. Those who serve the customer best will own that relationship. That`s how we believe we`ll succeed through this mobile transformation.”
Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis, says that American Express`s partnership with Isis shows their dedication to giving customers a smooth and easy payment experience with maximum opportunity for merchants and consumers to connect. “Today`s announcement is testament to the vision and commitment of American Express to make mobile commerce a real and positive experience for their customers,” says Abbott.