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How to: Setup Isis Mobile Wallet on Verizon

isis verizon

Having realized that your phones can be used for things other than making calls, like paying for goods on the go, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile teamed up to create a joint venture called Isis Mobile Wallet. It’s goal is to become your one and only NFC-based mobile payment system. While the service hasn’t rolled out nationally, it is being tested in two markets:  Salt Lake City and Austin. For those who live in these two cities, you can test the service to your heart’s desire this very minute as long as you have a phone with an NFC chip inside. The rest of us, we have to wait until it gets the thumbs up for a bigger rollout.

In the mean time, we thought we’d put together a little tutorial on the app since we were able to get a hold of one of Isis’ requirements, an NFC SIM card. We typically like to do our best at preparing the DL community for what’s to come. So let’s talk about it.

NFC SIM

NFC SIM Card

With Isis Mobile Wallet, you are required to use a brand new NFC-equipped secure SIM card. We aren’t fully sure the reasoning behind this, since there is an NFC chip in most phones, but it likely adds a level of security that Verizon and its partners feel more comfortable with. In fact, if you try to load up Isis on your NFC phone, it’ll fail as it looks to the Secure Element of an NFC SIM for approval. Once you drop an NFC SIM in, the app fires right up, and starts the setup process.

If you live in Salt Lake City or Austin, you can pop into your local Verizon store and they’ll give you an NFC SIM at no charge. If you live outside of those areas, you can call into customer care and request one, which usually takes a couple of days to arrive.

Setup Instructions:

1.  Once you have inserted your NFC SIM and it has activated, you are ready to setup Isis.
2.  Install the app from the Google Play store.
3.  Upon first launching the app, it’ll check your phone to see that you have a correct SIM inserted.
4.  Once verified, you will walk through a brief setup that asks for account, password, and PIN.

isis mobile wallet

5.  Isis will work on preparing the secure element of your phone which takes a few minutes.
6.  Once finished, they will notify you via text that you can use Isis.

isis mobile wallet

7.  Now, open the app, input your PIN, and get to the real goods – setting up cards and offers.

Isis App Tour

Once you are inside the app, it’s time to navigate around, setup cards, find offers, and figure out how to use the damn thing. For most, you should initially see the Isis Cash prepaid card. This is a VISA that can be loaded with as much cash as you wish, but to get you into using the service, Isis will give you $10. Well, unless you are me, who they apparently decided wasn’t worthy of this perk. All I could do was add credit cards – there was no prepaid card for me.

isis cash

On a credit card front, we should point out that you can’t add any card of choice. At this time, Isis only supports Capitol One, Chase, and American Express cards. We hope they open it up to all cards at some point, but for now, this is what you get.

I should also point out that the setup process isn’t all that simple. Both Capitol One and American Express redirect you to outside websites for setup. Once you walk through the process, you have to wait for the credit card company to process your request to add the card to Isis, which could take several minutes. Once approved, you will receive notice and your app will then show your card connected. Definitely not as seamless as Google Wallet.

isis mobile wallet

Beyond cards, depending on your locale, Isis will also show you local offers and a feed of nearby deals from companies or businesses they have partnered with. For me, Macy’s was it, however, once I changed my zip code, I was able to see a number of deals for places in Salt Lake City.

When viewing an offer, you are able to use a barcode that can be scanned in store (I’d assume because the store doesn’t have Pay Pass or pay-to-tap capabilities) or you can hit the button to give you the power to tap.

The app itself is setup with panels that can be accessed by selecting the appropriate button at the bottom for Home, Isis Feed, Directory, or More. On the main page of the app, you have a top portion that allows you to flip between cards and a bottom portion that allows you to flip between offers. Other than that, it’s a pretty self explanatory service.

isis mobile wallet

I’ll hopefully have some time to test the actual functionality of the app in the coming days, but so far, it seems a bit more difficult than I had imagined. There are toggles to activate things, no way to add your normal bank card, and some bugs that will more than likely be addressed.

I can help but compare this to Google Wallet, which in my early opinion, is a far superior mobile payment system to Isis. Google Wallet allows you to add any card in your wallet, and also makes it incredibly simple to pay for things with it. There are no on/off toggles – just tap, pay, and go. Too bad Google Wallet has been banned from our lives by the companies behind Isis.

Cheers Jason!

  • RML

    F*K ISIS. That is all.

  • Frank Velázquez

    It’s goal is to become your one and only NFC-based mobile payment system.

    Well that will be an easy task for Verizon since it has block GWallet.
    Wonder how they can get away with that….

  • Psykke

    I’d rather use an app like No More Cards. It does all this and a lot more, plus they don’t charge merchants or consumers for payments. It’s not NFC dependent and can be used on any phone. Because it doesn’t use the sim card, it can’t be blocked by a carrier. They will be launching soon, but their website is showing all the details. I’ll wait for that and be free to do what I want.

  • SamsungFTW

    Hey Verizon…

    …………………./´¯/)
    ………………..,/¯../
    ………………./…./
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……………………..’…../
    ……….”…………. _.·´
    ……………………..(
    …………………………

  • SamsungFTW

    “It’s goal is to become your one and only NFC-based mobile payment system.”

    So much so that they will block a far superior app created by the company that actually makes the operating system that their best-selling phones run on. The hell with Verizon, the hell with ISIS.

    BTW how about that 2.2 stars on Google Play? Really knocking it out of the park there, aren’t ya Verizon?

  • master94

    I wish they would bring NFC to non NFC phones with these sim cards instead of building a crappier version of G-wallet known as ISIS

  • http://twitter.com/LukeStrobel Luke Strobel

    The best part is that anywhere Isis works Google wallet also works. Due to the fact that it processes through MasterCard. Or at least this is the case so far in Salt Lake.

  • JRomeo

    so this works on any phone that has a NFC sim card inserted? WRONG, it will not work if your phone already has an NFC chip inside, like the Nexus devices, they all have NFC chips inside, so inserting an NFC sim card will cause trouble with google wallet

  • Zee Masai

    Google wallet on my Verizon GS3 get. I use it every other day

  • http://twitter.com/Patrick_Soler patrick soler

    DOESN’T WORK with Rooted Device. You’ll get an error message explaining that because of security reasons, the app won’t run. After the crusade of aquiring a new SIM, I was out of luck.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Makes sense, Google Wallet was the same way for a while and may still be.

      • ProfessAndObey

        Google Wallet hasn’t been that way for a long time for me (at least on the version of the app hacked to work on the v-Nex and the preloaded version on the Nexus 4). All I get is a message that my device is unsupported, but it works wonderfully.

  • BobButtons

    [Insert witty Archer reference]

    • http://www.facebook.com/bmyton Ben Myton

      Would you say we are entering into a zone of danger?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Robertson/1571088713 Mike Robertson

    Verizon fail, again ! I will never use isis just out of protest!

  • jikhead

    Looks like a near exact copy of Google Wallet to me….

  • http://www.facebook.com/PVieira21 Pedro Vieira

    Verizon can suck a big one with this Isis crap. G-Wallet FTW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Lehman/1321902066 Dustin Lehman

    Well it looks like thats the reason why Verizon won’t allow Google Wallet, beyond the competition part, the NFC Sim is new.

    I prefer Google Wallet over this though, anything with Verizon behind it is sure to have some money involved to use it.

  • http://www.mobiletechview.com J_Dav1

    I wonder if the NFC SIM is Isis’ answer to breaking the secure element. Since it uses the secure element housed on a SIM card it can just be replaced if it gets corrupted instead of replacing the whole phone. I still prefer Google Wallet though.

  • Dan Churco

    Make sure to flag as inappropriate also. if they get enough, maybe they will take down. Put it as harmfull to device.

  • VinMessina

    #Boycott ISIS

  • YoursTruly

    Here’s how you set it up guys!

    1. Install the app on your phone
    2. Give it a 1 star rating and leave a message for the big carriers telling them to stop being anti competitive.
    3. Uninstall the app.

    • ProfessAndObey

      I came here to post the following: “How to set up Isis Mobile Wallet on Verizon: don’t.” But I like your instructions better.

    • Futbolrunner

      Roger. Gave them a 1 star.

    • SamsungFTW

      Followed your instructions to the letter, and it did exactly what I wanted it to! So did a lot of other people apparently…

  • umataro42

    One of the many things I hate about Verizon its that they could at least make Google Wallet available in phones with NFC that aren’t compatible with Isis (like the gnex) and just put a “we’re not responsible” disclaimer for the secure element thing, but instead they’re being dicks about it. I will continue to use Google Wallet despite their efforts to stop me.

  • http://profiles.google.com/zkolev Zack Kolev

    F*** ISIS!

  • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

    Since ISIS utilizes an NFC SIM card couldn’t it be used in non NFC equipped devices?

  • StuntinX

    I want Google wallet damnit!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.fosco Justin Fosco

    Says incompatble on my rooted note 2…i have the NFC Sim card too. Maybe cause im rooted?

  • Jason Elkins

    If you have the NFC t-mobile SIM, it disables GW.

  • William Ku

    no thanks. i don’t support bloatware. and btw, has anyone seen the reviews for this app on the play store. MAD hate.

    • http://twitter.com/jeffaye Jeff Ayers

      only a matter of time until this comes pre-installed, unfortunately.

      • William Ku

        i’m a rooter for life. so that doesn’t bother me much.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PVieira21 Pedro Vieira

      Haha I believe it has a 1 and a half star rating, I installed it on my GS3 and it said it wasn’t supported. Blow me Verizon.

  • Evan Whitaker

    Love my Google wallet on my vzw gnex. More places to use it all the time. I think I’ll go buy something at the Verizon store with it one of these days just so I can smile at the clerk who in all probability won’t know why I’m smiling.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Lehman/1321902066 Dustin Lehman

      it would have more effect if they knew why you were smiling, rubbing it in their faces

  • nightscout13

    At this point I don’t care who provides me with a Mobile Wallet, just roll it out already!

  • Tom

    Not compatible with GNex. Failure of an app. GWallet ftw.

  • Joseph Wynant

    an nfc sim doesn’t magically give any phone nfc, right? the phone (battery) still needs to have the nfc hardware? similarly, will a phone with an extended battery without nfc work with an nfc sim installed?

  • Jim McClain

    My google wallet has not worked in forever, anyone know how to fix it

    • Evan Whitaker

      I had to get a “fixed” wallet apk after Verizon broke it a while back. I think it was linked from here somewhere. Works well though.

  • elemeno

    I have a phone with NFC (Verizon GNex CM10.1) and I live in Salt Lake City. No go. App not compatible with any of my devices. Is it compatible with stock GNex?

    • BTL-A4

      Did you get the Secure SIM?

    • ROM_Ulan

      I ran into this problem also. I did some research and the app actually checks to see if you’re rooted. If you’re rooted it won’t work and also won’t show up for download.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Lehman/1321902066 Dustin Lehman

        Another WIN goes to Google Wallet! Unlike ISIS it still works even if your rooted, its just not “supported” by the company if you have any problems lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/aarontrevor Aaron Sentell

    Don’t do it! This just supports Verizon in their annoying quest to block out all the competition. Alternative plan that is so much better: Get a Nexus 4 and use it on Straight Talk w/ Google Wallet. I love it. xD

    • BTL-A4

      +1

    • Allen Byrd

      Straight talk? I’d like a Tmo SIM a bit better. :D

  • kane

    Que up the bitching about Google Wallet vs ISIS

  • chanstar

    GWallet! FTW!

    • Cowboydroid

      I wouldn’t be caught dead with Verizon’s crappy app on my device.

      • Sherri F. Caudill

        up to I looked at the paycheck of $9779, I accept that…my… brothers
        friend woz actualy making money part time at there labtop.. there
        brothers friend haz done this 4 only about twenty three months and
        resently cleard the dept on there place and bought Jaguar E-type. read
        more at, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

      • Dorian Brooks

        No truer words have ever been spoken

      • https://plus.google.com/110773438514346746273/ tjhrulz

        It looks like an iPhone app

    • http://twitter.com/NovembersDirge The Observer

      This is partly why i paid my ETF to ditch Verizon, bought a N4, and switched over to T-Mobile. I use GWallet several times a day on a daily basis. Quick, simple, and easy to use.

      • michael arazan

        Not to mention Verizon will be making money off your purchases unlike Gwallet, Google doesn’t charge the consumer to use their app. Should add to the article all the points of Verizon charging you

        • ProfessAndObey

          Good point, if true. Not that I’m doubting you; I just haven’t heard about this before. Then again, my attitude towards Isis has been to ignore it and hope it goes away.

          I wanna know why Droid Life keeps putting up with so much abuse from Verizon and keeps coming back for more. Kellen, can’t you see this mass exodus of people leaving Verizon as fast as they can? LTE means nothing if your carrier won’t let you use much of it (ie. Throttling or Overage Charges), and it means even less if it kills your battery at comparable speeds to HSPA+. Then there’s their stupid policies on bootloaders and updates. It’s okay to branch out and cover every carrier equally; the term “Droid” doesn’t mean much anymore.