Isis – the NFC mobile payment system that was started by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T – received its first banking partners today, along with a product name and some details on how they plan to roll out. The product will officially be called Isis Mobile Wallet and will welcome in Capital One, Chase and Barclaycard as their first card partners. Since they already secured Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, it’s now up to the rest of the banking industry to give their cards the thumbs up.
Not familiar with Isis? Again, this NFC-based mobile payment system was created by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T with hopes of making NFC and mobile payments a common practice. They fell under scrutiny a couple of months ago when it was discovered that Google Wallet (a direct competitor) was not accessible on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Most pointed fingers directly at their Isis product as the reason why Wallet was not allowed on the phone. Verizon denied that they were blocking it and that it had anything to do with Isis.
So far though, we have not heard any of Isis’ plans to actually produce a product that we can use. According to their press release today, we should see the first markets go live some time in mid-2012. The first two cities to get access are Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX with a nationwide rollout happening soon after.
No matter what, this is amazing news for the NFC industry. With these 3 carriers behind it, all of the major credit card companies, and a first batch of banks, mobile payments will soon be in your lives. NFC chips are becoming more common in newer phones and by the end of the year or early 2013, you may be ditching your wallet after all.
After all of the drama that Google Wallet has gone through over the last couple of weeks (security issues and freezing of prepaid cards), we have yet to discuss usage of the app itself. With prepaid cards back for the most part and enough ways to get the app on your device even though Verizon is doing their best to prevent it, we want to know if anyone has actually used it.
Since carriers have asked Google to not include it on certain devices and with only MasterCard currently along for the ride, I’m personally having trouble finding places to use it at. Even at CES in Vegas, I had made it a goal of mine to use Wallet every single time I took a cab ride. Unfortunately, the only cab with PayPass functionality was the very last cab we took to the airport and the transaction failed enough times that we tossed cash out in frustration.
My first time happened to be last week as I stopped through a Peet’s Coffee here in Portland and noticed the PayPass pad. I fumbled through the transaction, expecting it to be more difficult. It wasn’t. I’m now hooked and am looking for ways and places to use it more often. NFC payments are simply put, brilliant.
Have you had the chance to use it?
Since there aren’t enough phones with built-in NFC chips, companies are looking for ways to make them NFC-enabled after the fact. One of those companies in Moneto who has figured out a way to embed a secure NFC element into a microSD card. That card pairs with their Android app which then allows you to make payments through MasterCard PayPass payment systems. It should work in a similar fashion to Google Wallet, however, you don’t need a phone approved for Wallet.
Their currently compatible lineup list only includes Galaxy S phones, so if you own a Moto or HTC device, you will be waiting a bit. They claim to be adding new models all of the time though.
The package for Android is $29.95, but that includes the 1GB microSD card, an NFC signal boosting sticker, a prepaid debit card, and $10 to spend as you please using their Android app. If you are locked into a RAZR or Rezound for 2 years without NFC, this is something you may want to keep an eye on.
More info: Moneto | Market Link
Poor Google Wallet and the beating it has taken over the last week. First it was a “vulnerability” if your phone was rooted which was then followed by a non-rooted issue that allowed someone who stole your phone to access prepaid funds. To be fair to Wallet, none of these are actually issues unless you lose your phone and fail to protect it up front at the lock screen. But since attacking a product that is trying to push boundaries makes great headlines, this is where stand. Google has temporarily disabled prepaid cards in Wallet until they can provide a fix that won’t allow a user to simply “clear data” on the app and then re-access your funds.
Again, Google Wallet is still safe for making payments with credit cards, you just can’t use prepaid cards for the time being.
Via: Google Commerce
According to malware analytics group zVelo, Google Wallet PINs may be vulnerable if your phone is rooted. From their research and the video demo below, you will see that a simple .apk can be installed onto a rooted phone that can access PIN information, opening up your Wallet app to intruders should your phone fall into the wrong hands. The chances of that happening are obviously incredibly low, but we thought that you should all be aware of the situation.
zVelo was kind enough to contact Google ahead of this report and confirmed that this vulnerability does indeed exist. They worked to figure out a fix which turned out to be moving PIN verification into the SE (secure element) of the NFC chip in your phone. While this is apparently not that big of a deal on the fixing front, it could move the responsibility of PIN protection onto banks rather than Google, something that zVelo is not a fan of. (more…)
Forget the new Google+ update that just went live, today is all about the fact that Foursquare included Android Beam support in their latest update. Now, when you are out with your crew and one of them checks into the
strip chess club before you, a simple butt-to-butt rubbing between your Galaxy Nexii will get you checked in right behind him. No need to put your dollars Rook down for any two-thumbed typing. Bump Nexus, tap to Beam the venue, and check-in.
This is all with me assuming that you know another person that owns an NFC device. Love me some Beam.
As Android fans, I know that most of us don’t want to hear it, but if NFC (Near Field Communications) is ever going to take off and be widely adopted, we need the iPhone 5 to support it.
When the Nexus S was released on December 16, 2010 as the first NFC-enabled phone, Google made an early push to get both businesses and consumers into accepting the idea that their phones could share information by simply touching it to objects. The thought of paying for your morning coffee or cab fare without having to dig into your purse or back pocket seemed so game-changing. Since we all make our phones the most readily available item on our bodies at all times, what a brilliant idea this was. (more…)
On Friday, a flashable zip file was made available that would put Google Wallet on your LTE Galaxy Nexus. The process was not all that fun, and even after completing it, some were still running into issues. Well, guess what? An .apk has been released that apparently works flawlessly on any Galaxy Nexus device running Android 4.0.2. There is one thing to note though – if you previously flashed the .zip file from Friday, you may have to return to a backup pre-Wallet or this .apk will not work. For those that were waiting and have not messed with any of the Wallet builds, feel free to give it a go. (more…)