Home / Credit News / Phone service providers' mobile wallet system adds AmEx

The mobile wallet system being developed by the nation's three biggest mobile phone service providers recently announced a partnership with another major credit card payment processor.

Isis - the near-field communications-enabled smartphone purchasing service from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless - recently announced that it had reached an agreement to work with American Express as it pushes the payment platform toward a pilot test later this year, according to a report from TIME Techland. Now, consumers with cards issued by AmEx will be able to use them when making a purchase through Isis.

Other major lenders, like Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard, are also already onboard with the service, the report said. Top payment processors Visa, MasterCard and Discover are also participating.

Through Isis, consumers will be able to load their payment data onto their NFC-enabled smartphones and use it at tap-to-pay point-of-sale terminals to make purchases instead of swiping their credit or debit cards the old fashioned way, the report said. In many cases, users may be able to further add protection to their transactions by necessitating that a PIN code be entered to verify a purchase.

Isis will likely receive its heaviest competition from Google Wallet, which has been on the market since September, the report said. However, while Wallet certainly has the advantage in current availability, that is hampered by limited participation from wireless service providers (only Sprint is involved) and a small number of smartphones capable handling an NFC transaction. Google is currently trying to incentivize consumer use of Wallet by working with retailers to grant coupons to those who adopt the service.

Experts have long noted that the two biggest hurdles to adoption are availability of the necessary technology - both smartphones and point-of-sale terminals - and consumer fears over the security of this type of service. While the former is easily solved by companies simply pushing out more devices, the latter may be a more difficult bridge to cross. However, it is expected that when consumers see the benefit and convenience these mobile wallet programs will provide, it's expected that widespread adoption will come quickly. Many analysts believe that the mobile payment industry could be worth as much as tens of billions annually by 2015 alone.