Isis Denies Reports That Mobile Commerce Network is Folding

Representatives for Isis, the ambitious joint mobile payments venture forged by Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA, say there’s no truth to reports that a less ambitious “mobile wallet” solution has become the organization’s new priority.

According to reports surfacing earlier this week, Isis had stopped moving full-steam ahead on its own mobile commerce network, which would be focused on smartphone-enabled point-of-sale transactions.

Isis CMO Jaymee Johnson says the reports – including those published by the Wall Street Journal – are “profoundly incorrect,” and that Isis is “opening up the platform to all payment networks and platforms.”

On Wednesday, the WSJ reported:

Now, the group has adopted the less ambitious goal of setting up a “mobile wallet” that can store and exchange the account information on a users’ existing Visa, MasterCard or other card, people familiar with the matter said. The carriers are scrambling to find other ways to make money from the transactions. To get as many users as possible, the carriers are now in talks with Visa and MasterCard to have them participate in the system they will embed in phones.

Setting up a separate network would have been too difficult and time consuming, sources told the WSJ.

According to ComputerWorld, “Johnson called the current state of Isis as an open mobile system an acceleration of its original mission and not a dialing back as the WSJ noted.”

We [Isis carriers] were never going to be the bank, and that may be an important clarification,” Johnson said.