The Continuing Search to Use Isis Mobile Payments

A month ago, I wrote here about my experience getting Isis mobile payments set up and my attempt to use it (A Day in the Life of Getting Isis Mobile Payments Up & Running). 

So now that a month passed, I decided to give it another try so headed back to Newbury Street to visit some of Boston’s finer shops to see how Isis acceptance was coming along in that area.

The app has a quick “where to pay” button to locate nearby stores that allegedly accept Isis. In my visit a month ago, just after the Isis nationwide rollout began, only one store popped up. And it turned out that the store had it removed due to what the store owner said were too many problems.

On my recent visit over the weekend, not only did that store not show up, but several new stores (Frye, Puma, Newbury Comics, Q Optical and American Apparel) did. This looked encouraging.

A pretty crowded Frye was the first store visited and I asked the sales person at the register if I could pay by Isis.

“What is it?”

“It’s a mobile payment system so you can pay by phone.”

“Let me ask my manager.”

“Oh, no, we’re not into the new technology,” said the manager.

OK, onto Q Optical, just across the street.

“Do you take Isis, the mobile payment system?”

“I’ve never heard of that. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Heading up to Newbury Comics, I figured we had a better chance. After bringing some items to buy at checkout, I asked the 20-something casher if they took Isis.

“What’s that?”

“It’s a way to pay using your mobile phone.”

“That sounds cool. I never heard about it, unless they’re rolling it out next week.”

Onto American Apparel, the last store displayed via the Isis app. Same response as the others.

On the way out of town, I came across a T-Mobile store. Since T-Mobile is one of the three Isis owners with AT&T and Verizon Wireless, I just knew we’d have some luck here.

“Hi, can you take Isis payments here?”

“What’s that,” asked the salesperson.

But then the guy sitting at a desk in the back of the store (there were four salespeople and no customers), upon hearing the question chimed in saying he was familiar with Isis, though he said only a few customers have used it.

But entering a nearby mall, a Coke machine caught my eye.

It sat alone in the lobby, with its brightly lit digital touch screen and the mobile wallet symbol.

Sure enough, I opened my Isis app, tapped my phone to the machine and saw mobile payment success.

And there were no people involved to ask if they took Isis.

2 comments about "The Continuing Search to Use Isis Mobile Payments ".
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  1. David Gerbino from @dmgerbino consulting, December 23, 2013 at 10:37 p.m.

    My experiences with Google Wallet and the ISIS Wallet are much different then yours. When paying for my items at a location that was MasterCard MasterPass compliant, I never asked if I could pay with my digital wallet. I just did and it worked. I shared some of my ISIS experiences on a recent blog post -

    Next time I goto pay with ISIS or Google Wallet I will ask first to see if I experience the same reaction as you. The payment education seems to be seriously lacking on all sides.


  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, December 24, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Google Wallet, David. In the case of the stores on Newbury Street, it was not just that the sales associates were unaware, but also that the POS terminals also were not Isis ready, which I obviously checked as well.

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