Not too long ago, Eric told you how Google Wallet was going to change the way we buy things away from our computers. And though I’m no techno-hipster, it was interesting at least. For all the Jetsons-like promises of the future Google Wallet seemed to make, its main hindrance was the lack of NFC compatible phones. Well, it seems that a new joint venture has been formed to address that very issue.
Enter Isis, a joint venture consisting of wireless carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless created to standardize the NFC payment system. By making a universal standard from which manufacturers can work off of, Isis has made great strides to making a credit card-less society a reality. Today’s announcement however, is not to simply announce what they plan on doing; Isis also dropped the news that they’ve confirmed NFC-enabled handsets from RIM, Motorola Mobility, HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung Mobile as well as working with DeviceFidelity to provide the contactless payment options for consumers who don’t buy NFC-enabled devices.
The enthusiasm shown by manufacturers is one that shouldn’t be easily dismissed either. Though most of the companies named were short on details on their future plans of deploying NFC-enabled phones (other than ‘yeah, we’ll make them’), it seems that NFC devices may be a part of RIM’s future. As Andrew Brocking, vice president of Blackberry Software, put it, “The new line-up of BlackBerry® 7 smartphones include various models that are NFC-enabled and demonstrates RIM’s commitment to enabling NFC-based experiences on BlackBerry.” If nothing else there’s serious commitment on their part.
This level of competition and availability is exactly the kind of bite that was missing from Google Wallet. After all, it’s one thing to offer a service that’s only available on one phone and another to create a new payment delivery system. It should be stressed however, that this may not be such a bad thing for the big G; after all their recently acquired Motorola Mobility is one of the listed manufacturers, they may very well contribute to the standardization of NFC payments.