Wireless payment network to debut in Salt Lake City


Salt Lake City, Utah, is going to be installing payment systems throughout the city that can take payment from customers using their smartphones. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Salt Lake City, Utah, will soon begin experimenting with a wireless payment system in conjunction with three wireless networks. The system, called Isis, is set to debut in 2012 and will use cellular phones to wire payments from a person’s credit or debit line with a bank.

Cell phone credit card technology takes another step forward

Several months ago, the iPhone was equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology to be used as a wireless payment system. A computer chip is installed in an iPhone that can be picked up by a reader system. The bank account or credit card account connected to the chip’s owner is then charged by merchants. One merely needs to wave their iPhone with the NFC chip, and a deduction is made from the appropriate account. Many believe this will be a great leap forward in financial technology. Because so many phones have internet access, people can already use a smartphone to do banking transfers, balance their checkbook or get online personal loans.

Wireless payment network to debut in Salt Lake

Salt Lake City, Utah, will be equipped with an NFC system, according to NPR. The public transportation system will have NFC readers and fares can be paid by waving a phone by the NFC reader. Three major wireless carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless — are forming a partnership venture with the city using Isis, the NFC system that those carriers are using.  Those carriers still have to come out with NFC equipped phones besides the iPhone. Sprint, according to BusinessWeek, is still developing its own NFC technology.

Tech not widespread enough

Critics have observed that NFC technology is not widespread enough to turn Salt Lake into the “place where you can leave your wallet at home,” as the ad campaign on the Isis company website contends. However, smartphones are beginning to become far cheaper to buy and payment technology is moving toward wireless systems.




Isis corporate site

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