Isis and MCX Announce New Brands as Apple's Planned Mobile-Payments Service Looms

The telco-owned joint venture behind the Isis Wallet announced a new name for the wallet, while the merchant-led MCX consortium finally released its consumer-facing brand and a timeframe for a planned rollout, as the U.S. mobile-payments landscape heats up.

Both joint ventures made announcements Wednesday, less than a week before Apple is expected to announce its bold move into mobile payments with the unveiling of its next iPhone. Apple’s m-payments platform is expected to use NFC technology and support established payments brands.

Both JVL Ventures, formed by three of the top four U.S. mobile carriers, and MCX, the JV made up of some of the largest retail chains in the U.S. including Wal-Mart Stores, Target and Best Buy, are promoting their new or revamped brands amid growing anticipation of Apple’s expected move into mobile payments at the physical point of sale. 

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Table­: Technology, payment brands and other details for four major current or planned mobile wallets in the U.S.–Softcard (Isis), CurrentC (MCX), Apple and Google Wallet

Among Topics Covered:

  • Details of new brands from JVL Ventures, formerly known as Isis, and MCX as the unveiling of mobile-payments by Apple looms
  • Reaction of Isis Facebook users to rebranding
  • Changes JVL Ventures will make over the next few weeks
  • National rollout plan by merchant group MCX for its CurrentC wallet and app functionality
  • How the QR Code-based CurrentC mobile-commerce platform will work
  • Merchant-based payment instruments are central to MCX’s wallet plans
  • Barclaycard US’ bPay pilot could offer a glimpse of what the MCX service and technology will look like
  • Plans for differentiation by MCX member merchants
  • Likely architecture for an NFC-enabled iPhone-based mobile payments service
  • Possible impact of Apple launch on merchant acceptance of contactless in the U.S.
  • The question of tag-reading support in the new iPhone.

Among companies and organizations mentioned:

JVL Ventures (Isis)
MCX
Apple   
Wal-Mart
Target
American Express
Visa
MasterCard Worldwide
China UnionPay
Barclaycard US
Paydiant 

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