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Confirming rumors from earlier this week, the mobile payments company Isis said today that it will finally launch on October 22.
Jaymee Johnson, the company’s head of marketing, sent us the following statement this morning: “Isis will be launching in Austin and Salt Lake City on Oct. 22. By year end, as many as 20 Isis Ready handsets are expected to be in market. We look forward to sharing more details on Oct. 22.”
Isis, a joint project between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, was announced in November 2010, but it has been criticized for taking so long to launch. The company has been testing its near-field communications (NFC) mobile payment service in Salt Lake City and Austin throughout 2012, but it refused to lock down a specific launch date until today.
During Mobile World Congress this past February, Isis chief executive Michael Abbott told me he didn’t see any mobile wallet war brewing (competitors from Google and PayPal have already launched). He also said the company wanted to take its time and get mobile payments right the first time, since it’s building a network that needs to last for than a decade.
“We’re solving for a four-sided market,” he said at the time, pointing to the fact that Isis needs to make sure consumers, merchants, payment companies, and its parent carriers are happy with its product.