According to anonymous sources, the additional outlay is meant to make Isis, a network that will allow consumers to use their phones for payments and reward cards, more competitive against competing mobile payments services like Google’s recently announced Wallet. The actual amount that Isis will get depends on how many banks and merchants it can attract.
None of the carriers would confirm the news with Bloomberg, but it certainly makes sense for them to give Isis an additional push now, as the likes of Google and Paypal are just beginning to lay out their mobile payment plans.
Isis announced in July that it has received support from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, which means that it will support payments from those major credit card companies. When it was initially announced, Isis seemed like it was going to be a competitor to entrenched credit card companies (though Discover was an early partner, assisting with transactions). That plan has since changed, likely because it’s easier to tap into existing transaction networks instead of starting your own from scratch.
Mobile payments was one of the hottest topics at our MobileBeat 2011 conference in July, primarily because there’s a ton of potential in having your mobile phone take the place of your wallet. Juniper predicts that mobile payments will reach $670 billion globally by 2015.