Yesterday, I was at the AT&T Store to get an ISIS SIM card in order to use ISIS mobile payment. The rep was very excited since this was the first time she has activated an ISIS SIM card. The store manager Chris was next to us assisting her. He was very pleasant and introduced Digital Life products to me while we were waiting for ISIS to work.
After trying two ISIS SIM cards, three reboots of the phone, four technical support calls and 1.5 hours waiting, my Samsung Galaxy 3 kept on returning with an error message that read “ISIS requires a new SIM card with a Secure Element”. Tech support was transferred from AT&T to ISIS and the problem remained. So ISIS tech support suggested to transfer back to AT&T tech support. Finally, we decided that ISIS was not going to be an option for my phone.
I looked at the Google Play store and found similar dissatisfied comments made by other consumers. Carriers have some work to do to fix these problems.
ISIS Mobile payment started its trial last fall in Austin and Salt Lake City. It uses NFC technology for data exchange and secure element in the SIM card to save credit card information. Since a SIM card is hard to hack, a SIM based secure element is a more secure solution. Secure element will also be used for storing credentials for building access; for example hotel room locks or office building access.
The transportation market segment is also planning to store credentials to SIM based secure element so that mobile phones can be used to pay transit fare. Since the carriers’ infrastructures are not ready, the transportation market may get impatient and give up on secure element.
I hope the future secure element based NFC applications will work well so that consumers can really enjoy NFC technology and pick up the technology as Asia and Europe have. A good news is that ISIS has introduced ISIS Alliance Program to support the ecosystem. We shall keep an eye on its development.