NFC iPhone 4 ISIS Mobile Wallet Experience

Yesterday, I went to an AT&T store to enable ISIS mobile wallet in my iPhone 4. Even though Apple hasn’t added NFC chips into their devices, iPhone cases with NFC chips embedded are sold. There are two different cases available. One is Incipio’s CASHWRAP™ Mobile Wallet Case and the other is Isis Ready® Case. I chose an Isis Ready® Case.

The rep, having enabled her own iPhone 4s for ISIS, was very helpful to assist me. She put a micro SD into the case and provisioned my phone for ISIS payment. I went through a verification process to set up the mobile payment. I chose to use American Express Serve and received $50 credit upon activation. It took some effort (many taps) for the payment reader to recognize an NFC payment, but I was able to apply the $50 credit towards purchasing the case.

Then, I went into Jamba Juice to test out ISIS payment.  Jamba Juice offers free drinks until the end of March when customers use ISIS to pay. People working at the Jamba Juice helped me to use ISIS, though it didn’t work after many tries. They said they got a lot of “not working” ISIS payments, but they still gave away free drinks anyway to honor the offer. I wonder whether AT&T or ISIS keep in touch with the point of sale and collect initial surveys about  ISIS mobile wallet user experiences.

Today, I went to another AT&T store to find out how my ISIS transactions can be improved. Was my iPhone 4 too slow? Was the connection between my iPhone and the case working correctly? Was the particular case broken? The store rep informed me that I needed an ISIS SIM card to communicate with the reader. They installed a new SIM card into my iPhone. I went to anther Jamba Juice shop to test it. This time, it worked on the first try and the store indicated that they had quite a few people coming in with ISIS mobile wallet and that they didn’t have many problems accepting these payments.

It’s good to know ISIS mobile wallet does work for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. I will do more research about the ISIS SIM necessity for iPhone. The NFC cases are also available for iPhone 5. I wonder if we will still need an extra NFC case for iPhone 6. I am sure it’s a question in many people’s mind.

If developers are interested in learning NFC coding, please look into the NFC Forum Spotlight for Developers event happening next Friday March 21st in San Francisco. It’s much better to be prepared to write NFC apps before the technology takes off.

Are you using ISIS Mobile Wallet? What is your experience?

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Apple’s NFC Patent

A patent was issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office to Apple on June 4th, 2013.  The patent “System and method for simplified data transfer” was filed on June 8th, 2008.

Near Field Communication was in the summary of the patent as follows:
“A method of performing the simplified data transfer may include initiating communication using near field communication (NFC) between two devices. Next, data associated with open applications on one of the two devices may be saved and then transferred to the other. Transferring the data may take place using a peer-to-peer connection other than via NFC. “

In the current market, many newer mobile phones have NFC capability. Koichi Tagawa, NFC Forum chairman, presented The Worldview of NFC to the NFC Solutions Summit last month. He pointed out that the fast moving tablet segment is adopting NFC. ABI Research expects that 285 million NFC enabled devices will be shipped in 2013 [1].

Interestingly enough, since so many mobile devices that have NFC capability are in the market, Apple has not yet indicated their intention to adopt NFC into its lineup. The patent for NFC simplified data transfer gives Apple an incredible competitive advantage when they adopt the NFC technology and mobile apps are being developed.

[1] : http://www.abiresearch.com/press/nfc-will-come-out-of-the-trial-phase-in-2013-as-28