American Express teams with Isis payment network

Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have officially joined Isis in a move that will ultimately provide merchants and consumers with a freedom of choice when it comes to payment network acceptance.

Isis, the mobile payment network joint venture formed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, said the new relationships with all four payments networks will not only expand the payment options available to mobile subscribers but also extend the network’s reach to include payment terminals already installed at U.S. merchant locations, according to

Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA first announced Isis in late 2010. The original plan was to team with Discover and use Isis’s own Near Field Communications-based contactless payment network designed to compete with Visa and MasterCard.

In May, Isis decided to align its technology with the existing m-payment infrastructure and opened its system to all interested credit issuers and banks, reports.

The Durbin Amendment was also a factor in the Isis decision to open up its system because the new regulation targets profits for payment processing.

Isis will team with local merchants and business leaders in Salt Lake City to roll out a pilot program scheduled to go live next year. Isis has identified Austin, Texas, as its second launch market.

Isis will compete with other rival mobile commerce initiatives such as PayPal, the startup Square and the new Google Wallet, which involves a team of Google, Sprint, MasterCard, Citi and First Data, according to  

Juniper Research analysts have predicted that Near Field Communications-based mobile transactions will reach nearly $50 billion worldwide by 2014.

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