One for All #VZWBuzz

isis-mobile-wallet-google-playI don’t know about you but the new year is always a great time to consolidate and overall, make life easier.  A big part of clean up for this mom is cleaning up the wallet.  That means filing away receipts and throwing away irrelevant ones, throwing out expired cards and filing away ones that aren’t often used.  The problem with that one is that when you do need them… well you don’t have it at hand.  For me that really defeats the purpose, but a too full wallet isn’t fun to carry either when you’re armed with a huge diaper bag filled with basics and really could use more room for more.

Many programs and apps have come to play in the field of simplifying the wallet.  There was CardStar and Key Ring, putting all those membership rewards cards right on your phone.  Later came Passbook which I never really heard much from.

coin_productMore recently though, the options for a more simplified mobile wallet has really become a hot topic with the launch of COIN and the ISIS Mobile Wallet.  I have to say I was definitely attracted to the flashiness of COIN, a device that looks exactly like a credit card, but holds multiple cards as well as loyalty cards.  The concept sounded brilliant!  The fact that it does look a lot like the Amex Black Card doesn’t hurt either.  I admit, I bought into it, signing myself up for 2 cards in their pre-sale.  Definitely a case of blindsided by bling.  After a little post research, I realized that COIN might have a few issues.  For one thing, it’s tied to your mobile phone.  If you forgot your phone at home, well, basically you not only have no phone, you also have no money either.  BOO to both!  Which also made me think, what if you didn’t forget your phone but it simply ran out of battery?!  OMG, like that doesn’t happen to me all the time.  I have to keep a charger with me all the time because this social media mom really works the battery like no other! Well if I’m out of juice, my COIN will think I left it behind and well… deactivate.  So now I have a dead phone and once again, no money.  Let’s hope I never get stranded anywhere! While COIN figures out those kinks, I learned about ISIS mobile wallet.

If it wasn’t for the fact I was a Verizon Lifestyle Blogger, I might not have stumbled on ISIS.  For that I would have been sad.  It’s got all the features of COIN, but all integrated into your near field communication enabled phone with an enhanced SIM card.  While that sounds like you need a lot, you’d be surprised how many phones actually come with this included like my favorite Motorola Droid Mini.   The enhanced SIM card provides reliable security, storing and protecting your payment information.  Making me feel even more comfortable with this mobile wallet application was that fact that ISIS Mobile Wallet is a collaboration between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless bringing together leading banks, payment networks, merchants and wireless service providers to create an open mobile payment and commerce system. 

Isis-MobileA few years ago I remember Chase integrating Near Field Communication.  I used it once before reading a rumor that people could easily steal your information just bu bumping into you.  Still unsure of any truths to that, but the Isis Mobile Wallet is super safe. As the cashier rings up your purchase, open up the Isis Mobile Wallet app and enter your PIN. Select the payment card you want to use, then hold the back of your phone over the Contactless Symbol on the terminal. Your Wallet will transmit payment details via Near Field Communication (NFC). Confirm that your payment is received on the terminal or with the cashier.  It’s very much like using your debit card at the terminal, but now you only need your phone.  Current participating cards are American Express, Chase or Wells Fargo credit card and get all the same perks and protection from your card issuer.  You can also set up an American Express Serve Account that you can add money to with your preferred credit card, debit card or U.S. bank account if you don’t have those.

I think it’s simply brilliant, after all, the one thing I NEVER forget is me phone.  I think I’d be completely lost without it.

Taking it one step further it also stores your loyalty cards, like COIN and other programs, but aims to provided additional added value with special ISIS only offers for loyalty programs users through Clip to ISIS, SmartTap and Save with ISIS.  While both are fairly new to the market, I’m excited to actually play with the ISIS Mobile Wallet, available now as a FREE app (COIN to arrive Summer 2014) and take some weight out of my wallet.

{ Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Blogger program, I received a Motorola Droid Mini to review. As always, all opinions are my own. }