Texas based AT&T is moving to make large scale 'pay by phone' systems a reality with the release of it's 'Isis Mobile Wallet' system, 1200 WOAI news reports.
AT&T San Antonio spokeswoman Lisa Marie Gomez says the system will use Near Field Communication technology to allow customers to pay for items from stores to restaurants simply by waving their phone in front of a reader device which is being installed in hundreds of thousands of retail establishments.
The system only works on Android operating systems and with American Express and Chase Bank cards, but Gomez says both of those systems are being expanded to include iPhones, and also include other banks.
She says paying by telephone just makes sense.
"Everybody takes their phone with them everywhere they go," Gomez says. "You can't walk into a Starbucks anymore without seeing everybody on their phone, checking their text, checking their e-mail."
She says AT&T customers will go to an AT&T store to have a special SIM card installed in their phones. The user will then turn on Near Field Communications, download the free Isis Mobile Waller app from Google Play, and use it to connect the system to a credit or debit card.
She says you can set it to bill purchases to either your credit or debit card, and she says the coolest way it can be used is at vending machines.
"You no longer have to dig into your pockets to look for coins, in your mattress or in your couch," she said.
She says the process will include a password to make sure that the phone has not been swiped and is being used by an unauthorized person.
"You have a special code that you punch in, just like the PIN number you use with your debit card," she said.
She says the retailers which are wired to accept Isis Mobile Wallet will have logos in place near the cash register.
This will enable customers to pay without having to bring a credit or debit card to the retail outlet, making the process more secure.