Isis' plan to jump-start mobile payments: 1M free smoothies

The mobile payments joint venture is partner with Jamba Juice to give free smoothies to customers who pay with their smartphones.

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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng

Isis, the carrier joint venture pushing mobile payments out in the market, said Wednesday that it will give away 1 million smoothies through a partnership with Jamba Juice.

Jamba Juice will give away the smoothies to customers who pay with their smartphones using their Isis mobile wallet.

The promotion is part of a campaign to jump-start interest in mobile payments and will coincide later this year with the national roll out of Isis. The venture has been testing mobile payments using phones equipped with technology called Near-Field Communication that can be read at NFC-equipped point-of-sale terminals. So far, the trials were limited to Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City.

Isis, owned by Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile, had been quietly toiling away in those two markets, but in July said that it was ready to roll out its service across the nation. As part of the expansion, Jamba Juice will deploy NFC-enabled terminals in stores across the country.

While the carriers have a number of phones in their line up that have NFC, including the Galaxy S4, other high-profile devices have opted to skip out on the technology. Apple's iPhone, for instance, does not use the technology and won't work without a separate NFC-enabled sleeve.

Isis is just one of several ventures pushing mobile payments, including Google and its Google Wallet initiative. So far, consumers haven't embraced mobile payment.