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Isis, the object of skepticism this summer because of delays in rolling out its mobile-payment system based on near-field communication (NFC) technology, might be about to gain some traction thanks to a new agreement with vending-machine payments provider USA Technologies Inc. (USAT). In a little-noticed disclosure last week, Malvern, Pa-based USAT said it and Isis had struck a marketing agreement to bring Isis contactless-payment acceptance to up to 7,500 vending machines in Isis’s two test cities, Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City.

Consultant Todd Ablowitz of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group says that by recruiting vending machine owners for mobile-payment acceptance, Isis and USAT are following a path trod by Visa and MasterCard as they tried to develop contactless card payments. “It’s what must be done when you don’t have enough consumers and you want to expand your merchant footprint,” he says.

Digital Transactions, September 27, 2012