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Isis is focusing on its mobile wallet and letting partners such as merchant acquirers add most acceptance locations rather than building a network itself as it originally planned. The announcement about Austin “is one of the first tangible signs that they are accelerating their move in one way or another,” says mobile-payments consultant Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group LLC.

Still, Isis must deal with powerful rivals, including Google, which announced an NFC-based marketing and payments system last month, as well as specialty players, the big payment networks and PayPal Inc. PayPal last week doubled its 2011 mobile-payments volume projection to $3 billion.

Digital Transactions, June 27, 2011