Get a free smoothie for an NFC tap

Jamba Juice partners with Isis to help spread use of NFC-ready mobile wallet smartphones

Up to one million Jamba Juice smoothies will go to Isis mobile wallet smartphone users later this year, when Isis takes its NFC-ready technology to the national stage.

The free smoothie will be available to users of Near Field Communication-enabled smartphones equipped with a special SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) from an Isis joint venture partner -- AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless. The user needs to download the Isis Mobile Wallet and use the phone to pay a bill at a Jamba Juice outlet by tapping the phone at an NFC payment terminal.

Jamba Juice said it is rolling out NFC-ready payment terminals at its locations nationwide. The terminals are equipped with proprietary SmartTap technology from Isis.

The mobile wallet app allows payments and use of loyalty cards and coupons.

Mobile wallet technology based on NFC chips in phones is off to a slow start in the U.S. Many experts expected that Apple would embrace the technology in its new iPhone 5S and 5C smartphones, but it did not.

Isis hasn't commented about Apple's move, but is pressing ahead with taking the Isis payment system national after it mounting the technology in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. Isis didn't give a date for when it plans to go national.

An Isis spokesman said that Isis will support iOS devices later this year, with addition of a special iPhone sleeve that lets the products work with NFC.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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