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Sprint working on its own mobile payment platform

Sprint working on its own mobile payment platform
With AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile opting to support ISIS over Google Wallet, Sprint is said by NFC Times to be considering offering its own mobile payment platform. That, of course, could 86 Google Wallet from future Sprint phones. The service, said to be called "Touch," would allow the nation's third largest carrier to build relationships with banks and service providers which it currently does not have. At the same time, Sprint would be able to control the development and distribution of API as well as security on the platform. Speaking of security, it is the security element on the NFC chip that would prevent Sprint from offering both "Touch" and Google Wallet at the same time.

The current landscape of mobile payment platforms in the U.S.

The current landscape of mobile payment platforms in the U.S.

The irony here is that Sprint is the only carrier that has so far offered a handset with Google Wallet pre-loaded. Verizon blocked the service from appearing on its version of the Samsung GALAXY Nexus. Now, Google is said to be working on Google Wallet 2.0 which will rely more on the cloud to pass along payments, promotions and offers. Google's acquisition of payment technologies company TxVia a few months ago was done to help Google Wallet improve its performance and gain more traction among carriers. TxVia specialties are gift and pre-paid cards which might reveal some of what the Mountain View based company has in mind. Whatever changes to Google Wallet will be announced at Google I/O later this month could all be moot unless Google gets carriers to sign up for its service. And now that Sprint is apparently working on "Touch," the one carrier that has supported Google Wallet could soon replace it with its own platform.

A Sprint source says that its "Touch" will be a legitimate challenger to ISIS, which is expected to launch in two cities this summer. The mobile operator was originally a member of the group that developed ISIS until it dropped out in 2010. Unlike the service to be offered by its three main competitors, Sprint will make "Touch" an open system with APIs made available to developers to use in apps. Additionally, ISIS will require the use of a SIM card for security while Sprint's platform will use an embedded chip. This is because Sprint is not as far along with the development of its LTE network to use a SIM card as a security element. T-Mobile, of course, is a GSM carrier as is AT&T and already has SIM cards in use.
"proud to be the first carrier to deliver Google Wallet. In keeping with our open approach, Sprint is actively working with others in the mobile payment ecosystem. We will continue to bring practical, easy-to-use mobile payment solutions to customers on Sprint devices, however, we do not have any news to share at this time.'-Sprint statement
Sprint currently offers five smartphones that support Google Wallet including the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III, the HTC EVO 4G, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus, the LG Optimus Elite and the LG Viper 4G LTE. Previously, the Google Nexus S 4G was the only Stateside model to offer Google Wallet and that model has now been discontinued by Sprint.

source: NFC Times, TheVerge via BGR

7 Comments
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posted on 08 Jun 2012, 19:28 3

1. ckingt4 (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Another terrible business decision by sprint. They just need to overhaul they're whole management team.

posted on 08 Jun 2012, 22:28 2

2. lsutigers (Posts: 758; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


Not so much....actually, this is a great idea. This will be a highly lucrative business in the next few years and Sprint doesn't want Google to eat the whole pie using 55+ million Sprint customers. I realize not all have NFC capable smartphones but that is their customer base. Google Wallet is fine for now but due to it's lack of traction, it's a good idea for Sprint to look into it's own mobile payment system to capitalize on the growth. Sprint is pretty good at being innovative, they know what they need to do to capture the attention of the big players, it all comes down to money. If they can offer an attractive fee based alternative to Google Wallet and ISIS, the banks / credit card companies will sign up. This is a "fee per transaction" model so there would be no reason for them not to do it.

posted on 09 Jun 2012, 16:06 1

3. ckingt4 (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 May 2012)


The fact that they are offering their own system instead of Google's or Isis means slower roll out and scarce availability. Reminds me of their choice of wimax knowing the rest of the world was dead set on lte.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 13:06 1

5. lsutigers (Posts: 758; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


I see your point but keep in mind that these banks or credit card companies dont have to support only 1 system, they can have agreements with Google, ISIS and Sprint. There really is no advantage to going exclusive to one system, say ISIS, particularly if the fee terms are more favorable with Sprint or Google. We shall see how this plays out but I think this is a good idea for Sprint.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 10:23

7. ckingt4 (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Thats definitely fair lsu. My big issue is the investment from sprint, this will not come without a price tag. Whereas with ISIS the investment is split and google wallet is Google sustained.

posted on 09 Jun 2012, 18:12

4. DonLouie (Posts: 594; Member since: 22 Dec 2008)


Some more goofy crap to waist money on, could see if this were the red monster or the blue ball. Improve my signal and get LTE up, this super slick EVO is underutilized....

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 13:58

6. Tynet (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


Since NFC, ISIS and Sprint's upcoming payment platform are all new, standardization is far from settled. I applauld Sprint's innovation and creativity. Once these companies get too big, they get too powerful and dictate the terms to consumers i.e. unlimited data plans. I like having choices and can appreciate Sprint's risk taking, because once AT&T and Verizon get you locked into a contract, they'll find more says to suck more money from you so kudos for them giving their customers different choices.

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