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Leaked slides reveal Sprint's intent to launch its own mobile wallet app


News by Dan Seifert on Tuesday June 12, 2012.

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Sprint has been the lone official carrier partner of Google's Wallet mobile payment service since Wallet launched last year, but it appears that the carrier intends to offer a mobile payment service of its own in the near future. Presentation slides detailing a Sprint Touch Wallet app have leaked to the internet, making us question what Sprint and Google's relationship will look like going forward.

The slides, obtained by Android Central, detail how the yet-to-be-announced Sprint Touch Wallet app for Android smartphones will work. Like the Google Wallet app, the Sprint Touch Wallet app uses the phone's Near Field Communications (NFC) features to make payments at participating retailers. The app features PIN code security, can handle multiple payment cards, and also appears to support loyalty cards. Yes, it seems to take everything right from Google Wallet's playbook.

It is not yet clear which retailers Sprint has made deals with for the Touch Wallet app, but the slides hint that McDonald's, Target, Starbucks, and others are possibly on board. It is also not clear which banking institutions Sprint has worked with, or when the carrier intends to launch the actual app.

Google Wallet has had a lot of difficultly gaining traction since its launch last year, and it is currently only officially supported on Sprint's Android devices. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile have stayed away from supporting Google Wallet since their mobile payment joint-venture Isis is due to launch later this year. Further crowding the space, Apple's recent announcement of its new Passbook app for iOS 6 leads many to believe that it will launch an NFC-based mobile payments system of its own, perhaps with the launch of the next iPhone.

With Sprint planning to launch its own mobile payment service on its Android devices, it makes us a bit worried for the future of Google Wallet. Sprint's app will compete directly with Google Wallet on its Android smartphones, and the carrier could certainly opt to drop support for Google Wallet if it so chooses. Time will tell if this will happen or if both options will coexist peacefully, but this isn't exactly great news for Google Wallet.

source: Android Central

 
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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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