Sprint is already working on an NFC payment system for 2011 and this will enable users to use their phones to “tap to pay.”
The news comes via Bloomberg and it shows that the Sprint NFC payment system should be released before its rivals roll out competing solutions. Who’s trying to compete? Well, just about everybody.
“We intend to make this an open solution where consumers can use their phone in a variety of physical locations,” said Kevin McGinnis, VP of Sprint product platforms, in an interview. “Because we’re allowing other brands and other institutions to participate, they can also tell their consumers that this is available on Sprint.”
Sprint is the only major U.S. carrier that didn’t commit to ISIS, a joint venture which is aimed at making mobile payments a reality with NFC technology. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have more than 220 million combined users, so this will be a major push for mobile payments.
It’s not just the carriers though, as it seems everyone is jumping at the chance to make your phone your wallet. Google is building out a mobile payment system that will launch this year and it has baked in support for NFC in Android 2.3 Gingerbread (too bad many of the new Gingerbread handsets don’t have NFC).
There’s also reports that Amazon is looking to get into the mobile payment space with NFC. We also know that Apple is chomping at the bit to extend its iTunes ecosystem and mobile payments would give it another massive revenue share. When you also throw in the likes of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, this is going to be a crowded space that probably won’t be resolved for a while.
Well, at least with all this interest I can finally say that your phone will soon become your wallet and mean it.