US mobile operator Sprint is planning to roll out its own near field communications (NFC) enabled mobile payments service ahead of Isis, the joint venture from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, reports Read Write Web.
The operator is also touting its more open business model as a key differentiator between the two carrier-led mobile wallet solutions.
“We intend to make this an open solution where consumers can use their phone in a variety of physical locations,” says Kevin McGinnis, Sprint's VP of product platforms.
The effort may give Sprint an advantage in attracting new customers and compelling existing ones to upgrade to the tap-and-go handsets, states Bloomberg.
Richard Crone, president of Crone Consulting, says about 150 000 US merchant locations are enabled for NFC payments today, compared with about six million that accept traditional credit-card payments.
Microsoft and Amazon are both working on services to enable NFC, and later this year Google is set to release its NFC-enabled Samsung Nexus S handset.
According to Mobile Marketing Watch, ABI Research estimates that the number of phones with NFC will double in 2012 (from 35 million shipped in 2011). In 2014, 340 million global mobile users will use mobile payments, Gartner speculates, with transactions totalling $245 billion (bettering $32 billion last year).
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