Despite being the only carrier partner for Google’s cellphone-based NFC payment system in the US, we’d heard that Sprint was planning to launch its own digital wallet service. Well, some leaked presentation slides posted on Android Central both apparently confirm its existence, and hint at the design and functionality of the as-yet unannounced service, which will apparently go by the name Sprint Touch.
According to the slides, when you want to access your Touch wallet info you will be required to enter a passcode, then shown a quick animation of the wallet unlocking. You'll then be taken to one of two screens, depending on whether you simply opened the application, or tapped the phone to pay for something. After your transaction is complete you’re shown another animation of your wallet locking back up. On the surface it looks more or less the same as Google Wallet, just with an extra helping of skeumorphism.
Big name logos, but it doesn't mean the companies are partners
Predictably, loyalty programs look to be part of the package, and a second slide shows a Sprint Touch wallet holding Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Barnes & Noble rewards cards. Of course, just because the companies’ logos are featured in some internal presentation slides doesn’t mean they’ll be partners when the service launches, but it’s probably a good indication.
Launching another new digital wallet service will certainly be a challenge for Sprint, with Google Wallet struggling to gain traction, and Isis — which is backed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile — already launching this year in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. Also, Apple is going after loyalty programs aggressively with iOS 6, and Visa is launching its own digital wallet this year. While none of the services are what we'd call entrenched, without the right banking partners it won't be an easy fight for the number three carrier.