Sprint is apparently working on its own mobile payment platform.
Leaked details about a proprietary app that the carrier is working on called Sprint Touch show very similar functionality to Google Wallet, but without the Google Wallet branding.
If Sprint truly does push the nascent mobile payment platform aside, it will effectively kill off Google Wallet altogether.
In just the last couple of months, Paypal has wildly expanded its reach in the mobile market. It’s now possible for users to send money between phones through NFC swiping, customers can pay for their purchases at Home Depot retail locations with their Paypal accounts, and the company now offers a mobile credit card reader to deposit funds into their account in a real-life point-of-sale environment.
Google, meanwhile, has seen very little traction on Google Wallet, and now it is thinking of how to rebrand itself.
For starters, users are now given a $5 credit if they buy a Google Wallet prepaid card. Google is also considering a much bigger change wherein it will split revenue in a way that’s much more generous for everyone involved.
Google Wallet faces a lot of problems, not the least of which is just how limited its access is. The only major carrier that supports it is Sprint, and that’s something that is not likely to change any time soon since Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have joined up to create their own Google Wallet rival.
In addition, of course, users need to have a phone with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. That’s a huge limitation right now.
And finally, the only financial institution that supports Google Wallet is Citi. Users need to link a Citi credit card; not even Citibank debit cards are eligible. There’s an alternative way to get Google Wallet through a prepaid debit card, but that kind of defeats the purpose of making mobile payments simpler.