If you’ve ever wondered why mobile payments have yet to catch on in a big way, and why your NFC-supporting Android doesn’t give you easy access to Google Wallet: blame the carriers. From the outset, they’ve wormed their way into mobile payments with a fervor we haven’t seen shared with any other app category. With AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all lined-up to introduce their own Isis system, only Sprint has been willing to let Google bring its app to devices on the carrier’s network. Could that all be about to change, though? A new report says that Sprint, too, has been developing its own NFC system, and one that could force Google Wallet off the carrier’s phones.
Supposedly, Sprint’s system would be called Touch. Don’t expect it to offer any benefits beyond what you can already do with Google Wallet; the whole point is to get Sprint involved with the financial transactions, not to make things any better for you, the end user.
The problem with Touch and Google Wallet is that only one can have control over the “secure element” in NFC phones (the same one we’ve seen cause headache after headache). That means that once Touch gets here, you can kiss Google Wallet goodbye.
If this news makes you a little angry, that’s because it probably should; no one likes being told what to do, or have companies that are ostensibly working for them (you subscribers are the ones paying Sprint, after all, not vice versa) act like you don’t know what you want from your own phone.