With the news last week that Amazon was thinking about getting involved with NFC-based payment processing, it really started to feel like nearly every entity involved with smartphones had its own plan for making this idea a reality. Besides Amazon, Google and some of the carriers have reportedly been working on their own systems for letting you use a smartphone to authorize payments. Sprint may beat them all to the punch, as the company has revealed its strategy for debuting a NFC payment system before the year’s out.
The Nexus S 4G is on its way to Sprint, giving the carrier its first foray into NFC-equipped smartphones. Sprint plans to let you store your payment information in its system, then use the phone’s NFC transceiver each time you wish to authorize a payment. While Google is reportedly thinking about a system where it wouldn’t charge any transaction fees, but instead use the purchase data for ad-targeting, Sprint has a slightly different plan to monetize its system. It also won’t collect any fees directly, but will charge companies to deliver coupons to potential customers using its system.
We still need to have more NFC-enabled smartphones for one of these systems to really take off, but whoever gets one out door first is going to have a huge advantage further down the road. If Sprint can make this happen, it may be the one that ends up shaping the future of mobile payments.