Boost Mobile’s Wallet Packs One-Two Punch (May 23, 2013)
May 23, 2013
Sprint’s Boost Mobile is taking a page out of O2’s playbook in the U.K.—launching a mobile wallet for online transactions with a companion prepaid Visa card for use at brick-and-mortar locations. One of the first telcos in the U.S. to launch its own wallet—AT&T Mobility, Verizon and T-Mobile have joined together on Isis—Boost Mobile, Sprint’s prepaid wireless phone service, said its mobile wallet is rolling out initially in Los Angeles, San Diego and some regions of New Jersey, with national availability coming this summer. Wipit Inc., which specializes in mobile apps for underbanked consumers, developed Boost Mobile’s mobile wallet app and supports its prepaid card. Sprint, a Google Wallet partner, reportedly is considering adding a mobile wallet to its other wireless brand, Virgin Mobile USA, and its core Sprint brand.
Through the app, available through the Google Play store for Android smartphones, users can transfer funds to 135 countries via Ria Financial Services. Fees for that service vary, Sprint said. Mobile wallet users also may pay bills through Boost Mobile’s app, with fees ranging from $2 to $5 per transaction. Users also receive one free ATM withdrawal per month via the MoneyPass network; subsequent ATM withdrawals are $2 each. The fee to reload cash to the account is $3 at Boost Mobile retail outlets; users may use the account to top up Boost wireless accounts at no charge. Sprint promises a remote check deposit feature is coming soon.
The prepaid card may prove useful to Sprint’s Boost Mobile customers, many of whom may not have bank accounts. And, given Boost Mobile’s readymade customer base, who are used to prepaying, the card/mobile wallet combo could generate revenue and increase loyalty for Boost.