Sprint’s NFC Answer to Isis (Oct. 7, 2013)
When Isis, backed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Verizon, was announced nearly three years ago, Sprint was notably missing from the group of top U.S. telcos involved in the mobile wallet project. Late last week, however, the Overland Park, Kan.-based company launched what could be considered its answer to Isis—Pinsight Touch, a nationwide, open platform for storing and accessing credentials on a mobile device.
“We created Pinsight Touch because we believe issuers and merchants should have the flexibility to offer innovative technologies without having to compromise their brand and their relationships with customers,” a Sprint spokesperson tells Paybefore. “It is the only mobile payment service from a U.S. carrier providing a direct path for brands and credential issuers to NFC-enable their own branded applications and share secured access to those credentials with other trusted applications. Unlike other solutions in the space, no extra hardware, such as SIM chips, additional downloads or extra clicks are required, resulting in smoother customer adoption as defined by the issuer,” he says.
Sprint also has partnered with Sequent, a Redwood City, Calif.-based Trusted Service Manager software and services platform provider, so that application developers can easily add NFC functionality into the branded mobile applications consumers already use, Sprint said.
Pinsight Touch will be successful if NFC is successful, according to Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst with Aite Group. Unlike AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which need Isis to be successful, “Sprint would be happy if any NFC wallet succeeds,” he adds.
“Sprint is trying to be agnostic to developers. As long as there is need for NFC, then Sprint can be the landlord of the secure element on the phone,” Oglesby continues. “This is different from competitors, whose current strategy is to enable NFC and also to try to be the developer that is most successful at attracting consumers to their application.”