When Google launched Wallet last year, the company announced that it'd be partnering with Sprint on the service, and since then we've seen Wallet come preloaded on a number of Android-powered Sprint smartphones. If a new report is to be believed, though, Sprint is in the process of creating its own mobile wallet service dubbed "Touch." According to sources speaking to NFC Times, Sprint is working on signing up banks and service providers for Touch. Creating Touch would allow Sprint to develop relationships with those providers and would also let the carrier have control over its service. Sprint is reportedly planning to open up the APIs for the service to aid in the development of services.
So far Sprint and Google have been pretty close partners when it comes to Google Wallet, with Sprint even announcing plans to release 10 devices with Wallet preinstalled this year. While it's not clear whether Sprint would dump Google Wallet for its own rumored Touch service, Sprint would likely have a tough time getting both services to work on one phone with one secure element. It'd definitely be strange to see Sprint dump Wallet and start its own payment service considering how much support the Now Network has given Google's system (and the fact that the other three major carriers are already backing the ISIS system), but perhaps Sprint would like more control over the service it backs and the partners that make it up.
It's also worth noting that the same NFC Times report claims that Google is hard at work on a refresh of Google Wallet, referred to by some as "Google Wallet 2.0." With this new version, Google is said to be putting more focus on the cloud, utilizing it for payments, offers and other promotions. Other details of this purported Wallet revamp are still up in the air, but with Google I/O going down later this month, it may not be long before more light is shed on this situation. What do you all think of NFC mobile payments? Do you think it'd be a good idea for Sprint to create its own mobile payment service?