Telecommunications firm Sprint and e-payments outfit eONE Global have entered a partnership to establish a wireless payments network in the United States which will allow customers to purchase goods and services using their mobile phone.
Earlier this year, European mobile operators Vodafone and T-Mobile announced similar intentions to launch an interoperable mobile payments platform. Both companies are also working with eONE Global.
The US payment platform will enable wireless customers to store their personal details and preferred payment options - including credit cards, debit cards and stored value accounts - in a virtual wallet. Customers then choose which payment method to use when making payments via their mobile phone, similar to undertaking a transaction from a conventional wallet.
Both Sprint and eONE Global envisage a gradual migration of mobile payment applications starting with micro-payments for mobile Internet purchases and retail micro-payments, and eventually macro-payments at the point-of-sale.
eONE Global's subsidiary, Encorus Technologies, will supply the underlying technology for the open standard platform including multiple channel access, authentication, routing and settlement of transactions. Payment processing will be provided by First Data, an eONE Global affiliate.
Sprint and eONE Global say they will actively seek other US operators to join them in developing the mobile payments network.
Garen Staglin, president and CEO of eONE Global, comments: "Mobile operators are in a great position to establish a standard for mobile payments given their consumer relationships. We believe the timing is right to invest in building this network with Sprint and other mobile operators with the goal of accelerating m-commerce in the US."