Sprint aims to ease access to NFC

The carrier's new Pinsight Touch platform could help developers and mobile users more readily tap into near-field communications.


Sprint is trying to offer its subscribers a smoother way to take advantage of NFC technology for making mobile payments.

A new platform called Pinsight Touch promises to securely store and access a user's credentials on a mobile device. Users with touch-enabled NFC, or near-field communications, smartphones can turn on the technology by answering "yes" to an opt-in question from mobile apps offered by credit card providers and other issuers. The user's credentials are then securely shared with other trusted apps, Sprint said in a blog posted Thursday.

Sprint already sells a variety of NFC-equipped smartphones, with more expected this year and next.

Pinsight Touch also opens the door for developers to more easily add NFC support to their mobile apps. The process is much more streamlined than the current method, which requires extra hardware and apps and customer questionnaires, according to Sprint.

Despite its push from mobile and financial companies, NFC has yet to truly take off.

The slow adoption is partly due to the lack of widespread support across the various industries. But consumers have also expressed concerns over security issues involved in using their phones as mobile wallets. Sprint and other companies still have their work cut out for them in convincing enough people that NFC is safe, reliable, and secure.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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