Sprint, American Express partner on mobile wallet

Sprint nabs a second mobile-payment partnership following its part in the Google Wallet announcement.

Sprint Nextel said today it will support American Express' mobile-wallet application as the carrier continues to put its stamp on the mobile-payments world.

Sprint's Nexus S is the first phone to work with Google Wallet. Sprint Nextel

Sprint said today that its Android phones would be the first to use American Express' Serve mobile-payment application, unveiled in March. People can use the app to transfer funds between Serve accounts, make purchases at participating merchants, and pay their Sprint bill. In the future, the app will allow consumers to redeem offers on goods and services.

It marks the second major mobile-payment deal for the carrier, which also played a role in the debut of Google Wallet. The company is moving forward on allowing people to make financial transactions on their phones even as its rivals lag behind on a slower moving joint venture.

A deal between Sprint and American Express isn't surprising. American Express's head of enterprise growth is Dan Schulman, former Virgin Mobile chief executive and head of Sprint's prepaid business.

The partnership comes as Google races to push out its Wallet service, which boasts an impressive collection of allies, including Sprint, payment-infrastructure provider Verifone, MasterCard, and a host of retailers. The service begins in select cities this summer.

Last week, PayPal showed off its tap-to-pay app that allows for the transfer of money by using Sprint's Nexus S phone, which is manufactured by Samsung Electronics.

The other wireless carriers, meanwhile, are in a joint venture called ISIS that is also working to build a prepaid a mobile-payment system. It plans to hold its first trials next year.

Serve will be available this summer, although no specific date was provided.

 

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