Summary:

Momentum around mobile payments continues to build as Sprint (NYSE: S) signaled its intention to jump into the race to build systems around…

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Momentum around mobile payments continues to build as Sprint (NYSE: S) signaled its intention to jump into the race to build systems around the NFC (near-field communications) technology.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Sprint said it planned to build a network of merchants and phone makers that would allow Sprint customers to use their phones as wireless wallets. It’s just the latest company to declare its intention to tackle mobile payments, which after years of mere talk are actually starting to look promising given the support of prominent mobile companies like Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and payment processors like Mastercard and Visa.

Sprint’s challenge is that it’s going down this road alone. Its competitors in the wireless industry-AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon, and T-Mobile-are all part of joint mobile payments venture called Isis, which last November said it hoped to have a system up and running over an 18-month period. But Sprint told Bloomberg that it hoped to beat Isis to the punch with a working system available this year.

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