Interesting news coming out of CTIA, including the announcement of Boost Mobile’s new digital wallet. Kevin Fritchard over at GigaOm provides a great synopsis of the news based on an interview with Sprint’s Kevin McGinnis that is well worth a read.
Boost Mobile is one of Sprint’s prepaid service providers and their new Mobile Wallet announced at CTIA enables transfers, e-bill payments, wire transfers, e-top up and soon, the ability to load checks directly from the mobile phone with instant access to approved funds. The target for these services is the 8% of Americans that don’t have a bank account, and the more than 20% of U.S. household that rely on alternative financial services.
As a strategy, this is truly a market sweet spot, as these consumers don’t have plastic or ready access to other payment methods. Additionally, they are the target market for Boost which helps to greatly lessen typical barriers to adoption. The Boost Mobile Wallet application is a free download in the Google Play Store, and the service is now available at select retailers in Los Angeles, San Diego and parts of New Jersey. A full rollout will happen over the summer and through the end of 2013.
What’s interesting is that Sprint has indicated that this is just the start for mobile wallets as an offering, and they expect to move the services over to customers with traditional contracts. Adoption there may be more complex as these consumers are well equipped with debit cards and other plastic.
We will be keeping a keen eye on Boost Mobile’s mobile wallet roll out in the coming months to see how it develops and spreads through the Sprint ecosystem.