The Tokyo-based telecoms carrier Softbank has announced it successfully finished a blockchain proof-of-concept (PoC) that enables P2P transactions via a cross-carrier mobile payments platform.
Developed in partnership with a Californian blockchain technology startup TBCASoft and a multi-channel transaction management solutions provider Synchronoss, the service will let users to conduct in-store and digital purchases via mobile devices. For example, Japan-based users can travel to the US and make payments with dollars during their stay there.
The solution is based on the Rich Communication Services (RCS), a global communication standard that is expected to replace existing text messages with an alternative system that enables the transfer of multimedia, integration with apps, voice calls, and mobile payments.
The platform supports the use of blockchain APIs that lets payment recipients to use an RCS-based messaging app or traditional SMS and mobile email services to get money transfers via the RCS wallet app in the same country or overseas. The use of RCS together with blockchain technology is likely to transform mobile payments, allowing users to send money stored in their wallet from one carrier to another.
“This RCS and blockchain based mobile payments PoC demonstrates the value operator-led services can deliver,” said Softbank’s Vice President, Takeshi Fukuizumi. “Not only do we foresee our new mobile payment service empowering merchants to operate digitally, and at a scale that was previously only available to big brands, but it will also give our customers more flexibility when it comes to their purchasing and traveling habits.”
Last year, SoftBank, together with TBCASoft and other global carriers like the US-based carrier Sprint and Taiwan’s leading operator FarEasTone, established the world consortium Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG). The goal of the group is to develop Cross-Carrier Payment Service (CCPS), a cross-carrier blockchain payments solution that was implemented through the PoC.
“Our PoC demonstrates how SoftBank is at the forefront in bringing to market new cutting edge technology through the use of blockchain as well as new RCS-based mobile services, which will disrupt the current messaging and payments market, creating new opportunities for customers, brands, and businesses – and which will also drive incremental revenue for operators from messaging,” said Synchronoss CEO, Glenn Lurie.
“RCS messaging will become the foundation for a new, feature-rich marketplace for brands and merchants, both large and small, to interact with subscribers. With our expertise and global reach across multiple messaging platforms – not only RCS, but also email, IM, MMS and SMS, Synchronoss is ideally positioned to take advantage of this important new trend in mobile,” he added.
The PoC for the system will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress Americas conference that will be held in Los Angeles this week.