A trio of technology companies including SoftBank, Uber’s biggest shareholder, has trialed a global payment service using a blockchain platform.
Synchronoss Technologies, Inc., an IoT and messaging provider, has teamed with Japan-based telecom carrier SoftBank Corp. and blockchain technology provider TBCASoft Inc. on a cross-carrier payment service (CCPS) that will use TBCASoft’s blockchain platform and the Rich Communication Services (RCS) global messaging standard.
TBCASoft and SoftBank have partnered under the Carrier Blockchain Study Group while Synchronos’ platform, which covers email, SMS and RCS, launched earlier this year.
Proof Of Concept Completed
The partners have completed a mobile payment proof of concept enabling users to purchase directly from their device, either via mobile or in-store. A customer can travel from Japan to the U.S and make a purchase in dollars via RCS, supported by Synchronos and SoftBank. Payments can also be made using the RCS global messaging standard.
The CCPS blockchain API allows a recipient to use legacy messaging services such as mobile email or SMS for receiving P2P money transfers via the RCS app, in the same country or from overseas.
“This RCS and blockchain based mobile payments PoC demonstrates the value operator-led services can deliver,” Takeshi Fukuizumi, vice president of Softbank Corp., said in a prepared statement. “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.”
RCS Messaging To Impact Commerce
“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,” added Glenn Lurie, Synchronoss CEO and president. He added that RCS messaging will become the foundation for a feature-rich marketplace for brands and merchants to interact with subscribers.
Ling Wu, the founder and CEO of TBCASoft, noted that more communication service providers are looking to blockchain technology for new features and services, such as secured clearing and settlement, personal authentication and IoT applications.
“In today’s digital economy, blockchain lets CSPs create new services and then extend them globally, beyond their established territories and markets, in a way that’s efficient and secure,” Wu said. “The success of this PoC proves that our cross-carrier blockchain platform can help CSPs leverage common standards like RCS to deliver disruptive services to their customers.”