LG Uplus, the mobile carrier subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate, LG Corp, has joined hands with global partners in Japan, Taiwan and the United States to bring to their subscribers a blockchain powered overseas payment service.
As per the announcement made on Sunday, the trial services are scheduled to commence earlier in the coming year. It is based on a cross-carrier blockchain platform called CCPS (Cross-carrier Payment System), which enables the subscribers from one carrier to complete their purchase transactions on the payment networks of another carrier.
Prior to this announcement, LG UPlus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the new service alongside three global partners, on the 13th of September. Those global partners are, Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecommunications, Japan’s SoftBank, and U.S. based Silicon Valley startup, TBCASoft. The blockchain-based platform specifically will be developed by the later.
In essence, the launch of the service will enable Korean LG UPlus subscribers to go through with purchases at partner retailers in Taiwan and Japan via their cell phones. The payments service is based on the Rich Communications Service (RCS) global messaging standard.
A mobile customer based in Japan, for example, can travel to the USA and make a purchase in dollars via RCS
SoftBank explained in announcing the prototype of the service last week.
The RCS global messaging standard can also be conveniently used to send a payment. The flexibility of the CCPS blockchain API enables the recipient to use an RCS-based messaging app or legacy messaging service like SMS or mobile email, to receive person-to-person (P2P) money transfers through the RCS wallet app either in the same country or overseas
The Japanese telecom carrier added further.
CCPS will reportedly deploy blockchain to enable a prompt settlement mechanism in cross-carrier services. This will mean that users can avoid fees on overseas credit card transactions, and are insulated from the effects of fluctuating foreign exchange rates as they are ultimately billed through their carrier in their home currency.
Far EasTone, SoftBank and TBCASoft are among the initial founding members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), which is the global blockchain consortium of telecom carriers. Launched earlier in September 2017, the consortium is aimed at enabling the combined development of an innovative blockchain platform designed specifically for telecom carriers.
The CBSG seeks to provide telecom members and their customers with various services such as secured global digital payments, clearing and settlement, personal authentication, IoT applications and other services using the blockchain technology. Korea’s third-largest mobile carrier joined the consortium as a member in February.
Customers will have the benefit of an overseas payment system based on convenient, economical and secure blockchain technology. And in addition to the overseas payment solution, LG Uplus will continue to develop new business opportunities with CBSG blockchain and global telecom leaders.
Said Joo Young-joon, director of the mobile service unit at LG UPlus. Ling Wu, founder and CEO of TBCASoft and co-chairman of the CBSG Consortium further commented,
As the CBSG Consortium grows faster than expected, we are entering a new stage of launching real world trials that demonstrate the commercial readiness of the TBCASoft blockchain platform
According to him cross-carrier payment system is the first in a series of blockchain-based systems.