Written by Samburaj Das, edited by Bruce Robin
LG Uplus, the cellular carrier subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate LG Corp., is set to trial a cross-carrier blockchain payments service for overseas travelers.
Dubbed the ‘Cross-Carrier Payment System’ (CCPS), the project sees the LG mobile carrier arm collaborate with partners in Japan, Taiwan and the United States to enable global mobile payment services among global telecommunication carriers, LG Uplus said on Sunday.
LG Uplus has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecom and Japanese giant Softbank to partner for the trial scheduled to begin in early 2019, the Korea Times reports.
The blockchain platform, specifically, will be developed by U.S.-based Silicon Valley startup TBCASoft.
In essence, the rollout of the service will enable Korean subscribers of LG Uplus to make purchases at partner retailers in Taiwan and Japan using their mobile 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.
With transactions billed and paid through their carrier in their home currency, the ‘direct carrier billing service’ will similarly allow EasTone and Softbank subscribers to use the service for payments when travelling to Japan, Korea and Taiwan. This will help save on overseas credit card markups that include foreign exchange fees, the trio said.
LG Uplus’ mobile service unit director Joo Young-joon said:
“Customers will have the benefit of an overseas payment system based on convenient, economical and secure blockchain technology.”
TBCASoft, SoftBank and Far EasTone are also founding members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) consortium, a global working group of telecom carriers launched in September 2017. Their namesake product, the CBSG blockchain, is also looking at scaling beyond payments to identity and authentication for subscribers.
“And in addition to the overseas payment solution, LG Uplus will continue to develop new business opportunities with CBSG blockchain and global telecom leaders,” LG Uplus’ Joo Young-joon added.
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