South Korean telecom company LG U+ revealed Sunday that it will be rolling out a new blockchain-based, cross-carrier payment system (CCPS) via partnerships with mobile carriers in Taiwan and Japan, according to The Korea Times.
The new system will allow LG U+ customers to buy products using their mobile phones at certain retailers in Taiwan and Japan using each respective country’s carrier payment networks and is the first time such an agreement has been made, according to The Korea Times.
LG U+ signed the memorandum of understanding with Far EasTone Telecommunications (Taiwan) and SoftBank (Japan) on Thursday last week. The agreement will work both ways, enabling customers on the Far EasTone network to make purchases on the LG U+ payment network while visiting Korea and Japan.
According to Youngjoon Joo, director of mobile services, LG U+:
“Customers will have the benefit of an overseas payment system based on convenient, economical and secure blockchain technology. In addition to the overseas payment solution, LG Uplus will continue to develop new business opportunities with CBSG blockchain and global telecom leaders.”
Inside the Three-Carrier CCPS Trial
All three telecom providers are part of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), a collective of carriers formed in 2017 to study the applications of blockchain technology on the mobile space. The CBSG has been steadily growing since its inception with Turkish carrier Turkcell signing on in July 2018.
Turkish telecom company Turkcell joins the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), which aims to provide digital services including safe digital payment, authentication and internet of things (IoT) applications to its members and customers https://t.co/xcjThudoWK
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) July 9, 2018
According to the announcement, the CCPS will allow customers participating in the system’s trial run to make payments on their mobile device, which will then be billed to their mobile account in their home currency, doing away with the hassle of exchange rates between the three country’s currencies and offering users a “friendlier payment service.”
U.S. company TBCASoft Inc., meanwhile, will supply the blockchain platform the necessary tools to run the CCPS. The trial run is reported to start in early 2019.
Daichi Nozaki, co-chairman of the CBSG Consortium, outlined the consortium’s hopes for the CCPS in an official press release, stating that while the number of mobile customers using their phones to go online is high, the amount of people using mobile devices to make payments is, comparatively, much lower. Nozaki thinks mobile payments systems offer a huge potential benefit, stating:
“Research reveals that consumers, businesses and the economy can benefit a great deal from shifting to mobile payments. Consumers can save time and boost productivity, while businesses can reduce costs and increase sales. Progress has been hampered by a lack of mobile payment infrastructure, services and security concerns.”
The 2019 three-carrier CCPS trial could potentially offer a way to boost consumer faith in a blockchain-based mobile payment system if it goes off successfully. Nozaki went on to express confidence that the CBSG Consortium would be able to construct a secure payment infrastructure, touting it as a way for more carriers to expand their reach into the global market.
“Leading carriers that want to create new services and extend them globally, beyond their established territories and markets, and in a way that is efficient and secure should look to join the CBSG Consortium.”
The CCPS is reportedly the first of multiple blockchain-based mobile measures to come, with identity and authentication measures to follow.
Cover Photo by Trevor Gerzen on Unsplash