Japanese tech giant SoftBank is developing a blockchain-powered cross-carrier mobile payments service, the company reported in an official press release published September 12th.
SoftBank’s new proof-of-concept (PoC) development was announced in partnership with telecoms-focused blockchain firm TBCASoft and Synchronoss Technologies, provider of cloud, messaging, digital, and Internet of Things (IoT) services and platforms.
The upcoming mobile payment service will be based on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) global messaging standard and TBCASoft’s cross-carrier blockchain platform. The service will will enable users to conduct peer-to-peer money transfers globally, as well as to carry out internal purchases directly from their device via the RCS wallet application, or a legacy messaging service like SMS or email.
The three companies have successfully completed a mobile payments service PoC that is designed to allow users to make a range of in-store, mobile and digital purchases directly from their device. A mobile customer based in Japan, for example, can travel to the USA and make a purchase in dollars via RCS, which is supported by SoftBank and Synchronoss. 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.
Commenting on the announcement, Takeshi Fukuizumi, Vice President of Softbank Corp., said:
This RCS and blockchain based mobile payments PoC demonstrates the value operator-led services can deliver. 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 travelling habits.
Disrupting the Messaging and Payments Space
According to Synchronoss CEO and president Glenn Lurie, the upcoming blockchain-powered RCS mobile service will disrupt the current messaging and payments market. He explained that SoftBank is at the forefront of bringing to market new cutting edge technology.
According to CoinDesk, there are more startups that have come up with such concepts like Zulu Republic a startup that launched a platform for Litecoin (LTC) transactions via encrypted messenger Telegram, which is also planning to introduce LTC transactions via SMS to support users with poor Internet connections.
Earlier in August, US software firm Intuit was granted a patent for processing Bitcoin (BTC) payments via SMS. The patent was reportedly filed in the same year that Intuit’s DIY tax solution QuickBooks partnered with BitPay to enable business clients to pay their invoices in Bitcoin.
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Do you think the upcoming blockchain-powered RCS mobile service will disrupt the current messaging and payments market space? Let us know in the comments section.