softbank completes blockchain poc for cross-carrier mobile payments

softbank completes blockchain poc for cross-carrier mobile payments

japanese telecoms giant softbank corp. has completed a blockchain proof-of-concept (poc) that allows p2p mobile payments across different carriers.

softbank said on wednesday the technology was developed in partnership with blockchain startup tbcasoft, as well as synchronoss, a nasdaq-listed firm that delivered a sms-replacement communications protocol called rich communication service (rcs) in japan.

d on the announcement, the partners jointly created the blockchain-d poc, which notably integrates rcs with a distributed network deployed across participating carriers.

the system is intended to be deployed among mobile carriers in an effort to replace the traditional sms text messging system with a richer pool of features, such as sending multimedia content, documents and voices calls via carrier networks instead of mobile apps.

softbank further explained that, with a distribute network as a underlying technology, users can send funds stored in their wallets within the rcs system from one carrier to another in a peer-to-peer fashion – which would be especially useful when traveling abroad.

softbank corp. vice president takeshi fukuizumi commented in the announcement:

"this rcs and blockchain d 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 traveling habits."

the effort comes a year after softbank, tbcasoft and several global major carriers formed a carrier blockchain study group with the goal of developing a cross-carrier blockchain payments service. others joining the consortium at the time included u.s.-d carrier sprint and fareastone, one of largest operators in taiwan.