SoftBank Builds Blockchain Mobile Payments Proof Of Concept

Japanese telecom carrier SoftBank has announced a partnership with Synchronoss and TBCASoft on a Proof of Concept (PoC) for a new cross-carrier mobile payments service. The service is based on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) global messaging standard and TBCASoft’s cross-carrier blockchain platform. It will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress Americas conference this week in Los Angeles, CA.

For its part, Synchronoss has delivered a secure multi-channel communications platform covering SMS, email and RCS. TBCASoft has been working with SoftBank to create a cross-carrier blockchain platform called Cross-Carrier Payment Service (CCPS), which carries out mobile payment services among global telecommunication carriers.

“This RCS and blockchain-based mobile payments PoC demonstrates the value operator-led services can deliver,” Takeshi Fukuizumi, vice president of SoftBank, said in a press release. “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 PoC enables users to make a variety of in-store, mobile and digital purchases directly from their device. For example, a mobile customer based in Japan can travel to the U.S. and make a purchase supported by SoftBank and Synchronoss via RCS. In addition, the RCS global messaging standard can be used to send a payment, while the CCPS blockchain API enables the recipient to use an RCS-based messaging app or legacy messaging service to receive person-to-person (P2P) money transfers through the RCS wallet app.

Synchronoss CEO and President Glenn Lurie said, “Our PoC demonstrates how SoftBank is at the forefront in bringing to market new cutting-edge technology through the use of blockchain, as well as new RCS-based mobile services, which will disrupt the current messaging and payments market, creating new opportunities for customers, brands, and businesses and which will also drive incremental revenue for operators from messaging. RCS messaging will become the foundation for a new, feature-rich marketplace for brands and merchants, both large and small, to interact with subscribers.

He continued, “With our expertise and global reach across multiple messaging platforms (not only RCS, but also email, IM, MMS and SMS), Synchronoss is ideally positioned to take advantage of this important new trend in mobile.”