In a press release published on September 11, Softbank revealed the development of a platform that would allow peer-to-peer mobile payments across different carriers. The platform was developed in partnership with Synchronoss Technologies, who also created a communications protocol called Rich Communication Service (RCS) in Japan, and blockchain firm TBCASoft.
The announcement states that the partners jointly developed the blockchain-based PoC, which is integrated with RCS, using a distributed network deployed across several mobile carriers.
Can Blockchain Become The Future Of Mobile Communication?
The new system is intended to be deployed across multiple mobile carriers with the aim of supplanting traditional SMS text messaging systems with a pool of new features, such as the sending of multimedia content, documents and voice calls via a carrier network instead of a mobile app.
Softbank explains that using a distributed network, users can send funds stored in their digital wallets in the RCS system from one carrier to another in a fashion similar to peer-to-peer transactions, a useful feature to have, especially when traveling.
In a statement about their big reveal, 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 traveling habits.”
Meanwhile, Synchronoss CEO and President Glenn Lurie stated that:
“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. 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.”
Ling Wu, the Founder, and CEO of TBCASoft, also weighed in on the announcement, saying:
“In today’s digital economy, blockchain lets CSPs create new services and then extend them globally, beyond their established territories and markets, in a way that’s efficient and secure. The success of this PoC proves that our Cross-Carrier Blockchain Platform can help CSPs leverage common standards like RCS to deliver disruptive services to their customers.”
The group’s effort comes a year after the three firms, along with several major global carriers, formed a Blockchain Study Group. The group was formed to focus on developing a cross-carrier blockchain payments service. Other firms that joined in the enterprise include US carrier Sprint and FarEasTone of Taiwan.
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