SoftBank, which is Uber’s biggest shareholder, succeed in PoC in collaboration with Synchronoss Technologies and blockchain firm TBCASoft.
Japan’s telecom group SoftBank, along with software company Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR) and blockchain-oriented firm TBCASoft, successfully completed a Proof of Concept (PoC) trial for a new cross-carrier mobile payments solution that relies on the Rich Communications Services (RCS) messaging protocol and TBCASoft’s cross-carrier blockchain platform. The new system enables peer-to-peer payments globally across different carriers.
The RCS-based technology is provided by Nasdaq-listed Synchronoss, which has developed in Japan a multi-channel communications platform that revolves around SMS, email, and the RCS standard. The blockchain technology was developed by TBCASoft in collaboration with Softbank, under the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) Consortium. The two companies have built a cross-carrier blockchain system known as Cross-Carrier Payment Service (CCPS), which accelerates global mobile payments among telecom carriers.
The three entities joined their efforts to carry out a PoC that was meant to enable users to conduct in-store, mobile, and digital purchases from their mobile phones. For instance, a Japanese client of a mobile carrier can travel to the US and make a purchase in USD based on the RCS system provided by SoftBank and Synchronoss, the companies explained. The RCS global messaging standard might also be applied for making peer-to-peer transfers, as it leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT). The CCPS blockchain API allows the user to apply an RCS-based messaging app or legacy messaging service such as email or SMS to receive money transfers through via the RCS wallet app.
SoftBank VP Takeshi Fukuizumi commented on the trial:
“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.”
Synchronoss CEO and President Glenn Lurie stated:
“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.”
The three companies will present their results at the Mobile World Congress Americas conference, which is taking place from September 12 to 14 in Los Angeles.
For SoftBank, which is also the largest shareholder in Uber, this is not the first blockchain-related project. Last year, the company built a blockchain-based system to manage personal financial data, which is meant to help lenders browse the credit histories of potential customers.