Softbank has partnered with startup TBCASoft and Nasdaq-listed SMS services provider, Synchronoss, to build a blockchain proof-of-concept (PoC) for peer-to-peer mobile phone payments via different carriers.
“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,” notes a press release issued by Softbank Corp.
Global payments on mobile phones
The firms also claim that users will be able to use the platform to spend and transfer cryptocurrency anywhere in the world using their mobile devices.
“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,” it adds. “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 blockchain expertise in the partnership comes from TBCASoft. It has experience in cross-carrier blockchain systems, which allows users to send and receive payments with their mobile phones regardless of their carrier.
Payments in fiat without banks
The full functionality of the PoC is unclear at this point, although users’ payments are made in fiat currencies without requiring banks to intermediate. The funds are tracked and recorded on the blockchain-based platform.
Softbank Corp Vice-President Takeshi Fukuizumi says “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 believes the new platform will disrupt the current messaging and payments market, creating new opportunities for customers, brands and businesses.