LG U+, the mobile subsidiary of tech giant LG, has collaborated with mobile carriers and tech companies in Japan, Taiwan, and the US to develop a blockchain-based overseas payment service, according to a September 16 article published in The Korea Times.
According to the article, LG U+ has signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecommunications and Japan-based SoftBank to develop the new blockchain platform. The technology driving the payment service will be provided by US-based TBCASoft.
The companies intend to release a trial version of the payment service in early 2019. Once launched, the platform will apparently allow subscribers of various mobile carriers to complete purchases on the payment networks of different carriers. LG U+ customers will also be able to purchase items at selected retailers using an app on their mobile phone when traveling to Taiwan and Japan. Far EasTone subscribers will reportedly be given the same option when traveling to Korea and Japan.
"Customers will have the benefit of an overseas payment system based on convenient, economical and secure blockchain technology," said Joo Young-joon, director of the mobile service unit at LG U+. "And in addition to the overseas payment solution, LG U+ will continue to develop new business opportunities with CBSG blockchain and global telecom leaders."
This development is the result of ongoing collaboration. Last year, Far EasTone, SoftBank, and TBCASoft joined together to create the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) with the purpose of providing mobile carriers and their customers with "secured global digital payments, clearing and settlement, personal authentication, IoT applications and other services using blockchain technology."
The new cross-carrier, blockchain-powered payment service is intended to increase the speed of cross-carrier settlements, reduce the risk of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, and eliminate fees associated with overseas credit card transactions.
The CBSG has been very active in bringing blockchain technology to the mobile carrier industry. Just last week, member organization SoftBank reported it had developed a blockchain-based proof-of-concept for peer-to-peer mobile payments across different carriers.