LG U+ teams up in a blockchain pay system

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LG U+ teams up in a blockchain pay system

LG U+ said Sunday it is teaming up with telecom and technology partners from Japan, Taiwan and the United States to launch a blockchain-based cross-carrier payment system.

Korean telecom LG U+ as well as Japan’s SoftBank and Taiwan’s Far EasTone plan to enable their subscribers to pay for merchandise by phone at partnering shops in the three countries based on a blockchain platform developed by American software company TBCASoft.

For example, when a SoftBank subscriber visits Korea and pays for cosmetics at The Face Shop - which would be a partner with LG U+ - the purchase will be charged to the shopper’s phone bill the following month. When the shopper pays the monthly phone bill, SoftBank will transfer the money the shopper spent in Korea back to LG U+ via the blockchain system. The Face Shop would be paid through a different system.

LG U+ said paying with a blockchain-based cross-carrier payment system will help travelers save credit card commissions or foreign exchange commissions when shopping overseas. Shoppers can also use their own phones like credit cards as payments are delayed until the next month.

Mobile carriers can save commissions when settling payments with other carriers.

“The most important task for the carriers is to expand the number of partnering shops,” a spokesperson from LG U+ said Sunday. “We can start with companies affiliated with the telecoms companies.”

Tests of the cross-carrier payment system will begin in the first half of next year. Once the system is commercialized, LG U+ hopes to develop discount promotions on tour programs in conjunction with customers’ phone plans.

The four parties involved are all members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group, a global consortium of telecom carriers exploring ways to collaborate on various cross-carrier blockchain platforms that launched last year.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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