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LG's mobile arm for trial blockchain payments for overseas travelers

LG Uplus – a South Korean Korean company that owns the nation's fourth largest conglomerate, LG Corporation – is launching a blockchain-based overseas payment service.

Announced Sunday, the trial effort will see the company collaborate with partners in Japan, Taiwan and the United States to offer users of the three mobile services cheaper and faster payments when traveling internationally.

Inaugurated at the beginning of 2019, the system relies on a cross-carrier blockchain payment platform provided by the project partner, US-TBCASoft, according to The Korea Times.

LG Uplus also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday with two other carriers – Far EasTone Telecommunications based in Taiwan and SoftBank based in Japan – to collaborate on experimentation.

The service will allow LG Uplus subscribers to make purchases at certain retailers using their mobile phones when they travel to Taiwan and Japan. Likewise, users of Far EasTone and SoftBank will be able to purchase via telephone payments when traveling in Korea and Japan.

"Customers will have the benefit of an affordable payment system based on cheap, affordable and secure blockchain technology" Joo Young-joon, director of mobile services at LG Uplus, said. "In addition to the payment solution abroad, LG Uplus will continue to develop new business opportunities with CBSG blockchains and global telecommunications leaders."

Aimed at helping users avoid costly international card transactions and speed up the payment process, service bills for transactions through couriers to be paid in the users' countries of origin and in their national fiat currency through their mobile bills.

TBCASoft said it also reduces the risk associated with exchange rate fluctuations, according to The Times.

Interestingly, the news comes less than a week after Softbank announced it had completed a proof-of-concept blockchain for peer-to-peer mobile payments on various carriers, as reported by CoinDesk.

Softbank said that at the time the technology was developed in collaboration with TBCASoft, as well as Synchronoss, a company listed on the Nasdaq that delivered a replacement SMS communication protocol called Rich Communic Service (RCS) in Japan.

Far EasTone, SoftBank and TBCASoft are also founding members of a blockchain consortium of mobile carriers called Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) aimed at the joint development of a blockchain service specific to their sector.

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