BC Card, the largest payments processor in South Korea, says it is using blockchain technology to settle rewards points, according to an Aug. 27 report in the Chosun Ilbo.
The underlying technology is being provided by KT, the country’s No. 2 telecom company and majority owner of BC Card.
With a KT Hyperledger Fabric-based offering, BC Card is processing the ordering and exchanging of points paid out by affinity partners, VIP points and vouchers. More advanced applications, such as the settlement of payments and the management of documents, have not been achieved yet.
BC Card had been handling the rewards manually but in the first half of 2019 it began to develop a blockchain application to do the work. It now shares the appropriate ledgers with rewards partners so that settlement can be automated and seamless.
The company says that a number of benefits have been achieved. Processing times have been reduced by 50 percent, while errors have also been reduced. The article said that the company plans to apply blockchain technologies to additional tasks in the second half, though it did not provide details on what they may be.
KT has been an active proponent of blockchain technologies and an early mover. The company, which counts NTT Docomo among its largest shareholders, introduced its own blockchain network in July 2018. Last month, it was announced that it would be part of a consortium – which includes Samsung Electronics, a number of large banks and the other telecom companies – creating a blockchain-based system for digital identification.
The company is now especially focused on utilizing blockchain over its new 5G network and introduced its 5G-based GIGA Chain in April.
Korean financial institutions are rushing to apply blockchain technologies to consumer credit. In July, Shinhan Card said that it had patented a blockchain system that allows for cardless credit transactions. Earlier this month, the Woori Financial Group said that it is working with Ground X, Kakao’s public blockchain, and may use the technology for Woori Card settlement.