Busan showcases blockchain-based verification for public transportation boarding pass service

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : December 7, 2021, 15:57 Updated : December 7, 2021, 17:34

[Courtesy of Busan City]

SEOUL -- South Korea's southern port city of Busan has adopted a blockchain-based access system that allows citizens to use subway trains and city buses without bringing transportation cards or other types of boarding passes, as a part of a government campaign to create an environment that doesn't need identification cards for authentication.

Users don't need to worry about theft or hacking because their identity can be verified only through an unhackable service app called "B Pass," which is a blockchain-based integrated certification service. To expand the usage of B Pass, Busan added a digital wallet service in July 2021 to help users verify their identity and carry digitally issued national certificates through smartphones.
In its latest move announced on December 6, Busan expanded the function of B Pass to cover transportation and access to unmanned convenience stores through collaboration with a blockchain company and a boarding pass payment system developer. The system can be used as a prepaid mobile boarding pass. Users can easily charge money using their smartphones. 

Decentralized identification (DID) technology, an identification system that generates and gives unique digital identities for individuals, was applied to the new boarding pass. Identities can be verified without providing unnecessary personal information. B Pass transportation can be downloaded on Android devices that have a near-frequency-communication (NFC) payment function which covers a distance of fewer than 10 centimeters (0.3 feet). 
Without providing personal information, users can enter an unmanned convenience store by simply scanning the QR code of their B PASS app. The QR code service using B Pass was introduced at ten unmanned convenience stores owned by CU, a top convenience store brand run by BGF Retail, in Busan. "We will distribute blockchain technology by expanding blockchain-based customized services for consumers so citizens can live more conveniently," Busan official Lee Joon-seung said in a statement.

As of January 2021, South Korea has some 600 unmanned stores that require customers to scan the barcodes of products they wish to buy and make payments using a credit card or a digital payment method including biometric authentication. An unmanned store solution can help traditional shop owners reduce operating costs while customers save time.
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