Connected economy: TikTok launches into the game


Now in the connected economy, TikTok is starting to test a program that lets users in Vietnam play video games on the app, as part of a broader push for gaming.

Additionally, Elon Musk says his version of Twitter will look a lot like China’s super app WeChat, and Meta’s WhatsApp has a new tool to attract more business owners.

Report: TikTok is testing the game in Vietnam as part of a wider campaign

TikTok has begun testing a program that lets users in Vietnam play games on the video-sharing app, the company’s first step in a “major push” in gaming, according to a Reuters report.

Adding games to the popular social media platform would increase both its ad revenue and the time users spend with the app, which has more than a billion active monthly users.

TikTok is also reportedly working on plans to bring games across Southeast Asia, with sources telling Reuters the games could be released in the third quarter of this year.

WhatsApp offers cloud-based API for businesses

Meta Platforms will add free cloud-based API services to its WhatsApp messenger in a bid to bring more businesses to the platform.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the plan at the company’s ‘Conversations’ event, saying it would mean that “any business or developer can easily access our service, rely directly on WhatsApp to personalize their experience and speed up their response time to customers using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta.

Meta said businesses will not be able to contact people using WhatsApp unless those people have asked to be contacted. The social media giant also plans to roll out optional paid features for its small business-focused app.

Musk: My Twitter would be a great WeChat-style app with a payment key

If and when it is able to buy Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk envisioned a future for the platform where it becomes a super app.

Speaking this week on the All-In podcast, the world‘s richest man said his version of Twitter would combine the social aspect with features like chat, picture and video messaging, Facebook-like news and a payment function. He cited Chinese social media giant WeChat as a role model for his ambitions.

“If you’re in China, you kind of live on WeChat,” he said. “It does everything – kind of like Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a whole bunch of stuff…with a great interface. It really is a great app, and we don’t have anything like it outside of China.

OPay and Mastercard partner to drive financial inclusion in the Middle East and Africa

Nigerian mobile payments company OPay is working with Mastercard to expand digital commerce and financial inclusion in Africa and the Middle East.

The two companies said their collaboration allows traders from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates to engage more in depth with companies around the world.

Mastercard said it wants to create more ways to help emerging markets and that its partnership with OPay and similar companies will help the credit card giant create new avenues to drive financial inclusion and the next generation of super apps.

Marqeta Partners with Evolve Bank & Trust to Expand Program Management Capabilities

Global card-issuing platform Marqeta has partnered with technology-focused bank Evolve Bank & Trust to improve the speed of enterprise banking as a service (BaaS) for customers and enable them access all of Marketa’s program management capabilities.

Evolve works with FinTechs and offers a variety of services, including a dedicated Open Banking division, the company said in a press release.

Xendit raises $300 million to develop its payment platform

Payments platform Xendit has closed a $300 million Series D funding round that brings its total investment capital since 2015 to $538 million.

The company said it plans to use the capital to further expand its digital payments infrastructure across Southeast Asia.

Over the past year, Xendit has tripled its annualized transactions from 65 million to 200 million and increased the total value of payments from $6.5 billion to $15 billion. The company has also seen sales increase 10% month-over-month since its inception in 2016.



On: Shoppers who have store cards use them for 87% of all eligible purchases – but that doesn’t mean retailers should start buy now, pay later (BNPL) options at checkout. The Truth About BNPL and Store Cards, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PayPal, surveys 2,161 consumers to find out why providing both BNPL and Store Cards is key to helping merchants maximize conversion.


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