Today in the Connected Economy: Meta Considers Paid Facebook Features

Connected economy, Meta, Facebook, advertising

Today in the connected economy, Meta looks to add paid features to its platforms as a way to offset revenue losses from Apple’s ad tracking changes.

Plus, Jumia has joined forces with Zipline to use drones to deliver eCommerce goods in Ghana, and Ajman Bank launched a credit card designed for people with visual impairments with help from Mastercard.

Meta Exploring Paid Facebook, Instagram Features

Meta is putting together a “New Monetization Experiences” group, looking to find and create “possible paid features” for its Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms.

The group will be overseen by Pratiti Raychoudhury, who was previously Meta’s head of research. The news comes as the company is dealing with fallout from Apple’s changes to its ad tracking on iOS, which Meta said could cost it as much as $10 billion this year.

Jumia, Zipline Partner to Bring eCommerce Drone Delivery to Ghana

Jumia, a pan-African eCommerce company, is partnering with logistics company Zipline to use drones to deliver household goods to remote parts of Ghana.

The companies said the partnership blends Zipline’s automated, on-demand delivery system with Jumia’s distribution network, allowing customers in more rural parts of the country get access to Jumia products. Jumia and Zip already tested the project in Ghana and plan to expand the effort into Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

UAE Vision-Impaired Users Gain Accessible Mastercard Card From Ajman Bank

Thanks to an initiative between Mastercard and Ajman Bank, blind and partially sighted people can now access the “world-first” Touch Card in the United Arab Emirates.

The Touch Card is an accessible payment card designed to help visually impaired users pay by card. The cards feature different notches on the side, helping consumers determine whether they’re holding credit, debit or prepaid cards with easily-identifiable, tactile differences.

“Accessibility is a human right and this latest initiative by Mastercard will open new possibilities for the inclusion of individuals with visual impairment into the digital economy,” said Moza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development.

Former ACI Worldwide Banking Unit Debuts as FinTech Firm Dragonfly

Following One Equity Partners’ acquisition of ACI Worldwide’s corporate online banking unit, digital banking and treasury management FinTech Dragonfly Financial Technologies has launched as an independent company.

Dragonfly said it will add innovations to its product portfolio, expand its team and target more U.S. and international commercial banking customers.

“Customers widely recognize our products as delivering a tremendous level of innovation and value to their business through our features, user experience and hundreds of API integrations — and now we have the independence, focus and investment to accelerate our product roadmap and bolster our overall customer success experience,” said Dragonfly CEO Johan Roets.

Moneyflow, Aion Bank Partner to Expand Debt Funding Across Europe

Danish embedded finance startup Moneyflow is working with Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) firm Aion Bank to enable up to €250 million ($248.6 million) of debt funding to accelerate the launch of Moneyflow’s services in Europe.

“The balance sheet support from Aion Bank is the largest single raise amount made available to a [FinTech] of our nature in Scandinavia,” Moneyflow CEO and Founder Kim Ulf Rehfeld Thodén said. “We are now ready to step on the accelerator to take on the large and expanding market opportunity.”