Today in the Connected Economy: Snap Sees the Promise of Augmented Reality Fashion

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Today in the connected economy, executives at Snap point to their augmented reality clothing and fashion offerings as  a virtual alternative to the metaverse.

Also, Dubai steps up its efforts to become the world’s metaverse capital, and Robinhood teams with Circle to increase access to USD Coin.

Snap Luxury Boss: Augmented Reality Is the Future of Fashion

Snap’s head of luxury is promoting the potential of augmented reality (AR) to clothing and other branded goods.

Snap’s Geoffrey Perez made the remarks during the Bloomberg Technology Summit in London, while wearing a pair of his company’s AR glasses.

“Every day we have 250 million people engaging with augmented reality on our platform,” he said. “Not just to try dresses on, but also jewelry and makeup. This is how we see engaging with the real world in the future.”

Dubai Ramps Up Efforts to Become Global Metaverse Capital

As key players arrive at the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hoping claim the title of world metaverse capital at a time when the concept is increasing popularity around the world.

The conference follows another event in the city — Metavision — which saw some of Dubai’s top officials meet with private sector stakeholders to discuss topics ranging from cryptocurrency to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), experiential commerce, how governments should prepare for the metaverse and the melding of the physical and digital worlds.

In his remarks at Metavision, Marwan Alzarouni, CEO at Dubai Blockchain Center, said that “Whoever controls the metaverse will control the world,” an indication of just how high the stakes are perceived to be by those in the industry.

Circle, Robinhood Partner to Simplify, Expand Use of USDC

Circle Internet Financial, which issues USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin (EUROC), is collaborating with Robinhood to make it easier for clients to learn about and use USDC.

Customers on Robinhood Crypto and the new Robinhood Wallet can now buy, sell and receive USDC through the partnership.

“The launch of USDC on a celebrated consumer platform like Robinhood reinforces the role USDC plays in greater payments and commerce use cases,” said Circle Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire. “Through this partnership, we look forward to jointly introducing [Web3] to a new generation of tech-savvy and digitally connected individuals.”

Lavu, Parafin Partner to Offer Restaurants Cash Advances

Restaurant software and payments platform Lavu has unveiled a new tool that offers restaurants cash advances.

The new Lavu Capital product is powered by embedded FinTech company Parafin and gives restaurants “easy access to fast capital,” the companies said in a news release.

“It’s frustrating to see how many restaurant owners don’t qualify for traditional loans despite their strong track records,” Lavu CEO Saleem Khatri said. “In the same way we helped thousands of restaurants quickly transition to online ordering to survive the pandemic, we are launching Lavu Capital to help more restaurants keep their doors open during challenging times.”

Partner Hub, Answer Pay Team on eInvoicing, Request-to-Pay Services

Payments-as-a-service platform Answer Pay and online invoicing service and technology company Partner Hub have teamed up to make it easier for banks to offer customers request-to-pay and eInvoicing services.

The collaboration marries Answer Pay’s request-to-pay service and Partner Hub’s ability to reformat invoice data from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for invoice presentation and automatically generate payment requests over Answer Pay’s request-to-pay networks.

“With our [eInvoice] solution, the two largest banks in Hungary were able to quickly and securely get up and running,” Partner Hub Co-Founder Katalin Kauzli said. “We’re looking forward to working with Answer Pay to help banks in the rest of Europe take full advantage of this powerful combination of [eInvoicing] and [request-to-pay].

PingPong, Uncapped Partner on Capital Advance for European Merchants

In a bid to help eCommerce merchants that want to expand, PingPong Payments and Uncapped are working together to help PingPong customers in Europe to get a capital advance from Uncapped.

The agreement for lending services brings together the customers of PingPong’s end-to-end payment products for cross-border businesses with Uncapped’s revenue-based funding that can help finance their online businesses.

“With Uncapped, PingPong is bringing a meaningful offer to PingPong customers for them to receive fast funding supports, which would be a key to their commercial success in the eCommerce world,” PingPong Europe Managing Director Chunhe Zhang said in a news release. “The partnership is a milestone signifying PingPong’s new steps to full scope services for eCommerce sellers in Europe.”