Today in the Connected Economy: Tencent Invests in the Metaverse

Tencent, connected economy, metaverse

Today in the connected economy, China’s Tencent Holdings launches an extended reality unit in a bid to branch out into the metaverse.

Also, Microsoft Qatar partners with FinTech startup CWallet to give end-users more secure payments, and TD Bank helps bring a new patient billing system to New Jersey’s largest chain of hospitals.

China’s Tencent Holdings Launches Metaverse Division

Looking to tap into the growing metaverse, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has formed an “extended reality” (XR) division, charged with launching Tencent’s XR business regarding software and hardware.

The division will reportedly be overseen by Li Shen, chief technology officer at Tencent Games Global. The move adds more than 300 members to the company’s total headcount, coming at a time when Tencent has been reducing jobs and slowing its hiring.

The company, along with other big tech players in China like Bytedance and Alibaba, began increasing its investment in the metaverse earlier this year.

Microsoft Qatar Teams With CWallet Whose Tech Stack Will Move to Azure

Microsoft Qatar has joined forces with FinTech startup CWallet to provide end-users with more secure payments.

As part of the partnership, CWallet Founder and CEO Michael Javier inked an agreement with Microsoft Qatar General Manager Lana Khalaf to migrate CWallet’s complete technology stack to Microsoft Azure.

“At CWallet, security, compliance and data privacy are key priorities — as they are at all other FinTech organizations,” Javier said in a press release. “By partnering with Microsoft and migrating our technology stack to Azure, we can ensure that our organization runs on the most trusted, scalable and robust cloud platform in Qatar.”

Hackensack Meridian, TD Bank, Nordis Team for Payment Billing

TD Bank and Nordis Technologies are working together to bring integrated patient billing and payments to Hackensack Meridian Health, the largest healthcare system in New Jersey.

The system developed by TD Bank and Nordis makes revenue cycle operations more efficient through automation, while also improving patients’ financial experience. Hackensack Meridian has been able to convert more than 180,000 payment processes from paper and manual since it launched the new system, it said in a news release.

Report: Metaverse Experts See Health in NFT Upheaval

Marketing professionals gathered at a recent event on non-fungible tokens (NFT) said that recent declines in NFT values could be a sign of health.

Values of NFTs overall have fallen from recent highs in part because they are often purchased using cryptocurrencies that themselves have shrunk in value. The industry is going through a necessary maturation, said Julian Holguin, CEO of 10,000 NFT-owner Doodles.

“At the end of the day … I think you’re going [to] see a lot of standout use cases from the people that were treating these like lifetime projects and real businesses — not just a way to generate some quick capital,” Holguin said. “The future is incredibly bright.”

Obligo Partners With Wells Fargo for No-Deposit Product for Landlords, Tenants

Rental management platform Obligo is collaborating with banking giant Wells Fargo to expand its product offerings.

Obligo said it is now the only security deposit alternative using bank-issued letters of credit for landlords and tenants. Landlords and property managers using Obligo get the added protection of Wells Fargo letters of credit, while renters get the ability to rent without needing to make a deposit.

“Wells Fargo has been an incredible advisor on this initiative,” said Obligo CEO Roey Dor. “They share our vision of leveraging existing bank products in new ways to support proptech innovation and have been extremely agile in helping this updated model come to life.”