Today is Wednesday, May 4 — May the 4th be with you. That reference from Star Wars dates to 1978 and became a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Fast forward 44 years and Star Wars has a firm footing in the metaverse with the $180 trillion gaming community, a sector dependent on seamless cross-border payments. Here’s what else should be on your radar this morning.
FCA Strike. For the first time in history, workers at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) mounted a strike that started with a march to the watchdog’s main headquarters in London. The dispute centers on wages, working conditions, and union recognition. The Unite union representing the workers said the 48-hour continuous strike will be followed by a “continuous ‘work to rule’ by the workforce, who will withdraw the regular overtime and additional work.” READ MORE
Gaming Payments. More than 50% of the U.S. population are playing online games, joining communities worldwide and interacting in real-time — and paying for the experience. The industry in 2020 hit $180 billion and that was before the metaverse. Advanced infrastructure makes it easier to monetize the video game ecosystem, said Scott Damassa, eCommerce, tech, comms and gaming sales head of NAM at Citi, TTS, in a PYMNTS interview. READ MORE
Spending Crypto. People want to spend their crypto and just need more places to spend it, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster. Merchants, too, are on board and asking their payment processors to support crypto. The April PYMNTS’ U.S. Crypto Consumer study showed that 25% of respondents prefer to shop with merchants that accept cryptocurrency as a payment option. READ MORE
ICYMI. Chinese rideshare giant Didi is facing a probe by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its initial public offering debacle last year. Although Didi indicated it was cooperating with the SEC, it’s “subject to strict compliance with applicable [Chinese] laws and regulations,” according to the company’s regulatory filing. The company is planning to delist from the NYSE and will vote on the matter May 23. READ MORE