Future of Banking: Metaverse Edition

October 20, 2022

Future of Banking: Metaverse Edition

In a world where the line between the physical and digital is becoming blurred, it is no surprise that the banking sector is looking to the metaverse for opportunities. Virtual worlds that exist online are already home to millions of users. With the rise of web3, the metaverse has become more and more central to businesses, and banks are taking notice.

Banking in the metaverse is still in its early stages, but there are already many players working on projects in this space. These include traditional banks like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, as well as startups like MetaBank, Kiyaverse and Juno.

Let us look at some banks across the globe that have adopted the metaverse.

JP Morgan, USA

JP Morgan’s Onyx lounge became the first metaverse banking offering. The lounge, situated in Metaiuku, a virtual version of Tokyo’s Harajuku shopping district, is on Decentraland. A tiger will welcome you to the ground floor where you can view a timeline of their Blockchain achievements. While the experience is not developed yet, the upper floor has a meeting room where you can check out crypto news.

JP Morgan published a report along with their metalounge where they mention that they expect the market opportunity to be around 1 trillion dollars in revenues over the coming years in the metaverse. So there are a lot more awaiting banks in the metaverse.

Kookmin Bank, South Korea

The major South Korean bank, Kookmin, has established a virtual branch with Sharebox. They are currently utilizing the space as a financial education platform for customers as well as employee knowledge transfer and training. KB has also explored one-on-one virtual counselling with the help of employee avatars.

You can don your avatar and visit the VIP lounge to access personalized financial information, investment portfolio and analyze risk-return profiles. Their ultimate purpose for developing it was to experiment with how new technological advancements which can take banking to a different level.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Headquarters in London

Following Adidas, Snoop Dog, and Gucci, HSBC partnered with The Sandbox in a surprise move. Does this mean banks are moving towards gamification? Well, first of all, we don’t know much about where they’re heading. But they do see potential in creating new experiences never seen before in the banking sphere. They also want to engage with sports and gaming enthusiasts, prompted by the heavy market value of the gaming industry.

HSBC has dipped their toes in metaverse investment as well. They have started managing investment portfolios for investing in virtual environments. This is for private clients in Asia but HSBC does not want to let the immense growth opportunities of the metaverse slip by because they’re expecting the metaverse economy to grow to 13 trillion dollars by 2030.

Commercial Bank International, UAE

CBI stole the news recently by becoming the first UAE bank to launch a new metaverse location. Visitors can access the corporate and retail bank’s virtual location through Decentraland or through portals.

Being the first bank to offer a metaverse banking experience to its customers in UAE, CBI - like many other corporates - are keen to establish itself as an innovative leader in the digital space worldwide. Ushering in disruptive digital initiatives in the banking environment, CBI joined the list of fintech that have made banking technology focused and smart.

Summing up

Many other banks are still in the development phase in their adventures in the Metaverse like DBS Bank and KBC. Others still like Westpac have adopted AR/VR offerings even if they have not entered the metaverse yet. The banking sector is one of many that are exploring the potential of the metaverse. Others include retail, education, real estate, and even government. The possibilities are endless, and it's likely that we'll see more and more businesses moving into the metaverse in the years to come. What does this mean for the future of banking?

It's still too early to say for sure, but it's clear that the metaverse is going to play a big role in the industry. We can expect to see more banks experimenting with virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as new ways of interacting with customers and conducting transactions. The metaverse is a huge opportunity for banks, and we're starting to scratch the surface of what's possible. We will have to wait and see.


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