Metaverse & Banking. New ways of communication

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Metaverse & Banking. New ways of communication

A few years ago, there was considerable debate about the Metaverse and its practicality. Today, banks and fintech companies are embracing the trend, utilizing the Metaverse as a fresh platform for client communication and relationship-building. Is this a parallel to the major social media revolution of 2015, or an entirely new phenomenon?

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What is Metaverse?

a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.

Imagine a virtual world where billions live, work, and interact from their couches, using computer screens as portals to a 3D realm. Avatars represent us, moving between experiences with our identities and money.

This is the metaverse—a concept stirring hype but not yet a reality. TechTarget’s guide explores its potential to revolutionize human life, covering technologies, benefits, challenges, investment opportunities, history, importance, and its impact on work. Hyperlinks provide deeper dives into related topics and key metaverse concepts like interoperability, digital twins, spatial computing, and Web 3.0.

The metaverse is the next evolution in social connection and the successor to the mobile internet.

https://about.meta.com/what-is-the-metaverse/

The term ‘Metaverse’ gained prominence after Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021 and pledged a $10 billion investment in the concept. Alongside Meta, major tech players like Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are also pouring billions into it.

Metaverse & Banking. New ways of communication

Timeline does not reflect a complete picture of all companies accepting or facilitating cryptocurrency donations. (source)

Examples of banks that are using Metaverse

1. JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan is the first leading bank to launch in the metaverse, marking its entry by opening a shop in Decentraland, a virtual world where users can purchase plots of land.

Within Decentraland’s virtual space, J.P. Morgan introduced its “Onyx” lounge, featuring a room adorned with a portrait of Jamie Dimon, a 3D tiger symbolizing the Year of the Tiger (2022), and several wall-mounted displays.

Clicking on these displays reveals educational videos on smart contract payments and JP Morgan’s blockchain project timeline.

An interesting report prepared by JP Morgan.

2. PKO Bank Polski

PKO Bank Polski has been on the Decentraland platform since 2022, pioneering as the first bank in Poland to launch a virtual branch—a digital replica of the Warsaw PKO Rotunda. This branch serves as a digital lab for Metaverse tool development, allowing the bank to test user engagement methods and build expertise in virtual presence.

In 2023, PKO Bank Polski clinched the top spot in “The Digital Banker” magazine’s Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards. They secured first place in the “Outstanding Customer Relations & Brand Engagement Initiative” category for their Metaverse presence. Their victory came among 530 projects submitted by 190 banks worldwide, announced during a gala in Singapore on October 19.

PKO Bank Polski aims to lead metabanking in Central and Eastern Europe, foreseeing the Metaverse as a key communication channel with young customers due to its innovative approach.

In the future, we would like to create the possibility of opening bank accounts in this space, which would be especially attractive for foreigners. Due to its pioneering nature, the implementation of these plans poses new challenges at almost every step. First of all, it requires extreme caution in terms of cybersecurity. In the near future, at the end of next year, we want to make available to users of gaming platforms a proposal for competitions organized by PKO Bank Polski.

Jakub Kaszuba, Metaverse Product Owner, https://www.pb.pl/metaverse-stanie-sie-kolejnym-kanalem-komunikacji-z-klientami-1201589

3. HSBC

HSBC, one of the world’s largest international banking and financial services providers, made history by becoming the first of its kind to enter The Sandbox, a prominent decentralized gaming virtual world.

The bank utilized the acquired land to establish a virtual sports stadium, aiming to engage the gaming, e-gaming, and sports communities. Through this innovative initiative, HSBC anticipates delivering fresh experiences for users within Web3, the next generation of the Internet, as outlined by some bank officials.

The metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet – using immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. […] Through our partnership with The Sandbox we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers.

Suresh Balaji, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC https://sandboxgame.medium.com/hsbc-to-become-the-first-global-financial-services-provider-to-enter-the-sandbox-c066e4f48163

Why banks and fintech enter the metaverse?

  1. Seizing early opportunities: Many financial institutions view the metaverse as similar to the early days of the internet, where its potential was initially underestimated. To avoid repeating past oversights, they’re eager to embrace the metaverse ahead of their competitors.
  2. Enhancing brand visibility: While traditional banking habits may not shift entirely to the metaverse, banks and fintech companies such as JP Morgan and HSBC are entering this space to demonstrate their alignment with contemporary trends and growth potential.
  3. Offering novel consumer experiences: While brick-and-mortar banks and online banking offer convenience, digital banks are constantly seeking to elevate online experiences further. The metaverse presents an opportunity to innovate and enhance customer interactions.
  4. Crypto integration: Cryptocurrency has long powered digital transactions, and its presence in the metaverse is no exception. Many businesses within the metaverse already conduct transactions using crypto, highlighting its continued significance in virtual environments.

Is the Metaverse the future of banking?

Generation Z consumers are fully immersed in the digital world and often prefer online transactions over visiting physical branches. The Metaverse, offering sustainable and immersive digital experiences, presents companies with new avenues to connect with customers. Banks, always eager to innovate, are keen on leveraging this potential. Another concern for banks is the cost of maintaining physical branches. If traditional branches disappeared and banking shifted entirely online, banks could save significant costs.

It’s apparent that virtual economies and trade in virtual goods and services will expand. As today’s younger consumers grow up, they may seek banking services in environments where they feel comfortable, possibly favoring virtual platforms.

The reality is, the exact nature of the Metaverse remains uncertain, and its future form is unpredictable. Nonetheless, the banking and finance industry perceives it as an important aspect of our lives and endeavors to integrate into it.

Metaverse & Banking – Summary

Banks and financial services companies have a vested interest in developing their image as tech-savvy, pioneering high-tech organizations. It’s true that no one really knows exactly what the metaverse is yet, much less what it will look like in five or ten years’ time.The metaverse is definitely an interesting direction for the future, and it’s worth keeping an eye on. It’s also a good way to build a community around your fintech.

If you need any help with creating a community around your company or product, contact us!

Author

  • Zuzanna Macieszko

    Content Creator with a deep passion for Public Relations, new technologies, and traveling. I find joy in bringing creative ideas to life and have been actively involved in various projects to date.

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