Several banks are entering the metaverse to connect with younger generations as well as to gain a better understanding of virtual worlds. Through the metaverse, banks hope to attract new customers and potentially create new business models and products.
“If you have an end consumer who’s gaming or exploring the metaverse, they come across you there and it reinforces that brand relationship,” Lucia Uribe, a partner at Oliver Wyman, told American Banker.
Here’s four ways banks are currently experimenting with the metaverse:
HSBC Purchases Virtual Land
HSBC is purchasing virtual land in popular metaverse, The Sandbox. The Sandbox recently surpassed 2 million users since opening 13 months ago. HSBC bank plans to use the digital land to reach users passionate about esports and gaming.
Suresh Balaji, chief marketing officer for Asia-Pacific at HSBC, told American Banker, “At HSBC, we see great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms.”
Zelf Builds Embedded Banking System
The seclusion caused by the pandemic has boosted interest in the metaverse. Due to the growing interest in virtual worlds, Zelf is creating an embedded banking system. Accordingly, the system will allow users to transfer currency to real-world bank accounts from the metaverse.
“The story of 2021 is that people started to spend oftentimes more on the outfits and skins of their virtual characters than on their real-life selves,” Elliot Goykhman, founder of Zelf, explained to American Banker. “I know very few people who would spend $4,000 on a pair of sneakers, but people do so in the metaverse.”
American Express Hints at future Metaverse plans
American Express has filed several trademark applications with the U.S Patent Office revolving around the metaverse and NFTs. One of the applications is for an online marketplace where users can buy and sell NFTs and other digital media. Likewise, another application is for e-commerce software that will process metaverse-based business transactions.
J.P. Morgan Chase Sets Up Shop in Decentraland
The Decentraland metaverse is now hosting Onyx lounge by J.P. Morgan. Users can virtually visit the Onyx, which includes a portrait of Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer at J.P. Morgan Chase. Additionally, users will see a digital tiger pacing the room as well as wall-mounted displays. Interacting with any of the displays causes a video to play that explains how payments may be made with smart contracts in the future.