Financial services in the Metaverse: the hunt is on

Posted on July 20, 2022


In what has been called Web 2.0, that is, the Internet, financial services and banks have mainly used these technologies for employee training, to create spaces for interaction with customers or for employees, offers for “online banking”, as well as virtual investment advice services. These offers and services are now quite mature and are offered by all companies. But in fact this changed their business model, which remained identical to that of the physical world. It’s like in an office, but online. It’s like a training class, but online, behind your computer.

But everything will be different with the Metaverse, which offers more insights and can disrupt models more deeply.

We can already observe the initiatives of the pioneers, most notably reported in this recent report (June 2022) from McKinsey, which analyzes the current and potential impacts of the Metaverse by sector of activity.

In 2022 the initiatives will have multiplied and they can inspire others. This concerns communities and payments in the metaverse.

In March 2022, HSBC bank announced a partnership with The Sandbox to purchase a virtual field there intended to create a community of esports fans.

The Marketing Director of HSBC Asia-Pacific stated on this occasion:

“The metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet, using immersive technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. At HSBC, we see great potential for creating new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and the communities we serve. Our partnership with The Sandbox takes us into the metaverse, enabling us to create innovative brand experiences for our current and future customers. We are excited to work with our sports partners, brand ambassadors and The Sandbox to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive and accessible.”

London-based FinTech Sokin announced in February 2022 that it will launch its own metaverse community designed to handle entire e-commerce transactions. The metaverse world of Sokin will house a 3D community of brands and retailers – from sports to fashion and beyond – enabling consumers to meet, interact, transact, invest and buy in a global ecosystem and virtual economy. Consumers shop via the mobile app Pear to Pear accessible from Sokin within the metaverse.

Sokin’s metaverse world will thus house different brands and companies that visitors can access (each space is dedicated to a brand, where the visitor can access for their purchases), for example a football club, an entertainment or a fashion brand.

The neobank Itself, which wants to be the bank of the Metaverse, has launched a banking service for the metaverse, the MetaPassaccessible through Discord posts, for gamers (note the great design of the site!), which in particular makes it possible to buy and exchange NFTs as easy as buying bread at a bakery (but the gamers do they still go to bakeries?)

Bank TerraZero has specialized in mortgages in the Metaverse, precisely to buy land there or to set up investment projects.

For financial services, an expansion of customer categories is planned, which will no longer be limited to: gamers or to interactions of specialized communities such as sports fans. The services offered will also be expanded.

McKinsey’s report cites in particular:

  • Marketing: Financial Institutions Are Ready To Create Branches digital in the Metaverse, to establish their brand and establish their credibility there, allowing the customer to interact with their bank in a hybrid way, both in the physical or digital world and in the world of the Metaverse;
  • Infrastructure: This corresponds to digital identity services, digital payments, holding NFTs, cryptocurrencies or other digital assets;
  • New products and services related to the Metaverse: for example cyber insurance.

But the more applications and customers will develop, the more new services will appear, corresponding to the same opportunities for financial services:

  • Services for owners of purses in the metaverse, such as the multi cash management,
  • Mortgages and project financing for the metaverse,
  • consumer credit services,
  • Loyalty programs, deferred payment,
  • The financialization of everything as more and more digital assets are created and have utility in a metaverse context, such as being used as collateral for loans.

Of course, the emergence of these services will depend on the rise in the use and adoption of the metaverse by all kinds of consumers. And banks and financial services may decide not to be too interested in it for the time being. But when the time comes, they will also need to be equipped with the talents and skills needed to develop there and occupy an interesting place. It is worth anticipating a bit in the Human Resources departments.

Because here again it will not be the technology, but the human ability to adapt to it.

Enough to encourage the birth of new start-ups and unicorns in financial services.

The hunt has begun in the metaverse.

On the Web

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