Paris Hilton has a Roblox virtual island where people can buy digital versions of her outfits. Accenture will onboard 1,50,000 new hires using Metaverse. Metaverse has been the talk of the town since Facebook changed its name to Meta. Let’s look at how metaverse-based ecosystems in Fin-Tech is transforming customer experience (CX).
Global metaverse market size will touch $678.8 billion by 2030, witnessing a CAGR of 39.4%, reveals research and markets. CB Insights’ research predicts that metaverse could represent a $1T market by 2030. Industries are working to create a reality in which the physical and digital worlds blend seamlessly.
Where Fin-Techs are heading to in the Metaverse-based ecosystem?
European bank ABN Amro was the first to open a virtual branch in Second Life created in 2003. Earliest ventures into the metaverse were primarily motivated by branding and visibility which is now shifting to the mainstream. Metaverse application has moved beyond gamification to virtual training and life-like experiences. We’re moving towards a future where digital lives are becoming more important.
Razorfish and Vice Media Group’s new study shows that Gen Z spends more time in metaverse space than older demographics. They develop more meaningful connections to their online identities and want realistic experiences in their virtual life. For organizations, it becomes highly imperative to understand how these customers connect, interact and interface in this virtual space.
According to JP Morgan’s research, the metaverse offers opportunities to:
- Transact – every year, $54bn is spent on virtual goods, almost double the amount spent buying music.
- Socialize – approximately $60bn messages are sent daily on Roblox.
- Create – GDP for Second Life was around $650m in 2021 with nearly $80m dollars paid to creators.
- Own – NFT currently has a market cap of $41bn.
- Experience – 200 strategic partnerships till date with The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group to create a music-themed virtual world.
Metaverse has limitless opportunities to offer. Let’s look at some of the top use cases of metaverse in the financial industry.
- Recently Lynx announced two use cases: a cryptocurrency-based game that allows players to create and earn and sell digital items with financial value, and an “enhanced remittance experience”, a digital meeting space that allows those sending money to loved ones to visit and communicate with them in a “streamlined, entertaining, economical, and secure” manner.
- Navi Technologies has unveiled a metaverse-based “Fund of Funds” scheme. The investors will finance Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), which will be used to fund metaverse-based companies. The fintech aims to invest $1 billion in total across multiple assets, with a maximum investment of $300 million in a single ETF. The company will issue a NAV unit at a face value of INR 10. For example, a customer investing INR 500 in the plan, will receive 50 units across the ETFs that Navi will be investing in.
- JP Morgan is the first bank to open a lounge- Onyx in Decentraland. In the Onyx Lounge, situated in Metaiuku–a virtual replica of Tokyo’s Harajuku shopping area, a tiger roams the first floor, overlooked by a portrait of the bank’s boss Jamie Dimon. And on the 2nd floor, a person’s avatar can watch experts talk about crypto market.
- Korean Bank Kookmin introduced a ‘virtual financial town’ that includes three spaces: (1) The financial and business center consists of branches, public relations and recruitment booths, auditoriums, and social spaces.
(2) The telecommuting center enhances communication and collaboration between telecommuters and office employees.
(3) A playground for interacting.
- Bank of America is the first to launch VR training in over 4,300 financial centers. They use VR headsets to practice skills like strengthen and deepen customer relationships, handle difficult conversations, and listen and respond with empathy. “Managers can also detect skill gaps and provide tailored follow-up training and customized counseling to colleagues to further boost performance using real-time statistics,” the bank says.
The Road Ahead
Decentraland operates via its own cryptocurrency called MANA and Sandbox has Sand. Somnium Space has its own asset marketplace where users can choose to ‘live forever.
The financial sector is facing intense competition in the virtual space. Digital assets and digital currency are becoming increasingly prevalent in the metaverse. Leveraging the meta-world will help financial organizations create a continuum of experience for the users and provide more personalized and engaging interactions in the time ahead.
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