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Metaverse Banking

Many expected it to take longer for a world made out of innovations in AR, VR, IoT, XR, and MR to become a thing in our daily lives. It was worse to grasp for those who read Neil Stephensons Snow Crash and thought, what the hell was he talking about? Thanks to hard work stirred by unprecedented events like COVID, we all thought we wouldn't be enjoying our gathering long enough or that it may be unnecessary sometimes. Today, combining these technologies is poised to change the user experience, health, fashion, education, finance, and virtually every sector. The number of headlines is numerous, but there is more than meets the eye about a world where most teens spend much time doing God knows what.

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is a permanent virtual space where several persons or a few persons can interact, live, and act independently. Without the people inhabiting the metaverse, such a space cannot exist as a virtual world, even though there are many avatars. It must also be possible to own things such as houses and other goods in the metaverse. Items in the metaverse should also be moveable rather than static; wherever possible, it should also be possible to develop existing space. The original idea of the metaverse mimics the real world even though we have not come to that point where we can eat in the metaverse. I mean, we can sit and have food physically while communicating in the metaverse in so far as I have my headset on, but there is no such thing as a virtual meal, at least not in the physical sense. It is possible at the moment to feel objects, thanks to advances in haptic gadgets, and you can now also visit places due to the evolution in covered landmarks. So the metaverse is the world, including the internet and the physical space of our daily interactions.

Another aspect of the metaverse that interests you is the possibility of taking objects from the physical world and having them in the metaverse. Imagine getting your new car into the metaverse as a unique object. Brands across the fashion and e-commerce industry are already exploring the possibilities of augmented reality. Before buying an item from IKEA, for example, you can use an AR feature enabled through your mobile device to see a piece of furniture you are buying at the exact spot where you will want it to appear. How cool is that? Gaming enthusiasts can also play their favorite games with their friends even though they are miles away, blurring social distancing as we knew it during the pandemic.

Before we talk about why this new virtual world is crucial in banking, it is important to note that most metaverses are decentralized economies existing on diverse blockchains. Centralized metaverses exist, but as we move from Web2 to Web3, it should only be natural to resolve the problems of earlier systems. Despite brands like Meta being centralized, they have plans to become decentralized soon since they have come to grasp the shortcoming of centralized systems. You must have experienced those times when you could not access your social media or other accounts simply because the centralized servers went down. Blockchain is the fundamental technology for the decentralized world, and transactions in decentralized economies require cash. We are sure you already know where we are headed from here, so let's now talk about the importance of the Banking industry in the metaverse.

Why is Banking Necessary in the Metaverse?

Banks have been the biggest forces for transactions in the global economy for years. Even though the metaverse promises to be decentralized, there is a lot of opportunity in it for banks if only they remain adaptable and open to the rapid change around the corner. Reports from industry giant Goldman Sachs estimate that the opportunity in the metaverse is so huge that it offers banks the opportunity to transform how they interact with their customers. The metaverse could bring the human aspect back to banking since it enhances customer convenience, which is one of the biggest issues in banking services. Banks have a role in enabling seamless transactions in the metaverse, whether through cash on-ramp or off-ramp. Several banks are already establishing their bases in the metaverse as the work needed to get there is a bit low compared to the massive impact it could bring for financial institutions. The banks in the metaverse at the moment are creating lobbies and setting up the infrastructure that will let metaverse participants and gamers buy or sell tokens and convert them into cash.

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What Benefits Exist For Banks in the Metaverse?

Aside from enabling easy conversion of in-game tokens to cash and building the infrastructure that connects the virtual world with the physical world, banks can delegate new and better responsibilities to their employees. They can also raise their customer base and establish popularity among the growing juvenile population trying things out in the virtual world. There is also the emergence of a new asset class and potentially new forms of credit, all in the virtual world, which gives banks that venture in early on the opportunity to learn how to interact and connect with new worlds in virtual reality, where new items like virtual real estate and digital assets are the center of attention. The following are the benefits of the metaverse for banks.

Improved Customers SERVices and Bank Employee experience

The benefits of AR and VR can significantly transform how financial institutions interact with their customers and employees. For customers, flexibility and ease come with the ability to track, manage and transact with cash in augmented reality and virtual reality channels. Employees can learn in the safe and immersive experience of the virtual universe, and new staff members can go through the recruitment process and learn to be part of the existing community in an improved and convenient way. In a survey conducted by experts in the finance industry, global banking leads and top officials believe that coding the physical world into a new virtual environment will be a key differentiating factor in the banking industry.

Dedicated Customer Banking

User experience drives the global banking industry since customers can choose from multiple services in a few clicks. The metaverse presents one of the best ways for banks to engage their customers. When the option is available to resolve an issue by interacting with a customer service agent in the metaverse, customers will love to stick around and continue with the service. This is not far-fetched since it may be pretty expensive to visit a physical branch of the same bank.

With the possibilities in virtual worlds, banks can now offer top-rated services to customers who intend to venture into investment in advanced financial products. Trained financial consultants can consult with such clients, reviewing their portfolios, planning their finance, and recommending products to help them achieve their goals while reducing the possible risks.

The metaverse is also where the noise is made. Innovative financial institutions can leverage the opportunity presented by virtual and augmented reality to showcase their products to their customers. A virtual lounge, for example, can serve as an excellent opportunity for a bank to present a video or other marketing materials. They can also lease these spaces to other services in the metaverse for a fee.

Product Innovation

The metaverse also presents a huge opportunity for banks to launch new products and services to scale their operations. Such products could include digital payments, digital assets, and 3D objects. Payment products can be a decentralized digital wallet compatible with metaverses across multiple blockchains. The wallet can be used for payment for products and services in the metaverse. Banks can build tools for managing digital assets such as virtual real estate and NFTs. They can also offer derivative solutions backed by these assets.

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Dynamic response to customer expectations

To stay flexible in its operations, a financial institution must keep its searchlights beyond the ordinary realms of consumer interaction. The metaverse can serve as that extra alternative to the physical world from where a bank can track and understand the dynamic behavior of its existing and potential customers. By doing this, such an institution can stay updated on the needs of its customers and respond timely by developing its products and services according to customer expectations. Building user experiences and products with the actual needs of users in mind will help banks stay ahead and relevant.

Onboard Talent for the digital revolution

Banks risk being outpaced by the speed of the digital revolution. There is no denying that the future banks are tech companies and current financial institutions need to evolve accordingly if they would ever remain in the game. Exploring the metaverse can keep banks in the know of the requirements and talent needed to run tech-focused financial institutions.

What Are the Potential Drawbacks of Getting in Early?

You may wonder if it isn't too early to try out these technologies or start building something at the moment. We shall answer that question with a negative, as the list of banks building in the metaverse continues to grow. JP Morgan, for example, released its reading list in its metaverse lounge on Decentraland, a decentralized virtual world on the Ethereum blockchain that has quickly become the acclaimed favorite of companies developing locations in the metaverse. Another bank, Quontic bank, which claims to be the first bank in the United States to offer Bitcoin rewards to its clients, also launched a building in the metaverse. According to the bank's chief marketing officer and global banking lead, the step will help the bank secure a position at the forefront of emerging technologies. Zelf, another US-based bank, is building an embedded banking system to exchange value from the virtual to the real world.

These examples are enough to let you know the downsides, if any, are infinitesimal compared to the potential. Not adopting the metaverse at the moment would amount to shutting the door of possibilities. It will not be easy to build the technical aspect of the projects, and technologies for accessing the metaverse are still in the works. Yet, in their current state, many folks are using them to explore the possibilities in the virtual world.

Considering the costs, you may want to do a proof of concept and test your idea to see if it is feasible before developing anything in the metaverse. In reality, most businesses, including the banks we just mentioned, do not yet carry out their complete operations in the metaverse. The metaverse is just a part of what they do, so do not worry about moving all that you do into the metaverse, as that may not be needed just yet.

Can Any Bank Start Operating in the Metaverse?

One of the essential characteristics of the metaverse is openness. Advocates of decentralization are doing their best to retain this feature in the metaverse. Do not be surprised to see something like an access fee in centralized metaverses. Such restrictions do not exist in a decentralized metaverse. Once you have the relevant hardware and gadget that lets you access the virtual space, you can access places and interact in the metaverse. To sustain the decentralized economy of some metaverses, users may have to buy plots of land necessary for building properties.

These lands may be expensive, but they will serve their purpose since you can lease the land for events and do other things with it before developing your virtual banking space. Some decentralized metaverses also allow landowners earn passively from simply owning plots of land in the metaverse. You should also consider the development requirements if you do not have the technical skills to build the features of your digital banking building or ATM space in the metaverse. The cost also depends on the blockchain where the metaverse is on, but it is advisable to use a popular blockchain so that it won't be super hard and expensive to find an experienced developer to build the project.

Let's Help You Start Your Metaverse Operation

Building the technical aspects of the metaverse using Three.js, Solidity, React, or other required Javascript libraries are where it gets really hard. Banks can handle finance. Yet, you need to code to set up the transactions in the first place. As a specialized metaverse development company, we have 3D design and manipulation experts, Solidity, and Javascript programming, product designers, managers, UI/UX experts, and test engineers. We established ourselves in the space by repeatedly delivering excellent metaverse development solutions for some of the most popular brands in the space.

For clients in the banking world, we understand that the ideas you intend to build can vary greatly. Still, one consistent thing is the need for excellent execution to avoid whacky experiences that can easily frustrate users. Since the metaverse as we know it now is a pretty new technology, simple mistakes can ruin user experiences and make the entire development process worthless. With us, you can rest assured that your metaverse development will be a worthwhile endeavor.

Conclusion

While the media makes it look like decentralization powered by blockchain technology, the metaverse is here to take banks and other institutions out of the game; the opposite may be true. AR, VR, IoT, and extended reality are promising technologies that can be expedient to banks willing to embrace the change before us without reservation. Like JP Morgan, Quontic, and HSBC, any bank can get started with its metaverse ambitions, no matter how small. We are always ready to help banks get started on their journey into the new internet. So if you want to take your metaverse development to the next level, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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