Banks in the Metaverse.

The metaverse, a blockchain-based virtual world that offers new human and socio-cultural experiences through immersive social experiences involving virtual and augmented reality, has gained the attention of financial institutions. The young, tech-savvy user base of metaverse applications presents a unique opportunity for banks to build relationships with a growing consumer base that has long embraced fintech. Banks also aim to tap into this pool of talent for future hiring.

Leading institutions from different parts of the world have begun setting up shop in the metaverse. JPMorgan, under the brand Onyx, arrived in Decentraland with a blockchain-based platform for wholesale payment transactions. HSBC purchased land on The Sandbox to engage clients and offer novel experiences through emerging platforms. Kookmin and DBS, two banking giants from Asia, have also entered the metaverse and begun offering various services. In Canada, TD and RBC are conducting metaverse pilot programs to understand the technology and stay ahead of the game to offer immersive services effectively to their customers.

Banks are also preparing their financial advisors and wealth managers for Web3-based financial products, such as metaverse ETF and metaverse index products, fueled by the growing market capitalization of metaverse tokens and a shift to investing in digital assets by millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z clients. Advisors are educating themselves about a wide range of cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin and ether, and the industry is developing digital asset education and curricula to serve this need. The impact of the metaverse on the financial services sector represents the next evolutionary stage in banking and capital markets.