How Metaverse will unleash new era in banking: Opportunities and challenges

However, the new kid on the block is Metaverse, which has attracted a lot of eyes across various industries and the banking sector is no exception. After the pa

Gone are the days when people had to wait for their lunch hour to finish and their bank inquiries to be resolved, or needed to visit the bank multiple times to get loan approval. Digitization has taken the world by storm, with credit payments made in an astonishing 2-minute time frame.

However, the new kid on the block is Metaverse, which has attracted a lot of eyes across various industries and the banking sector is no exception. After the pandemic hit, people were reluctant to leave the comfort of their homes, and Metaverse seized on exactly that opportunity.

Imagine depositing money in the bank without visiting the branch and having avatars like the bank manager, your relationship manager and other bank staff to guide you, interact and engage with you in the virtual world, while you are sitting on your sofa and Truly enjoying the immersive experience without moving an inch!

Sounds interesting, right?

How can Metaverse act as a mediator to address consumer pain points?
With the help of the metaverse, banks that currently do not operate 24/7 due to high operating costs can create their own virtual branches and help customers access their services at any time, any day and anywhere. Speaking at ETBFSI Converge, Hitesh Sachdev, Head of Startups and Innovation at ICICI Bank, said that rental and mortgage contracts can also be registered in the virtual space.

How Metaverse will unleash new era in banking: Opportunities and challenges

What are the use cases in the banking sector?
In addition to allowing customers access everywhere, there are other benefits to adopting this new technology. An Accenture report beautifully summarizes some of the key opportunities banks can take advantage of to capitalize on the metaverse.

  • See real estate projects just sitting at home
  • Create short-term interaction with customers.
  • Experience can be created by foreign banks for high net worth individuals
  • Offer customers the ability to check balances, pay bills, and make transfers and transactions using AR/VR channels.
  • Leverage employee experience by delivering immersive security learning in fully simulated customer environments
  • Smoother customer onboarding by creating stronger community ties between new entrants and start-up groups
  • The presence of virtual branches provides a high-touch service to customers looking for mortgages or other advanced products.
  • Access to convenient remote advice, annual portfolio reviews, financial planning sessions and mortgage advice
  • Improve collaboration and real-time analysis when introducing new investment products to potential clients.
  • Facilitate digital payments for secure wallet functionality and payment rails for metaverse product economies and services.
  • Launch digital asset issuance by developing digital assets for new and existing customer products.
  • Extension marketing and branding can be promoted through virtual simulation of brand familiar interaction, such as checking refinance rates and branch location.
  • Securing, securing and servicing digital assets against digital assets, NFTs, virtual real estate and other third party assets
  • Leverage comprehensive data from digital asset usages and metaverse customer activities.

How metaverse will unleash new era in banking: Opportunities and challenges

Why are banks going after Metaverse?
Metaverse is expected to become a 5 trillion dollars market by 2030 as bankers believe it's all about image. Adoption of the metaverse indicates that banks are tech-savvy and early adopters in the high-tech environment.

However, Hitesh finds that making big profits in the metaverse mostly depends on adoption and having the right target audience is key. He summed it up as “the right audience, the right use cases, and the right customer segment” make up the holy trinity of striking the right chord for metaverses.

For example, abroad, HSBC has bought testing grounds to engage with online sports fans and esports enthusiasts, and JP Morgan Chase has established a global banking giant.

In India, Kiya.ai has launched India's first Metaverse banking app called Kiyaverse. A host of private and public sector banks have expressed interest and Union Bank of India has even launched its own digital banking metaverse called 'Uni-Verse'.

This specific application allows customers to visit a bank without actually visiting it, choosing digital avatars for themselves, entering the banking lounge and accessing banking services, and finally getting details about social security loans and other key information. However, transactions cannot be made in this area due to regulatory and security concerns.

Challenges involved:
Data privacy remains a huge risk according to Hitesh, and building trust remains vital as transactions need to remain secure. He adds that the authentication layers must be integrated. Interoperability should still be important because it depends on the third party. Finally, he adds a caveat that the ROI will not be viable at this time.

In short, while the Metaverse offers many opportunities for the banking industry to thrive, so do the challenges around the cost matrix, ROI, and data security. Only time can tell if this technology is worth the investment.

Also Read: Meta to shut down 'Super' live-streaming platform for creators

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