Why opening bank branches in the metaverse is not a good idea

Digital Reinvention
02/08/2022 article
Boris Plantier Qorus Content Strategy Manager & Innovation Lead

A few weeks ago, an Indian fintech called Kiya.ai launched Kiyaverse, the first banking metaverse. Kiyaverse will enable customers to use their personalized avatars on digital banking units, mobiles, laptops, VR headsets, and mixed reality environments. The platform will bring banking services from the real world to the virtual world and vice versa, allowing interaction with a relationship manager’s avatar creation and customization, AI-based digital customer interaction, portfolio analysis, wealth management, co-lending, and corporate banking.

Before that, South Korea’s Kookmin Bank announced its offer for customers to meet with financial advisors in virtual branches.

Nothing very new though. Others have been doing it for years. A few years ago, before Meta, formerly known as Facebook, made the word ‘metaverse’ fashionable, there was a lot of talk about virtual worlds – in particular Second Life, an online multimedia platform that allows people to create an avatar for themselves and have a second life in an online virtual world. Second Life was created in 2003, and in 2007 Deutsche Bank built the first virtual bank branch, called ‘Q110 – die Deutsche Bank der Zukunft’. Many other banks have gone this way and none have made it there.

One could say that the world was not yet ready for virtual worlds. Since then, technology has progressed, virtual reality headsets make the experience more immersive, and their prices are starting to drop which will lead to a democratization of these devices. However, there is another question that is essential to ask. If virtual reality became the new trend and revolutionized our lives, would it have an impact on our banking experience?

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