With major financial institutions increasingly moving into the metaverse, UK bank HSBC is the first global financial services provider to enter virtual world The Sandbox, following in the steps of US-based banking giant JPMorgan which recently set up a lounge in another virtual world, Decentraland (MANA).
The British bank said it sees “great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve.”
The bank will acquire a plot of LAND, virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse, which will be developed to engage and connect with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts, per their announcement.
HSBC is joining the ranks of more than 200 partners of Animoca Brands-operated virtual world such as Warner Music Group, Adidas, Ubisoft, and Gucci. The partnership with HSBC could be particularly important for The Sandbox’s increased integration with the global financial infrastructure. With some USD 2.96trn in assets as of the end of 2021, the UK business is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.
Meanwhile, this past February, international consultancy Accenture estimated that banking in the metaverse could mark another transforming frontier for the world’s banks, with some observers predicting the metaverse to be a USD 8trn opportunity.
“As mind-bending as this new environment may seem, banks need to consider the possibilities that will transform everything from the basics to the future of business,” according to Accenture’s leading banking directors. “With banks now starting to jump on the metaverse bandwagon, it’s important to strike a balance between the prescriptive and the curious.”
Virtual and augmented reality is already shaping the way banking industry leaders see the future of their sector across the globe, as indicated by research commissioned by the Digital Banking Report.
The survey shows that 13% of surveyed financial industry executives estimate that virtual and augmented reality will be used by 20% of consumers as an alternative channel for daily transactions by 2025. A further 34% of executives say this will occur by 2030, and 44% declare this will take place after 2030. Only 9% of the surveyed say this will never take place, according to the poll.
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