Gulf countries take first steps to bank on metaverse

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JPMorgan was the first major bank to join metaverse. (Decentraland)
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  • There is no doubt that Metaverse is interesting for banks because modern virtual worlds are built on blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized finance
  • Many questions regarding the impact of the Metaverse on banking rose after JPMorgan announced plans to open an office in the metaverse

The GCC banks have begun to take first watchful steps in embracing the metaverse, though it is still a long way away from full adopting the technology that has taken the world by storm.

Like many businesses, banks are following the trend and adopting the metaverse technology; despite that, it’s still not popular in the MENA region, but expectations show that more financial institutions will invest in presenting an incredible virtual experience for their users.

Many questions regarding the impact of the metaverse on banking rose after JPMorgan announced plans to open an office in the metaverse.

There is no doubt that metaverse is interesting for banks because modern virtual worlds are built on blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized finance; with so many new possibilities, they are an excellent investment.

Benefits on banks

A new ecosystem based on metaverse is currently being developed, including entrepreneurs. Regarding social interaction and engagement, banks must adopt metaverse’s latest model.

To succeed in the metaverse, banks need to figure out what role they will play, and being part of the ecosystem early may give them some landing rights that wouldn’t be available if they didn’t move early.

Technology Expert Rudy Shoushani explained in an interview with TRENDS that there are still no benefits for banks or financial institutions that adopt metaverse. Instead, it is all about marketing, in which banks are shifting from 2D into 3D.

He explained: “Usually clients used phone calls, mobile applications or an actual visit to the branch to set their finances. But in the future, the client who lives in Dubai, for example, can wear his goggles and enter a virtual experience where he can visit the USA branch and set all his finances with the right assistance”.

Yet, many new opportunities await banks in the metaverse, from providing payment rails that power virtual transactions and reimagining transactions for 3D worlds to engaging with employees in new ways, attracting young talent, and finding new ways to engage with customers online.

Job Openings in metaverse

Metaverse is opening new opportunities for the youth, starting with hardware builders, cyber security vacancies, researchers, marketing, virtual content creators, fashion designers, storytellers, builders, character designers, and many more, as Shoushany mentioned.

Almost everything will be available in the virtual world, as we witnessed international brands ensuring their position on metaverse.

Payments and new products

Everything in metaverse is decentralized, owned by someone. “You own your information, clothes, avatar … This is simply web 3.0”, Shoushany clarified.

Moreover, payment methods on metaverse will occur through cryptocurrencies. Yet, NFTs and virtual goods will become popular once metaverse becomes mainstream. Therefore, it is essential to the metaverse that NFTs and virtual property be implemented. Additionally, banks will need to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for these products.

Existing metaverses, such as Decentraland, prominently display NFTs, and banks in the virtual space can provide loans and accept NFTs as collateral.

Banks can also take advantage of virtual real estate. Massive sums are being paid for virtual plots of land in Decentraland and Sandbox. Customers can get business loans from banks to buy these virtual plots of land.

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