Our first metaverse post attracted a lot of attention and prompted the Ultimate Guide to Banking in the Metaverse. These posts discussed the first step in moving to the metaverse: educating your teams and stakeholders. Now, with more banks looking to understand how they can drive growth and value by entering this new frontier, we are having conversations about where and how to play. While the instinct may be to move fast (it's exciting!), let’s ensure speed to market is balanced with purpose.
Striking this balance is critical given the spectrum of the metaverse potential. Our 2022 Tech Vision defined the metaverse as, “An evolution of the internet that enables us to move beyond ‘browsing’ to ‘participating and/or inhabiting’ in a persistent shared experience that spans the spectrum of our real world to a fully virtual world and in between.”
We understand this definition can feel enormous and broad. While some of banking’s early movers, such as Amex, Fidelity, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, have provided lessons in meaningful experiences, we see an opportunity for banks to explore new products and services and reimagine banking experiences by defining their own purpose-built metaverse.
It’s now time to talk about the next steps banks can take to enter the metaverse with purpose.
1. Rally around your purpose
The metaverse offers an opportunity to imagine and invent better experiences for the real world. With this potential, banks should not be simply replicating what they do today in 3D but looking at where they can offer improved experiences and services with this range of technology. This will give users meaningful reasons to come to the space and continue to return.
In these early days of banking in the metaverse, we are watching key themes emerge that touch on purpose, including payments and loyalty, entertainment, community, financial health and wellness, and education.
To jump-start your thinking about your purpose in the metaverse, ask these questions:
- What do my customers and employees need right now? And how can the metaverse help improve the experiences I provide in new and more impactful ways?
- What are the outcomes I’m looking to achieve this year? And how might the metaverse help my bank reach these goals?
- Just like any strategic initiative, you must ask: What impact are you looking to have? And how do you plan to measure it?
It all starts with your purpose.
2. Connect to your strategy
After defining and understanding your value pools, a broad set of capabilities and services will need to be carefully considered to support and activate new, meaningful experiences. This will improve the likelihood of engagement and, more importantly, re-engagement by users.
When selecting purpose-rich metaverse services and capabilities, we recommend considering the required maturity of the following:
- Responsible metaverse: security, risk & compliance, governance, equity & inclusion, employee & customer safety.
- Data, analytics, and AI: persistent data & analytics, measurement & KPIs.
- Technology & enablers: assisted reality, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, digital twins, IT support, and more.
3. Activate and go to market
Selecting your platform says a lot about how you go to market as it will set the tone for end users and experiences. The metaverse landscape is continually evolving, and not all platforms are created equal. Banks have already established a presence in Decentraland, Sandbox, Minecraft and so on.
Choosing between a permissioned or permissionless platform is the most important choice. Why? It determines ownership. For example, the permissioned Horizon Worlds platform allows users to sell digital goods for a ~47.5% fee, while the permissionless Decentraland platform enables users to sell digital goods on OpenSea for a 2.5% fee. This fee difference is determined by who “really” owns the digital good—Meta in the case of Horizon Worlds and the user (via an NFT) for the parcel in Decentraland.
As a starting point, consider the segments, marketability, experience enablement, technical capabilities and platform growth potential and how these criteria will support your purpose.
As with most platform decisions, entering the metaverse will come with risk. Buying land in Decentraland could be perceived as volatile and expensive. The buyer must protect their private keys which control the underlying NFTs. Additionally, NFTs represent a bet on the future, so if Decentraland loses active users to another platform, the value of its parcels may decrease. These risks are part of the metaverse equation—don’t let them deter you from exploring.
As you walk through your metaverse strategy, we hope you continue to make moves with excitement. We understand there is a lot to unpack in this new world. Keep in mind that many experiential aspects of the metaverse have their roots in gaming. It’s a new and emerging area, so stay curious while adopting a “test and learn” approach. And with that, remember to focus on value as you look to the future and continue to experiment while forming your adaptive, purpose-built strategy. Enjoy the purposeful exploration!
And reach out for assistance—we're here to help guide your metaverse mission.
Special thanks to Alexandra Convey, Accenture Song Brand & Marketing Strategy Consultant, for contributing to this blog post.