by Shubhangi Shah
Banking via mobile phones is already at our fingertips. The next leap in technology promises to bring a human touch to the digital experience with virtual interactions in the metaverse. Just as Union Bank of India did on Friday by launching their Metaverse Virtual Lounge, which allows customers to visit the bank without actually visiting the bank. As the bank’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Rajeev Mishra, told FE, “You choose a digital avatar for yourself, enter the bank lounge and access the available banking services. We currently offer information services through which customers can get information about social security services, loans and other banking products,” it said, adding that the service can be used through both desktop and virtual reality headsets. could.
The bank joins international and foreign banks such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and South Korea’s Kookmin Bank, which have already entered the Metaverse.
As explained by Rajesh Mirjankar, CEO of Kiaverse, India’s first metaverse banking platform, digital banking will continue to grow, which will not only allow remote access to services, but will also add a personal touch. Launched last month by digital services provider Kiya.ai, Kiyaverse has attracted strong interest from private and public banks and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies).
Explaining what differentiates this new technology from existing technologies like mobile banking, Mirjankar said: “Digital banking is functionally interdependent and inclusive, but is often seen as emotionally isolating. Metaverse enables banks to use state-of-the-art technology with a human touch that will significantly deepen and personalize customer interactions. This is an opportunity to restore lost dialogue in digital channels.”
Sonali Kulkarni, Head of Financial Services at Accenture India, agrees.
“In addition to its potential for product and service innovation in payments, investments, insurance and credit, Metaverse is an opportunity for banks to drive deeper customer engagement,” he said, adding that it “restores personal dialogue.” . that are currently missing from digital channels and are helping to create unforgettable experiences for the next generation of bank customers, many of whom may never need to set foot in a bank branch in their lifetime. “
Both Kiaverse and Union Bank’s Metaverse operate on similar technological lines, integrating virtual reality and digital avatars. At the moment, Union Bank is “not going to the next phase where transactions and other services can be provided,” the bank’s CTO said, explaining that there are security and regulatory issues that need to be addressed.
Mirjankar also acknowledges that the banking industry is still in the “early stages” and banks should consider adopting immersive technologies “for the future of business.”
Similarly, Kulkarni said that as the world progresses, “Banks in India must begin to assess their technical readiness for Metaverse and develop prototypes to help their employees understand its potential.” and eventually be ready to implement them to scale prototypes quickly.”
She emphasizes “trust” and calls it “of paramount importance” to embrace new experiences and that the metaverse should be developed with fundamental accountability – of data ownership, security, inclusion and diversity, risk management and other parameters.
Speaking of the need for a talented and skilled workforce, he said: “Just like banks need to develop digital, data and cloud skills in their workforce to enable a digital-native business model, they need to hire talent or build skills. The future is powered by the metaverse.” This includes 3D artists, game designers, platform experts, and professionals specializing in multiple blockchains.
Meanwhile, at the first launch in India in Metaverse, Union Bank’s CTO said other banks will soon bring it up. “It’s just a matter of days. Today we made it, tomorrow you will find others,” he said.