Experience economy: How Web3 is changing finance

Written By Kelly Ann Collins

Does banking in the Metaverse sound crazy? Before you say “yes,” hold that thought.

From retail, art and gaming to virtual events, memberships and hybrid experiences, Web3 is changing life as we know it.

Soon, banking in the Metaverse will be the mainstream choice over phone calls or chat bots. Soon, buying a home with crypto won’t be questioned. Soon, crypto will be accepted as normal – just like fiat is today.

And I’m not just making this up. J.P. Morgan, a financial intuition with a hot virtual location, complete with a tiger, estimates Metaverse opportunities at more than $1 trillion. In fact, already, people are spending $54 billion on virtual goods right now, which is almost double the amount spent buying music, according to J.P. Morgan.

Already, at Onyx Lounge in Decentraland (coordinates 94, 21), which is JP Morgan’s Metaverse spot, financial-institution lovers can buy virtual plots of land with crypto.

“The elements of a new digital age are converging at scale. The metaverse is the driving force bringing these elements together in a unified, immersive experience,” states J.P. Morgan’s recent “Opportunities in the Metaverse” report.

Exactly what’s coming for finance in Web3? Here are five highlights.

1. Innovation
In Web2, trendy banks (and people) have been using tools like Zelle, Venmo, Square, WhatsApp, and Cash App to help customers make payments. Web3 is taking all of that a step further with crypto payments. Innovative financial institutions who want to remain competitive will need to give users ways to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency (and Metaverse crypto, for example, MANA in Decentraland), and ways to extend loans to customers, and potential customers, using crypto.

2. Immersive experiences
For customers who like talking to agents, the Metaverse can offer immersive financial experiences. Just the other day I was in Mastercard’s Pride Plaza (see video, below). While I was there I learned more about Mastercard while gaining some great financial insights. Financial institutions who want to remain competitive will look at ways to voice and video chat with clients in the Metaverse. Banker avatars? I’m here for it. This is going to 10X customer loyalty as the world moves toward full Web3 adoption.

3. NFTs
Annual credit card fees? Monthly account charges? Financial advisor services? Financial institutions could unlock many doors with NFTs – from wealth management memberships to all-inclusive product packages.

4. Education & Public Service 
South Korea’s KB Bank is using the Metaverse to not just educate youth on finance – but its employees as well. Jinsoo Yoon, Vice President of Tech Group at KB Kookmin Bank, said adaptation to the new technological era is a step that must be taken. “The purpose is to pre-emptively respond to financial changes in the coming Metaverse era and to internalise new financial service experiments and technological capabilities.” South Korea is taking the lead on many Web3 innovations in the Metaverse. In fact, the South Korean capital has invested $3.2 billion USD in the Metaverse where it will offer a variety of services, including civil complaints and consultations.

5. Real Estate Lending and More
Have you heard about people buying homes with crypto? One way home buyers can use crypto is by using it as a down payment. Crypto lenders like BlockFi and Celsius are already offering crypto-backed loans for major purchases, like cars and real estate. In the real estate realm, companies, Propy, are already using NFTs as proof of ownership (which , let’s be honest, is more secure than traditional deeds).

Like I always say, anything paper can do, NFTs, crypto and blockchain can do better!

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