We have the invention and evolution of technology to thank for some of humanity’s most significant advances. The invention of the aeroplane in 1903, the computer in 1937, and the internet in 1974 all completely changed how we live our everyday lives. As technology advances, how can the likes of Web3, the metaverse, blockchain and DeFi change the future of fintech?
Personalisation has been the biggest challenge for fintechs over the past few years. Organisations that have failed to change their offerings to accommodate this demand have fallen by the wayside. As time continues, it does not appear that this is going away anytime soon. In fact, fintechs and other financial services are going to need to do more to tailor to this demand. Cue, the metaverse.
The metaverse’s rise to popularity has seen many customers look to their providers for a metaverse offering. To understand how this is impacting the relationship between fintechs and customers, The Fintech Times reached out to the industry for its views.
James Watson, CMO at The Glimpse Group, a multi-solution immersive technology, explains how the metaverse will enable a new layer of trust to be built. This will only further support the bridge between customers and fintechs.
“The metaverse could seriously shake up the way fintechs interact with their customers by offering a much more personal and exciting experience for accessing financial services.
“For example, customers can receive personalised financial advice, tailored to their unique needs and goals, within a virtual environment. This can help to build a deeper level of trust between fintechs and their customers, as they can see the data and information they need to make informed financial decisions in real time.
“This could be a game-changer for building trust between fintechs and their customers. In the metaverse, fintechs can get a better understanding of their customers by analysing data and using machine learning. This way, they can continually improve their products and services to better meet the needs of their customers.”
Filling in the gaps
Digitisation has revolutionised life as we know it. However, for some the speed of this change may have been a bit too much. Nicole Valentine, fintech director at Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, explains how the metaverse can be used to help customers understand the revolution.
“It’s possible that the metaverse can solve the gaps in the experience for the consumers generated by the digital revolution. The metaverse is an opportunity to reengage and reconnect consumers to a customised financial experience in a virtual setting.
“Financial rituals like opening a bank account, getting your first checkbook and making deposits with the bank teller are no longer the norm. Although fintech has made borrowing, transacting and trading easier for the consumer, there’s something the metaverse can bring back into the financial experience – connection and customisation.
“The metaverse is a container for an enhanced experience. It can be a tool that educates, informs, activates, and inspires. To paint the picture; imagine the digital twin of your banker lives on the metaverse 24 hours a day. At any moment, your metaverse banker can answer a question, suggest a financial product, and run a report on your transactions.
“I’m excited about what this means for bringing more people into the financial system and the delivery of financial products with the added benefit of education and information so that people can make data-driven decisions. There’s so much value in having a full picture of your financial activities and an understanding of how all your financial activities impact each other.”
A new payments experience
Deepak Jain, CEO and founder at Wink, the biometric checkout service, discussed how a whole new payments experience will be created by the metaverse: “The metaverse will elevate the brand’s presence in front of consumers.
“The typical e-commerce portal will be replaced by a 3D experiential portal that mimics the actual physical retail space. Brands that have no physical presence in the real world or those that can’t afford to open stores in all cities will have the opportunity to make a virtual store available to all visitors irrespective of time and location.
“The fintechs will have to find a way to become embedded inside the experiences offered by the brands securely. Metaverse will make it harder for fintechs to create their own brand identity as consumers are much more likely to get financial products and services directly from the brands they love and are loyal to. Metaverse will provide a new opportunity for open banking and embedded finance fintechs for this reason as virtually every brand will become capable of offering financial services.”
Highlight the human touch
Some sceptics aren’t fond of the advancement of technology due to the lack of a human touch. The reliance on AI and chatbots can be infuriating. Ironically though, John Burris, president at MetaJuice, the crypto-enabling platform, explains how the interactions in a virtual 3D world will bring back the human element many feel digitisation has cut.
“The metaverse will make interactions and relationships more ‘human’. Interactions won’t have to be with online forms and long FAQs. Instead, those engaging in the new, metaverse economy can interact with avatars in 3D virtual environments that look and feel familiar. They will be able to communicate with actual people. And just like social platforms brought brands and companies closer to their customers/communities, the metaverse will take that one level deeper.
“This ‘closeness’ will require fintech companies and others to really ensure they have great experiences. This is because not only will good/enjoyable interactions be amplified in the metaverse… but so will poor interactions.”
Responding to customer behaviours in real-time
Of course, a good organisation can only survive if it rapidly responds to customers’ behaviours. An unadaptable nature is a surefire way to failure. Pari Natarajan, CEO of Zinnov, the management consulting firm, comments on how the metaverse can enable fintechs to provide a better service.
“The metaverse is making financial services more personalised, accessible, secure and engaging for the consumers. Meanwhile, it opens up new revenue streams for fintech companies themselves. The balance of personalisation, security and experience is the key driver of this change.
“Fintech companies are sitting on a data payload: they have access to information on users’ preferences, behaviour and financial habits. Bolt this on to the metaverse and it will enable fintech companies to personalise their services and offerings for both their existing and new age consumers – many of whom are digital natives.
“A persistent, immersive, digital environment will also help fintech companies understand facets of changing consumer behaviour in real-time. This enables them to customise offerings for the best fit, not just what is available. Furthermore, consumers will have greater control and security over their financial assets, as the metaverse allows for blockchain transactions, resulting in lowered fraud risks and more transparent governance. Making a transaction that’s backed by robust technology infrastructure builds in ease and trust at scale.”
Being green is something customers look for in their companies now. Showing an awareness of ESG is an absolute necessity. Dr Bo Bai, executive chairman and co-founder of MVGX (MetaVerse Green Exchange), a green digital asset marketplace, explains how the metaverse is helping companies achieve their green promises.
“Today, we live in a digitally-driven economy and the metaverse is the nexus bringing all digital possibilities together in a virtual realm — just as we now see how the digital asset sector is aiding the green finance industry by bringing accessibility and transparency.
“Within the context of MVGX, we believe that the metaverse offers three bridges that connect the physical with the digital realm to power a global trading network for carbon and green assets. First, the metaverse is closing the gap between traditional finance and the digital asset sector. It’s doing so by offering a full-service infrastructure for tokenised economy.
“Additionally, it is accelerating access to carbon trading for governments and institutions alike. MVGX, for example, is already working with one of Southeast Asia’s leading banks, OCBC. Together, we will issue new green financing solutions for corporations looking to simplify their carbon neutrality journey. Additionally, MVGX also partnered with the Indonesia Stock Exchange for the nation’s first carbon credit trading platform.
“Finally, the metaverse is enabling more funding to be channelled into sustainable infrastructure and green projects. By fractionalising illiquid assets and lowering barriers to investing in vital green projects, it will accelerate global action towards net zero.