Southeast Asia’s largest bank DBS has partnered with decentralised virtual world The Sandbox to create an interactive metaverse experience showcasing the importance of building a better, more sustainable world.
DBS is the first Singapore company to seal a partnership with The Sandbox and the first bank in Singapore to venture into the metaverse. It follows in the footsteps of Standard Chartered Hong Kong, which announced a similar partnership earlier this year.
Under the partnership, DBS – a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based game software company Animoca Brands – gets a 3×3 plot of LAND, a unit of virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse. This will then be developed with immersive elements to create DBS BetterWorld – an additional engagement platform for customers.
The financial services firm suggests the metaverse presents ‘exciting opportunities to redefine how we live, work and engage with each other’. It also says the development contributes to its ongoing efforts to ‘groom the next generation of tech talent who will eventually lead DBS in tapping new and emerging technologies to usher in the future of banking’.
Embracing new tech
Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS, says: “Over the last decade, the biggest changes in the world of finance have been catalysed by digital advancements. In the coming decade, driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, these shifts have the potential to be even more profound.
“Metaverse technology, while still evolving, could also fundamentally change the way banks interact with customers and communities. Given the speed of change, experimenting and learning-by-doing enable us to best test the potential of various technologies.
While Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Hong Kong, adds: “With today’s partnership, we have an excellent opportunity for our young talent to be deeply involved in developing a compelling and meaningful use case in The Sandbox.”
DBS joins The Sandbox’s efforts to create the SingaporeVerse, a neighbourhood on its virtual map that will bring the culture of Singapore to life in the metaverse in a ‘very engaging, equitable, inclusive way that is open to all.
Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, explains: “ESG issues are important to us, and we look forward to collaborating on an experience that invites our audience to make a positive global impact, to discover the creative possibilities of our platform, and maybe to find their next life-changing opportunity in the metaverse.”
Inside DBS BetterWorld
The bank will use DBS BetterWorld to profile social entrepreneurs in Asia who have been driving positive impact through innovative business models. Additionally, DBS will work with partners and collaborators from the government, community, business, and technology sectors to develop meaningful concepts to enrich the experience.
DBS will also explore opportunities to showcase DBS BetterWorld with LiveBetter, a one-stop digital platform that the bank launched in October 2021 to encourage more eco-conscious living among its customers. Finally, the Bank will also partner with The Sandbox to purchase carbon offsets such that the land and production on DBS BetterWorld will be carbon neutral.