- The bank sees great potential in creating new experiences through immersive tech such as virtual reality
- HSBC will use its metaverse initiative to interact with sports, e-sports, and gaming communities
Multinational banking and asset management firm HSBC has officially joined the metaverse, according to a blog post published by The Sandbox today.
Following the partnership, the British financial services company has purchased a plot on The Sandbox metaverse, on which it intends to establish its virtual world. It hopes to use the ecosystem to provide an engagement platform for finance professionals, gaming communities, sports, and e-sports enthusiasts.
"The ground-breaking partnership between The Sandbox and HSBC will see the global financial services provider acquire a plot of LAND, virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse, which will be developed to engage and connect with sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts," an excerpt from the blog post read.
The specifics of the actual nature of this virtual world that HSBC is building were not provided. However, Chief Marketing Officer of the Asia-Pacific region, Suresh Balaji, said the bank wants to leverage "immersive technologies" such as VR, AR, and XR to model innovative brand experiences and carve a plethora of new opportunities for its users.
"At HSBC, we see great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve. Through our partnership with The Sandbox, we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers," Balaji said.
Still not offering crypto services
The interaction of traditional finance with the burgeoning crypto/ Web3 space has always been an important conversation. Banks such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have already indicated willingness to deal in crypto, as they are offering customers exposure to some crypto products.
On the other hand, while HSBC's foray into the metaverse is generally a good move for the space, the bank remains sceptical of crypto offerings.
Last May that it blocked all transactions between its clients and crypto exchanges. Noel Quinn, the CEO, also insisted the bank would not offer a crypto trading desk or digital tokens as investment class assets.
The role of banks in the metaverse's evolution
Last month, JPMorgan bought a plot of land on Decentraland, on which it developed an Onyx Lounge for visitors. One expects the bank will seek even further initiatives in this booming sector.
As per a report published in January, the bank said it would take an approach to provide the necessary financial infrastructure to power interoperability between physical and virtual worlds.