What Does the Metaverse Mean for the Banking and Financial Services Industry?


Banking in the virtual world is not new, but the metaverse has the potential to change Banking and Financial Services (BFS) forever.

A metaverse is a digital economy with immersive experience created by the convergence of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), extended reality (XR), Web3, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, Internet of Things (IOT), cloud, edge computing, blockchain and other technologies. In BFS, metaverses seem likely to dramatically change the way banks engage with customers, offer new products and services and enable new marketplaces. Given the demographics of likely metaverse users, it also has great potential to reach new customer segments.

How Will Metaverse Revolutionize the Future of Customer Experience and Banking Transactions?

While metaverse is still in its infancy, there’s little doubt it has started to garner interest in the Banking and Financial Services industry that has been witnessing real-world benefits with cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The uptake of NFTs, crypto and central bank digital currencies (CBDC), all enabled by blockchain technology and Web3, has led to a “creator and virtual” economy, unlocking the potential for new assets such as digital art, virtual real estate and play-to-earn (P2E) games. Metaverse, NFTs and decentralized finance (DeFi), which offers financial instruments without relying on intermediaries by using smart contracts on a blockchain, have given rise to a new virtual economy that is becoming more decentralized, inclusive and transparent.

This ISG white paper, How Will Metaverse Revolutionize the Future of Customer Experience and Banking Transactions?, explores this emerging economy, the use cases of metaverse in BFS and how traditional banking enterprises, including Citi, BNP Paribas and JP Morgan, are leading the field as early adopters of these immersive technologies and experiences.

Figure 1: Use Cases for Metaverse in Banking and Financial Services

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About the author

Owen Wheatley

Owen Wheatley

What he does at ISG
To say Owen Wheatley comes prepared to work through your operational concerns and transformational needs is an understatement. As ISG’s Lead Partner of Banking and Financial Services, he treats his 25+ years of experience in this ever-evolving, customer-centric field as a replete lexicon of applicable knowledge, relevant learnings and potentially executable solutions. In doing so, he makes the ethereal and theoretical, actual and obtainable.

Past achievements for clients
Knowledge-sharing is second nature to Owen. He provides his clients with market insights and meaningful thought leadership and helps them understand what similar (or different) organizations in comparable situations have done regarding transformational change. Many of Owen’s clients have sought his expertise to strengthen their customer engagement on the digital front, enhance the employee experience to improve the customer one and navigate new ecosystems—like integrating emerging partnerships—endemic to the industry. He makes sure that untangling this complexity and harnessing your new relationships always lead to your number one goal: driving better results for your banking or financial institution. In fact, Owen:

  • Led a consulting team to design a commercially groundbreaking and elaborate deal for one of the largest hedge funds in the world to reimagine its middle and back-office operations, lessen the bureaucratic demand on the front office and serve institutional clients better. The measures of success for this co-designed and collaborative project included defined stages of excellence and experience metrics, delivered in a commercial model which positions all parties for success.
  • Managed a large team of advisors to provide market insight and an "outside-in" perspective to multiple major North American banks looking to transform their operations, including indirect auto lending, core banking, cheque processing and the entire cash ecosystem.
  • Led a team of experts in helping to transform the HR technology and operations of a major European bank, including designing the right strategy, creating the roadmap and business case, selecting the right partners for a new ecosystem and ensuring expedited and effective implementation.