How about gaming your way to banking services from the comfort of your home? Netbanking, mobile banking and even virtual branches you spot at fancy malls are passé. The banking sector is staring at another revolution — a banking metaverse that will give you a 360-degree view of a physical bank from wherever you are.
Launched by Kiya.ai, a 27-year-old global digital solutions provider to financial entities and governments (earlier known as Infrasoft Technologies), the banking metaverse (Kiyaverse) will give you a three-dimensional experience of banking in augmented reality. At the same time, it will merge real-world banking with metaverse banking.
How it will work
Being a B2B company, Kiya.ai is reaching out to various banks to onboard them on its metaverse allowing them to extend an omnichannel and hyper-personalised banking experience to the customers. All customers have to do is wear a VR headset to enter into the banking metaverse. There will be a meta pin and password that will help you enter the virtual bank branch. Now you can see a real-world bank that you’ll visit in the form of your personalised avatar. Avatars of relationship managers and robo-advisors will engage with you.
You have a question? Just speak it out loud and the banking avatars will answer it. There will be a metachamber with additional security where you can check your account details, spending patterns and even hop onto video call with a banking executive sitting at a physical branch.
If you don’t have a VR headset, you can still access the banking metaverse through your mobile, laptop or gaming desktops. “It is not just for the elite. We are trying to democratise the 3-D experience and extended reality,” says Rajesh Mirjankar, managing director and CEO, Kiya.ai.
He sees smartphone-like revolution happening with virtual reality, haptics, augmented reality and mixed reality devices. “You don’t buy smartphones to just make or receive calls. You buy it for other 99% services it offers. Imagine a device which is much cheaper than a decent smartphone, but enables you for 3-D experience, playing games and for the ability to participate with other users who are there on the platform. It makes the business case for metaverse more obvious,” says Mirjankar.
Internal versus Ethereum blockchain
Kiya.ai has built the banking metaverse on its internal blockchain network. It has plans to expand use-cases beyond banking to shopping and other non-banking services. For such “multi-verse”, the company will get on to the Ethereum network so that one can jump from one metaverse to other.
Once the Reserve Bank of India launches central bank digital currency (CBDC), it will give much more credibility to the banking metaverse and multi-verse, says Mirjankar. “We will support CBDC to enable open finance in a Web 3.0 environment,” he says.
Mirjankar says about 8 countries that have launched CBDC are using it for interbank settlement and transaction within a closed group such as between the government and corporates. He expects India’s digital currency to take up the same route.
“The retail launch may not happen soon, but whenever that happens it would be much better than other countries for our country’s payments system is the best and users don’t need training when it comes to wallet money.”
For now, there will be kiya tokens as NFTs that banks will own. For example, NFTs of deposit certificates or vehicle registration.
How Kiya.ai will make money, you wonder! “We will charge a licence fee and take a cut when transactions happen,” he says.
Since Kiya.ai is already working with most banks for other digital services, the integration of metaverse will not be a challenge. “Some of Indian and global banks have already shown interest to take it forward once they could see the cost-income-ratio is much superior with banking metaverse,” says Mirjankar.
The banking metaverse is essentially a step above net-banking through which one can avail the same services with much more personalised touch and enhanced data visualisation. What is the value-add beyond user experience? Banking metaverse has to answer this for wider adoption.