By Gary Teelucksingh, CEO, Capco Canada
Special to the Financial Independence Hub
The metaverse. It’s become somewhat of a buzzword: especially when it comes to financial service industries such as banking; however, it’s often misunderstood. To truly understand the various applications of the metaverse as it relates to streamlining the banking experience for Canadians, we need to get a solid lay of the land first.
The metaverse (also known as Web3 or XR) is a digital “world” driven by mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain. For the purpose of this conversation and future-of-banking purposes, we will focus our attention on the immersive virtual reality (VR) element that to put it quite simply, will offer new ways for society to interact. With that, the metaverse that we know today can be accessed by VR headsets but is by no means one specific place. Rather, it is a vast range of “places” and “worlds” brought together by a variety of technologies, for which a grand unifying platform has yet to be defined.
Because the metaverse brings together a mix of technologies that can be deployed for a variety of different use cases, it can be difficult to truly identify how it can best be leveraged for different industries. This challenge is also a great opportunity. It’s an opportunity for financial service industries to get creative, think outside the box, and eventually serve both their employees and customers in more effective ways.
Changing the Banking Experience
Despite still being early days of the metaverse, it has become advanced enough to garner attention globally. Some trail-blazing organizations have already begun to experiment and identify the possibilities that could potentially impact the banking experience:
- VR portfolio reviews: allowing depth of visual capabilities otherwise unimagined
- Virtual brand access: offering news ways to engage with new or existing customers
- Real-time translation: providing global comprehension and immediate removal of language barriers
- Access to financial literacy educational seminars: providing extensive access to materials for all consumers, from anywhere
- VR-based investor conferences: allowing access from anywhere, such as Morningstar’s 2021 conference
So … Where to Start?
To better understand the metaverse, my advice is simple: do not expect to understand until you have donned a VR headset and experienced it for yourself.
We are at the forefront of an exciting time in technology and have the opportunity to be apart of something revolutionary. But before donning your headset, take the time to educate yourself not only on the unlimited opportunities, but also the potential risks. For example, we must acknowledge the metaverse is not immune to the complexity of human dynamics and we will see cross-over of real-world social issues as we bring more people into the metaverse.
Additionally, empower yourself to learn about cybersecurity, and encourage your financial institution to be transparent about risk management. We know that more risks will emerge as the technology will develop, and from that, more controls will emerge to address them: just like in the real world. Prepare yourself for shifts in governance that adapt as we do.
To further explore the metaverse and its potential impact on the future of banking, follow along at Capco.com.
Gary Teelucksingh is the Managing Partner of Capco’s Canadian business and is based out of Capco’s Toronto office. Gary is a Financial Services Expert with over 20 years of functional experience in marketing, product development, operations, Information technology and compliance in the banking, mutual fund, broker / dealer and insurance industries. He has been recognized as one of “Canada’s Top 10” authorities on IT / BPO outsourcing and CMM Level 5 delivery quality. Prior to joining Capco, Gary was Head of the Americas for a Top 5 Global Offshoring firm and Head of the Banking and Investment Business for a Top 10 Global IT outsourcing and consulting firm. He holds a MBA degree from Richard Ivey School of Business, the University of Western Ontario.