Japan’s Largest Bank is Headed for the Metaverse

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MUFG, the largest bank in Japan, has become the latest financial institution to enter the metaverse. MUFG projects it will be offering financial services and products in the metaverse sometime in 2023.

For the move into Web3, the bank partnered with ANA holdings — a holdings consortium geared towards air transportation companies. According to the announcement on November 7th, the bank will be entering ANA’s upcoming GranWhale metaverse.

The GranWhale metaverse is expected to launch in 2023 and will begin with a user base that corresponds to mileage members of the company — 38 million. The metaverse will let users explore a 3D world and browse stores and stands with their avatars. Like in most metaverses, users will also be able to purchase virtual and digital products.

MUFG’s goal is to offer financial products and services to metaverse users by sometime next year, though no exact date has been set. And MUFG wasn’t the only major company to sign up for ANA’s metaverse. Sompo, a Japanese insurance company, aims to sell insurance for certain transactions in the metaverse.

Pivoting into Web3 and the metaverse is a way for MUFG and Sompo to reach users they’d otherwise be incapable of reaching. And the fact most metaverse users are from younger generations appeals to banks and insurance companies, which have had difficulty reaching these demographics as of late.

Financial Institutions Around the World Enter the Metaverse

MUFG isn’t the only bank to enter the metaverse this year. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered news from several banks around the world setting up shop in the metaverse for similar reasons as MUFG. Here are our top stories.

First, South Korea’s #1 financial institution KEB Hana Bank partnered with the popular decentralized metaverse The Sandbox. The entrance from the bank into the metaverse came as part of a country-wide effort to expand global metaverse business, especially in banking.

Next, Sygnum bank became the first Swiss bank to enter the metaverse when it opened in Decentraland in September. The bank opened in Denctraland’s virtual version of Times Square and features a virtual banking hub, NFT gallery, and a virtual CryptoPunk receptionist.

Finally, the Dubai-based Commercial Bank International (CBI) recently launched a virtual branch in Decentraland as well, becoming the first bank from the UAE to enter the metaverse. CBI has a vision of integrating real and digital worlds to serve customers worldwide.

Just a couple of years ago, the idea of banking in the metaverse sounded silly or far off. Now it is a reality. The move from MUFG to expand into the metaverse next year isn’t just big news for clients, but for metaverse banking in general. We’ll be looking out for any new stories from MUFG and the ANA GranWhale metaverse in the months to come.