The Dubai-based Commercial Bank International (CBI) just launched its first virtual branch in the Decentraland metaverse. According to the press release, it is the first UAE bank to enter the metaverse.
The new metaverse location comes along with the bank’s participation at XVERSE, an event at the Dubai World Trade Centre where CBI is an Activision Partner. It is also partnering with the burger brand Pickl at XVERSE for a presentation on how the metaverse can fuel the digital economy.
The virtual CBI location in Decentraland is now open for visitors at cbi.dcl.eth, by using the metaverse coordinates (63, -127), or through Portals.
CBI has a “future-facing” agenda when it comes to nascent technologies like the metaverse. According to CBI CEO Ali Sultan Rakkad Al Amri, the bank has a vision of integrating real and digital worlds to better serve its customers and wants to be a “leader in innovation worldwide.” He added that the bank was proud to be the first bank in the Middle East to bring the metaverse to customers.
Although details about what the bank will offer in Decentraland are thin, CBI’s virtual launch is in alignment with the UAE’s commitment to embracing Web3 technology like NFTs, blockchain, AI, and crypto to expand its digital economy.
Banks Enter Decentralized Metaverses in 2022
CBI entering the metaverse is a big step for one of Dubai’s most important banks. But the UAE bank isn’t the only financial institution entering the metaverse. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered several stories about banks entering the metaverse this year. Here are some of the top headlines.
First, about three months ago, South Korea’s #1 bank KEB Hana Bank announced it was entering The Sandbox metaverse. The virtual branch will provide investment advice, basic banking services, and other banking products and services.
Next, Capital One filed three trademarks in May to protect its name, slogan, and logo in the metaverse. The trademarks were filed for NFTs and related media, metaverse banking, metaverse travel services, virtual credit cards, and metaverse business software.
Lastly, the Swiss bank Sygnum opened its doors in Decentraland’s virtual version of Times Square last month. The virtual branch will feature an NFT gallery, a virtual CryptoPunk receptionist, and an exhibition hall for events.
As people visit brick-and-mortar banks less and less, many banks and financial institutions have realized the importance of having a presence in the metaverse. We’ll have to wait to see if more UAE banks follow CBI’s move, but for now the company has distinguished itself as an early innovator in the space.