Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings is the latest major firm looking to join the rapidly-expanding Metaverse. Jimmy Ng, CIO of DBS, said the bank is exploring ways to provide banking services in the virtual world. He added that they are investing heavily in the bank’s digital transformation.
DBS aims to enter Metaverse with $730m tech fund
In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Jimmy Ng revealed that Southeast Asia’s largest bank is maintaining its practice to invest a fund of 1 billion Singapore dollars ($730 million) annually in technology related projects. The bank has infused huge funds in cloud and artificial intelligence over the decade.
Ng highlighted that they are exploring the digital space as it evolves, and the Metaverse is one of such avenues. While he did not disclose concrete plans, Ng hinted at a potential NFT offering. Digital assets sales have spiked in 2022 and the DBS believes that this is one of the areas they can tap into.
DBS’s CIO mentioned that blockchain related technologies are emerging and they will prove to be a game changer for the industry. 60% of DBS’s customers use its digital services.
Still, the bank has no plans to offer crypto trading to its retail clients, despite CEO Piyush Gupta expressing his belief in crypto becoming an eventual store of value like gold.
Metaverse attracts banks
The Metaverse and NFTs have grown into a potential investment space over the past two years. Global banking institutions like JP Morgan and HSBC have already ventured into the virtual world. JP Morgan recently ventured into Decentraland Metaverse where it opened a lounge for its users. The American banking giant’s lounge featured a picture of CEO Jamie Dimon, a tiger, and a spiral staircase.
Last Month, HSBC bought a plot of land on another Metaverse world, The Sandbox. Thailand’s biggest lender, Siam Commercial Bank, also recently opened its virtual headquarters in the metaverse.
While their metaverse ventures have so far been aimed at increasing customer engagement, major banks have expressed interest in eventually offering financial services through the metaverse. However, it is unclear how they will achieve this.
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