In what seems to be a growing trend among large corporations to enter the metaverse, HSBC bank announced that it has partnered with The Sandbox to engage virtual communities across the world.
The partnership is expected to help HSBC engage sports communities and international financial service providers in The Sandbox metaverse.
The company also announced that it purchased a plot of virtual land on The Sandbox, highlighting the importance of virtual real estate in the current scenario.
HSBC’s Metaverse Strategy Revealed
HSBC has long been known to be a pioneer in terms of bringing new products and services to its global clientele. In its typical fashion, HSBC made the groundbreaking decision to be the first bank to enter The Sandbox.
It is not quite clear how the plot will be used by HSBC but a promotional GIF displayed an HSBC stadium adjacent to a virtual water body.
Most likely, the virtual plot will be used to develop 3D experience spaces which will help the company to engage with gaming fans, sports enthusiasts, and e-sports developers.
On being pressed for more details, Suresh Balaji, HSBC Asia-Pacific’s chief marketing officer, said he sees tremendous potential in developing new experiences on the metaverse, given the fact that it is the most important emerging platform.
He also added that the decision will help improve experiences for both existing and new banking customers, in addition to creating innovative brand experiences.
Suresh Balaji explained that the next version of the internet, currently being termed Web3, will be dominated by the metaverse.
He explained that the importance of immersive technologies enabled by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will shape people’s experience of Web3.
As a result, he noted that HSBC was concerned about creating new opportunities for both existing and future customers.
The bank has recruited brand ambassadors, sports partners, and Animoca Brands to collaboratively create virtual experiences on The Sandbox. He added that these experiences will be accessible, inclusive, and educational at the same time.
The Sandbox is an Important Metaverse Platform for Gaming
The Sandbox already hosts several big brands, all of which provide unique virtual experiences to their users. Some of these brands include Adidas, Gucci, Warner Music Group (WMG), and Ubisoft.
As The Sandbox is the leading decentralized gaming space on the metaverse, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many gaming companies like Atari and ZEPETO have entered the platform as well.
Artists who are currently on The Sandbox include Steve Aoki, Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5, and others.
The Sandbox’s COO and co-founder, Sebastien Borget, said that he was happy to invite HSBC on the platform. He described the move as an indication that this is only the beginning of a much broader acceptance and adoption of Web3.
Why is HSBC’s Move to Enter the Metaverse So Important?
What makes the decision significant is the bank’s sheer size and global importance.
It is traded simultaneously on the London Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange, while it also has additional listings on the Bermuda Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.
HSBC was first established as The Hong Kong Shanghai Bank in 1865. Its headquarters are located in London, UK.
However, it must be noted that HSBC is not the first bank to enter the metaverse in general. JPMorgan Chase & Co, America’s largest bank, entered Decentraland in February 2022.
The bank announced its Onyx lounge, which is a direct reference to its Ethereum-based services.
Along with the 3D lounge on Decentraland, the bank also released a white paper that explains how businesses can make use of multiple opportunities in the metaverse.
Banks are Eager to Enter the Metaverse Space
Although rules and regulations vary across borders, and many regulatory bodies are still in the process of drawing up protocols, banks are not waiting.
As evidenced by HSBC, and previously by JP Morgan, banks are eager to enter the metaverse and help improve customer experiences.
Most importantly, banks see this as a necessary move toward tech adoption that helps them and their customers to experience Web3 authentically.