Banking has officially entered the metaverse, giving consumers the opportunity to purchase crypto and use services without leaving the digital realm.

Image of a 3D icon to the right of the frame, with the Transak logo at the point, a dollar sign in the middle, and "Transak" below. Around the object, a Bitcoin icon and another 3D diamond object are floating..
Decentraland's ATM with Transak, courtesy of Decentraland

Decentraland launched the first ATM in the metaverse on its platform in August. In partnership with Metaverse Architects studio and Transak payment gateway, players can use the ATM to easily purchase cryptocurrency in the metaverse as they would an ATM in the physical world. And property holders on Decentraland have the option to add an ATM to their virtual land to their virtual land for easy access to cryptocurrency—much like an establishment in the physical world would add an ATM for easy cash access.

In February, JPMorgan Chase became the first bank to open a lounge and an office in the metaverse. The luxurious space launched on Decentraland in tandem with a paper released by the bank’s blockchain arm Onyx that highlights what JPMorgan believes is the future of the metaverse, including a line that states the metaverse will “infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years.”

American Express filed trademarks for a virtual marketplace and cryptocurrency services in the metaverse in March. Its filings for real-world services in the digital world include card payment services, an ATM, banking and fraud detection services in addition to entertainment, travel, and concierge services for its virtual clientele.

An adaptive digital bank called Quontic is offering banking services in its virtual offices. Its debit card, which launched in April, offers Bitcoin checking reward accounts in addition to cash and high-interest checking accounts. Its digital outpost is complete with a teller, posters and guides to their website, and an interactive ATM. Through the ATM, visitors can open a bank vault to enter a meta-pool party and receive a free NFT. Another digital bank called Cogni purchased a collection of NFTs from Bored Ape Yacht Club this summer, and is creating a Bored Ape debit card for a new range of Web3 experiences for customers.

HSBC announced plans to open an office in the metaverse on Sandbox in March, and Siam Commercial Bank announced plans in March to launch a virtual headquarters on Sandbox as well. Financial services don’t stop at meta-banking: cryptoliteracy services by Visa began in December 2021, and Mastercard in February of this year.

Hospitality, retail, gaming, fashion, even food brands have entered the metaverse in the last year. Now, banking institutions are offering consumers one-stop-shops for virtual commerce, advising, meta-banking and crypto-purchases as the virtual realm continues to blend into the physical world, mimicking daily necessities from shopping and gaming to financial practices and public services. Could banking practices soon be commonplace in the digital realm?

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