Metaverse banking to become industry trend – ICBC Macau CEO

Metaverse banking is likely to become a dominant model of the next generation, as the combination of virtual reality online banking and offline physical outlets will be the future development direction, Niu Jianjun, Executive Director & CEO of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Limited (ICBC Macau) indicated today (Wednesday).

The remarks were made during a keynote speech “Accelerating Financial Accessibility With Tech in Asia” in the BEYOND International Science and Technology Innovation Expo (BEYOND Expo 2022) commenced in the metaverse today.

The ICBC Macau CEO stressed that AI technology will bring a subversive change to the banking industry in the future, and the “immersive experience” provided by Metaverse will present a completely different banking service format to the next generation of young people.

“The banking service of the future, will be like the newspapers in Harry Potter, which is a combination of the virtual world and the real world,” Mr. Niu said.

Also, the CEO noted that all banks now provide website services, online banking and call centers, while the development of Fintech can integrate these functions into a virtual bank, and people can transcend the limitations of time and space in the virtual space.

“The technology behind Fintech is much the same, the focus should be put on how we can use these advanced digital technologies to enhance the customer experience and increase the efficiency of business processing,” Mr. Niu added.

Meanwhile, another speaker at the keynote speech, Hong Kong HSBC Chief Executive Luanne Lim, indicated that the pandemic has accelerated the development of fintech and boosted the demand for digital banking services.

At the same time, Michael Fei, PAOB CE Designate expressed at the event that it has become a clear trend that banks and financial institutions are moving to the cloud to conduct transactions and work. 

The BEYOND Expo 2022 organised by the Macau Technology General Association, commenced in the metaverse today and will last until Sept 27, featuring over 500 exhibitors in various fields from technology to banking to construction and drawing more than 4,000 start-ups and 20,000 attendees. 

Chinese tech giants, including Alibaba Group, Huawei and SenseTime, joined the event, which is divided into three zones, namely, healthcare, sustainability and consumer tech. Macau firms — including Bank of China Macau Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), MacauPass, and others — also take part in the event.

Compared with the inaugural edition held at the Venetian Macao in the city last December, the latest edition eliminates the brick-and-mortar element and fully embraces the metaverse—virtual exhibition and conference halls of the event are set up in the metaverse, in which exhibitors can customise their booths and attendees are represented by avatars.