Singapore’s DBS Bank is Exploring a Dive into the Metaverse

Singapore and Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS is exploring a move into the metaverse as it continues to advance its efforts to transform its digital offerings. As reported by Nikkei Asia drawing on an online interview with DBS Chief Information Officer Jimmy Ng, the metaverse is notably one of the primary focuses for the bank moving forward.

“There are a few key technologies that we are looking at. One of them, of course, is the metaverse,” Ng said. “We are actively exploring this space even as it evolves.”

Without much information shared with respect to the bank’s plans for the metaverse, DBS is a bank that is heavily invested in new technology, expending as much as 1 billion Singapore dollars ($730 million) annually for more than 10 years now. The bank’s focus on technology has earned it recognition as “the world’s best digital bank” last year by the U.K.-based financial publication Euromoney.

With Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as part of the metaverse technologies, there are many avenues by which DBS can get involved with the industry, with the central focus according to Ng being able to change “the way we do banking can be imported to very different platforms, such as the metaverse.”

“We believe that over time, emerging technologies such as blockchain, [augmented reality] and [virtual reality] will converge to create very interesting use cases that we have never imagined,” he said. These technologies will be “game changers” for the industry over the next few years, he added.

Singapore’s DBS to Trail JPMorgan Chase in the Metaverse Push

Many global banks are notably repositioning their strategies to embrace Web3.0 offerings which encompasses the metaverse. JPMorgan Chase & Co is one of the international financial institutions that has made a mark by establishing Onyx, a virtual lounge that is resident on the Decentraland (MANA) metaverse.

Singapore’s DBS is also trailing the likes of HSBC in the metaverse pursuit as the British banking giant recently bought a LAND in The Sandbox metaverse for offering educational finance games. Despite there being no clear path for the modalities in which DBS hopes to enter the metaverse, Ng has confirmed that the bank will not in any way play second fiddle to its competitors who are embracing the ecosystem in an aggressive manner.