It’s hard to miss the growing hype around the metaverse. Enabled by advances in virtual reality and augmented reality, many companies like McDonalds Adidas and L’Oreal are going all in on the metaverse environment.
JPMorgan forecasts the metaverse could become a $1 trillion market opportunity in yearly revenues with an annual growth rate of 68%. If predictions are to be believed, few businesses will be left impacted by these innovative virtual worlds.
With all this money expected to be spent across the metaverse, the need for secure and frictionless payments systems will be vital. At such an early stage in the development of the metaverse, it’s yet to be seen exactly how digital payment processes and financial services will look. But it’s already clear that the underlying infrastructure will look different to conventional payments solutions.
In the digital metaverse realm, transactions need to be completed almost immediately at any time. Not only do individuals expect payments to be quick, but they also expect them to be secure as purchasing in real life.
Investment bank JP Morgan recently became the first bank to enter the metaverse by setting up a virtual shop with a live tiger and portrait of CEO Jamie Dimon. With JP Morgan saying they see services like credit, mortgages and rental agreements in the metaverse, it is easy to see a future where buying a virtual house in a virtual world becomes the norm for many.
With physical cash being useless in the virtual world, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency based solutions are likely to play an essential role in the expansion of the metaverse. The high security of Blockchain paired with the instant processing and settlement of transactions are clear benefits of embracing these technologies. As can be seen with digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), crypto currency is already being used in major transactions.
While there are clear regulatory issues when it comes to incorporating cryptocurrency payment solutions, as the popularity of the metaverse increases, regulators will have to address the rules when it comes to tax and regulatory issues.
No matter what payment platform is used, it will have to be able to facilitate a range of transactions with ease, including cross-border payments, asset trading and arranging payments between virtual worlds.
Millions of in-game purchases happen in games like Roblox and Second Life on a daily basis. But there are more opportunities for embedded finance when it comes to the connection between the virtual and real.
For example, McDonald’s recently filed ten trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a range of products, including virtual food and beverage products. Orchestrating a payment platform that is able to facilitate people in the metaverse ordering in the virtual world and having it delivered in person and virtually is no small feat.
With major brands and international corporations increasingly considering the benefits of having a presence in the metaverse, the payments ecosystem in the space is only on track to develop.
We will continue this discussion at FTT Embedded Finance & Super Apps on 26th April, London, where we focus on how new digital channels such as the metaverse and augmented reality ecommerce are redefining the future of financial services. Register now to join our community as we explore the key trends, technologies and innovations that are driving embedded finance & super apps in 2022 and beyond.
You can also register here to join us at FTT DeFi on 12th July, the one-day show exploring the opportunities and challenges of decentralised finance in financial services. We will bring together the fast-growing ecosystem of providers and innovators, as well as established financial institutions.
Written by Finbarr Toesland, Editorial Contributor.