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Metaverse & Innovation at UBI

Union Bank of India has taken its first step into the world of virtual reality. Anil Kuril, Chief Technology Officer, reveals what, how and why:Metaverse & Innovation at UBIMetaverse & Innovation at UBI

Metaverse & Innovation at UBI

Manoj Agrawal: Please tell us about your metaverse initiative and how has the response to the platform been? How is the adoption?

Anil Kuril: As metaverse is one of the emerging technologies which has created a buzz in the market, we have received a tremendous response from the users as well as from various stakeholders for bringing another channel of banking with enhanced experience. Union Bank launched its Metaverse Banking lounge named ‘Uni-verse’ on 8th July 2022 at Mumbai. This is first banking metaverse lounge in India. The focus of attention is the ability to engage next generation customers with an interactive and immersive experience through VR and non-VR enabled environments. There has been a significant increase in inquiries from visitors though this virtual lounge where an average of 3000+ customers are visiting the lounge on daily since the launch.

What were the drivers for UBI to on-board the metaverse?

At beginning of the year, when we had our strategy deliberation on digital transformation, one of the key strategies was improving on customer’s journeys and make it frictionless and improve CX. During the discussion, customer segment and their preferred channel were also point of discussion. It was emphasized that channels have seen evolution over the past couple of decades. From branch experience to self-service channels like internet banking and mobile banking, now we see metaverse as the next channel evolution. It will enable bring in the social quotient which is missing in other channel experiences. We are looking to attract millennials and metaverse is a good channel to on-board them. There can be a business case that can be made to look at metaverse as a customer acquisition channel. We have laid out a complete metaverse roadmap from the existing meta lounge to leveraging it for internal usage to meta commerce.

What benefits can financial institutions expect by being on the metaverse?

When it comes to emerging technologies, it is more about the strategic objectives than immediately quantifiable benefits. As a percentage of our overall digital transformation budget, this is a small investment. However, it is important for us to be early in this emerging technology and to be seen as an innovator. Metaverse isn’t new. Millennials have been on the gaming environments for long and this will lay the path for them to on-board the banking metaverse also.

How does the Uni-verse impact your sales force? How does it help them sell better?

As an introductory channel, Uni-verse will provide information on bank’s products and services – however, this being an experiential channel, customer can touch and feel in 3D immersive environment. We are moving ahead with the next phase of metaverse experience and the same will enhance the future experience of users and shall further reduce the gap between physical and virtual branch. Uni-verse will help our sales force by way of generation of new leads, cross selling of third party products such as mutual fund & insurance, on-boarding of new customers via VKYC and STP journeys. We are further exploring the opportunities in the metaverse platform to entice the new gen users towards our bank.

It will reinvent existing CX where the users will be able to explore the various products and services while offering the option to initiate the various product journeys using AR/VR channels and delivering immersive experiences in simulated environments. Banks can reimagine how they connect with customers, offering personalized advice, delivering empathetic service and building trust. Do visit Union Bank of India’s Metaverse Banking lounge at

What is the next 2-year strategy for Uni-verse?

Union Bank has devised comprehensive strategy around metaverse channel. We are looking forward to the next phase where we are focused on enriching the user experience by bringing various banking services to the customers in a more interactive way. There shall be more avatars for users to choose from and indulge in Uni-verse. The lounge will be capable of initiating basic banking services for accounts like balance enquiry, account statement and other services. Our bank has launched various STPs for Mudra loans, retail schemes and MSME loan which may also be available in metaverse, in due course of time, so the users can initiate their STP journey virtually in metaverse.

For employees, we are framing roadmap where the training can be held in a virtual environment. It will be helpful in delivering immersive learning experiences in the safety of simulated customer environments or onboarding remote workers in ways that create fun, connection and a sense of community. We are earnestly focus on providing experiential banking to Gen Z and millennial customers and some of our strategic elements will be incorporated in Uni-verse.


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The content or opinion expressed in the article are of the Author in his/her individual capacity and does not represent the Bank’s view, in any manner.


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