Lounge Deutsche Bank

Why the metaverse could change banking

The metaverse is enabling entirely new business models. Large companies and start-ups are spreading out into the virtual worlds, and private users are also taking their first steps. What does that mean for banks?

Buying clothes, going to the stadium or meeting friends – in just a few years, our leisure time could take place in the metaverse. Companies are already opening stores in the new virtual worlds to reach their customers on even more channels. With the help of artificial intelligence, they could soon be recommending products and services that are tailored to their needs or showing them content that matches their preferences. Banks too, recognise the metaverse as an opportunity: for them, it is about accompanying their customers in the new digital universe.

Deutsche Bank, for example will soon open a new 3D lounge in Decentraland, one of the leading metaverse platforms. Visitors – or rather their avatars – will be able to explore the lounge and, to begin with, view ten predictions published by Ulrich Stephan, Deutsche Bank’s Chief investment officer for private and corporate clients. Towards the end of this year, there will also be a virtual live event in the lounge, where Ulrich Stephan will talk about what has become of his predictions and what ten theses he has for the year 2024.

Visitors will also be able to dress an avatar in the lounge in various Deutsche Bank clothes and accessories by exchanging a Deutsche Bank token for caps, hoodies and shoes. "In a first step, we want to learn what people are interested in in virtual worlds and what skills we need to offer them," says Ufuk Avci, who is managing the project for Deutsche Bank.

Tim Alexander, who heads Global Brand & Marketing at Deutsche Bank and initiated the project, highlights another aspect: "The metaverse is where our target group of tomorrow is. We want to find out how we need to present ourselves as a brand here in order to be relevant to these people in the virtual world. Because in the future, more and more clients might visit us in virtual worlds."

The metaverse is where our target group of tomorrow is.Tim Alexander


This is one of the reasons why Deutsche Bank last year opened its first 3D lounge in Decentraland, where, visitors can watch videos and read articles. The old lounge will be merged with the new one, with the overall aim of opening up new ways of interacting with clients. In the distant future, the bank could also use the metaverse as a space to provide clients with product advice.

Sabih Behzad, Deutsche Bank’s Head of Digital Assets and Currencies Transformation, describes meetings in the metaverse as a whole new experience. "Ultimately, in the future, we could engage with our clients in a much more intense way in the metaverse than through video platforms like Teams or Zoom", Behzad says. "Instead of just seeing and hearing each other, we could, for example, walk side by side across a virtual company site and look at and even touch new machines or production equipment."

Deutsche Bank Lounge
Deutsche Bank 3D lounge

A whole new way of collaboration

Govind Sukumaran knows exactly what this kind of intense engagement feels like. He works within Deutsche Bank’s Transformation Governance Office and participated in a 24-hour hackathon last year, exchanging ideas with his team members in the metaverse. Sukumaran's teammates worked from the UK, the US, India and Singapore.

Working in the metaverse made geographically spread team collaboration effective. A gamechanger, Sukumaran says: “When you walk through a virtual meeting room as an avatar, you can see the people sitting at the other end of the table, you can shake hands with them, and you can also hear their conversations from the side - it creates an atmosphere like a traditional meeting room. In this way, the metaverse is like a physical version of Zoom, which stimulates your creative thinking and collaboration."

The metaverse is like a physical version of Zoom, which stimulates your creative thinking and collaboration.Govind Sukumaran

Nevertheless, Sukumaran sees room for improvement. After a few hours in the metaverse and wearing VR headsets, he and his colleagues suffered from dizziness, loss of orientation and had the feeling of being cut off from the real world. In addition, technical limitations prevented the team from writing ideas on a virtual whiteboard or working on shared documents.

Managing finances in virtual worlds

Such technical hurdles must be overcome for the metaverse to succeed. But if it does, other banking services could be in demand: such as building the payments infrastructure for metaverse platforms, exchanging cryptocurrencies to traditional currencies and developing lending and financing solutions for companies that want to be successful in the metaverse.

After all, companies will have to manage finance in both physical and virtual reality. This brings new tasks and requires new skills. “We need to help our clients properly assess revenue potential that the metaverse promises,” says Gerald Podobnik, Chief Financial Officer at Deutsche Bank's Corporate Bank and Investment Bank. “To do that, we need to understand the full profitability of the transactions being done in the metaverse.”

Avatar Georg Berger

Georg Berger

… is interested in the opportunities the metaverse offers today – and how the technology will develop in the future. Searching for that information in Deutsche Bank he spoke to various experts like Ufuk Avci, Tim Alexander, Sabih Behzad, Govind Sukumaran and Gerald Podobnik.

Recommended content

Digital Disruption | Outlook

Metaverse market – an investor perspective Metaverse market – an investor perspective

DWS fund manager Manuel Mühl launched a metaverse fund at the beginning of 2023 and is convinced of the long-term growth prospects. Developments in the industry prove him right.

Metaverse market – an investor perspective See what investors think

Digital Disruption | Video Story

How the metaverse could boost Manchester United’s revenues How the metaverse could boost Manchester United’s revenues

Sabih Behzad, Deutsche Bank’s Head of Digital Assets & Currencies Transformation, explains how his football team could make money in the metaverse.

How the metaverse could boost Manchester United’s revenues Soccer and the metaverse

Digital Disruption | Crisp & Short

Metaverse – is there anybody in there? Metaverse – is there anybody in there?

Everyone is talking about the metaverse. But what exactly is happening there, and what are the opportunities and risks?

Metaverse – is there anybody in there? Enter here


What Next: our topics

Link to Responsible Growth
Link to Entrepreneurial Success
Link to Digital Disruption