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South Korea’s KB Bank enters metaverse space

KB Kookmin Bank – one of the biggest financial institutions in South Korea – has entered the virtual realm with the development of the KB Metaverse VR Branch Testbed.

The move will enable customers to access banking services in the metaverse by wearing a head-mounted VR device.

VR content developer Sharebox was chosen to construct the virtual banking service and transactions such as remittances can be managed by a bank clerk.

One-on-one consultations between customer and employee avatars will also be made possible.

The virtual bank consists of an entrance, VIP lounge, and main hall, where the latter will enable customers to access personalised financial information.

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KB plans to use the virtual branch to educate young people on finance as well as training employees.

Jinsoo Yoon, Vice President of Tech Group at KB Kookmin Bank, said adaptation to the new technological era is a step that must be taken.

“The purpose is to pre-emptively respond to financial changes in the coming metaverse era and to internalise new financial service experiments and technological capabilities,” Yoon said.

South Korea’s embrace of the metaverse

South Korea has been a significant proponent of the metaverse with the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announcing that Seoul will become the first major city to enter the virtual realm.

The South Korean capital has invested 3.9bn won (about $3.2bn) in the project and has earmarked 2023 as the year the metaverse can offer administrative services, such as civil complaints and consultations.

Cryptocurrency exchanges such as Upbit have experienced strict regulation and opted to find new ventures with the purchase of Tenuto, a metaverse-based start-up.