Banks less focused on metaverse technology than last year

Senior banking executives have reduced their focus on investigating metaverse technology in the past 12 months

UK banking executives have reduced their focus on the metaverse as security, cloud and open banking investments take priority, according to a survey of businesses across four countries.

Hexaware Mobiquity, a digital services division of Indian service provider Hexaware, questioned 600 senior banking executives in the US, UK, Netherlands and Australia for its research on tech priorities.

According to the report, 38% of UK banking executives are “engaging with metaverse technologies” this year compared with 56% last year.

The metaverse is defined by Forrester as an immersive experience of interoperable and interlinked environments that will be delivered via a variety of devices. According to its report, The state of the metaverse, it will be delivered in stages, building out to a decentralised platform that puts a 3D experience on top of the World Wide Web. Management consultancy McKinsey & Company predicted the metaverse economy could reach $5tn by 2030.

But according to the Hexaware Mobiquity report, there was a more significant reduction in engagement with metaverse technology among executives in the US, where 75% were engaged with the metaverse in 2022 and just 36% this year. In the Netherlands, banks also reduced their focus on the metaverse, with 38% engaging with the technology this year compared with 48% the year before. In Australia, focus on the metaverse this year remained the same as last, with 55% of executives occupied with the technology.

Cyber security was the primary technology focus area for senior bank executives across all the countries surveyed, with 21% citing it as the top priority. Machine learning was the second-most engaged with technology, with 20% citing it as a top priority.

“In an era with such rapid innovation, the successful, strategic integration of emerging technologies and digital tools will undoubtedly be a defining factor for banks seeking to maintain a competitive edge and improve operations,” said Peter-Jan van de Venn, vice-president of global digital banking at Hexaware Mobiquity.

“These technologies will play a critical role in reshaping customer experiences and operational strategies for years to come,” he continued. “By strategically embracing and leveraging these new advancements, banks will remain competitive while simultaneously unlocking entirely new avenues for growth and sustainable operations.”

The report added: “Cyber security technologies have become paramount in the banking industry, given the rising threat posed by cyber criminals, and therefore, it comes as no surprise that banks have noted these technologies as their top focus.”

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