A South African financial services giant called Nedbank or the Netherlands Bank of South Africa has acquired a ‘ village’ in the Metaverse. The bank aims to present African culture and creativity in its 12 by 12 village in Ubuntuland. It has become one of the first African banking giants to embrace the new concept of a virtual world.
As per a news publishing house, Nedbank has partnered with the creators of Ubuntuland, Africacare. The marketing and corporate affairs executive for the financial behemoth, Khensani Nobanda, defended Nedbank’s entry into the metaverse–saying that her company made the decision to reserve real estate there because it wants to provide its customers with experiences that “go beyond banking.”
She also says that the metaverse will help the bank to provide its customers with the services that “resonate” with them. It is not “merely about having a presence in this space.”
The digital village by Nedbank will also comprise experiences like a sports lounge and virtual gaming. Before Nedbank, South African mobile network operator MTN also purchased 144 plots in Ubuntuland. MTN reportedly bought plots in the metaverse to ‘amplify’ the digital exposure of the company to its customers. UK-based M&C Saatchi Abel and Austrian research firm World data lab are among other firms which look forward to entering the metaverse.
According to a Finder’s report on adoption patterns for August 2022, four million South Africans, or 10% of the population, are bitcoin owners. With this ownership rate, South Africa is ranked eighteenth out of twenty-six countries in terms of the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
In its recently released guidelines, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) stated that banks in the nation “may act as a conduit for funds” related to providers of crypto assets and “may play a role in customers wishing to purchase” or “receive payouts in fiat currency” in their bank accounts for the sale of crypto.