Investire | October 2022

Many people have been wondering if and how the relationship between financial advisors and their clients will change in consequence to the Metaverse revolution.

Since the pandemic, the interest towards the Metaverse has been growing significantly: in fact, the time spent in lockdown generated a strong need for proximity and interaction between individuals, although physically distant.

The increasing importance of digital technologies and, in particular, the progress of the blockchain technology has prompted many people to interact by means of unique avatars of themselves, play, socialize, explore, shop and make payments.

In 2026, at least one in four people is expected to spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse, whose global market will exceed one trillion dollars over the next three years.

Moreover, Microsoft will incorporate its Metaverse, Vortext, to the Teams platform, thus making it possible for users to participate in meetings through their avatars. This combination will have a huge potential, considering that today Teams counts over two hundred million users a day. 

While the definition of the rules and potential scenarios is still in progress, the financial world cannot help but consider the Metaverse as one of the potential channels of its strategy: some among the leading Italian banks and financial networks are currently studying and implementing their arrival in the nonplace, so to speak.

The Metaverse has the potential to attract new generations of clients, offering opportunities for growth which today remain inaccessible to the real world, limited as it is by the availability of resources. For those born between 1980 and 2005, the Metaverse will be used to shop, interact by means of the digital identity on any platform and participate to any kind of meetings.

In Italy, wealth still lies in the hands of boomers (those born between 1940 and 1964). Therefore, it is important to identify the challenges and opportunities of the banking sector in the near future, both to defend the market shares and to attract new generations.

In Italy, the average age of Private and HNW clients is 70 years old and does not seem to be decreasing. Over 60% of the most affluent individuals owes its wealth to a family business, which on average has reached the fourth generation.

Today, only 22% of end investors knows what the Metaverse is. Most of the time, their knowledge comes from their personal user experience in field not connected to the world of finance: entertainment, gaming, and education.

As for use of the Metaverse in the field of finance, 41% of financial professionals and 37% of their clients expect the Metaverse to become a possible tool for interaction. 

However, both clients (85%) and professionals (89%) unanimously believe that today financial consultancy should be based exclusively on real personal interactions, rather than being mediated by digital platforms.

And yet, 64% of financial professionals and 66% of clients are interested in knowing more about the Metaverse, imagining its informative or educational use in the financial sector.

Like any other innovation, the Metaverse needs to be handled with care. At the beginning, many other innovations (such as the car or the mobile phone) raised skepticism and smirks…. however, we all know how it went in the end.

Anyway, it seems that – at least for now – avatars will need to wait. Nicola Ronchetti