September 28, 2022

Nedbank Becomes Africa’s First Bank to Join Metaverse

Ned Bank & Metaverse

Nedbank Group, one of the large financial services groups in South Africa, became the first bank in Africa to enter the metaverse world. 

Partnered with Africarare, Nedbank acquired a 12×12 village in Ubuntuland, making the African bank join leading financial groups like JP Morgan, DBS Bank, HSBC, and Fidelity Investments have entered the metaverse. 

The South African bank’s move comes as a part of its strategy to discover new marketing platforms and create a beyond-banking experience. 

In this regard, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank Khensani Nobanda said the bank’s joining the metaverse is not only about having a presence in this space, but it also includes meeting its clients’ needs on these platforms.

Meanwhile, Nedbank’s Chief Information Officer Fred Swanepoel noted that Nedbank wanted to be at the forefront of the technologies that would enable the next wave of digital business models, so the bank is investing in web 3.0 and the technologies on which the metaverse is built.

It is worth noting that Africarare is the creator of Ubuntuland, where anyone can buy, sell and rent a property and other digital assets.

Welcoming Nedbank’s acquisition in Ubuntuland, CEO of Africarare Mic Mann said the financial group, by entering the metaverse will pave the way for new solutions for Africa and play a role in the future of banking. 

According to a Bloomberg report, Nedbank’s village will include numerous experiences that range from virtual gaming to a sports lounge and more.

A metaverse is a network of three-dimensional virtual environments focusing on social interaction. It may be characterized as a digitally simulated world. It utilizes blockchain, augmented reality, and virtual reality (VR), combined with social media principles, to develop venues for extensive user communication that imitate the real world.

Earlier this year, MTN Group, the largest mobile network operator in Africa, announced its entry into the metaverse by purchasing 144 plots of virtual land in Ubuntuland. This marked MTN as the first African company to invest in the metaverse. 

Growing Crypto Owners in Africa 

According to a study in August released by TripleA, a crypto payments gateway, Africa has 53 million cryptocurrency owners, about 16.5% of the estimated global total of 320 million.

Africa comes in second place, following Asia (130 million cryptocurrency owners), while North America comes in third place with 51 million owners. 

Nigeria has 22 million cryptocurrency owners, topping the African continent, while South Africa accounts for 7.7 million cryptocurrency holders (about 12.5% of South Africa’s population).

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