Spanish retail banking financial group CaixaBank is “entering the metaverse” through imaginLAND. This virtual destination and immersive event series is an extension of imagin, a “digital services and lifestyle platform” backed by CaixaBank. We’ve seen American financial technology groups try to “ape into” the metaverse with limited success, but CaixaBank has a different plan.
Another Look at Fintech in the Metaverse
If you’ve been following the gradual entrance of companies – particularly fintech companies – you might have thought of the JPMorgan lounge launched in Decentraland last month. While initially exciting and certainly still promising, the actual lounge saw little fanfare and little utility, according to emerging tech writer Lily Snyder, who visited the lounge early on.
However, CaixaBank has big plans for imaginLAND. The company plans to develop new virtual experiences and services on a regular basis and renew the content available every month. imagin’s first content in the metaverse will be a music event by the Spanish pop group Marlon. The immersive VR concert will be available from April 28 in the virtual version of imaginCafé in imaginLAND.
imaginCafé is a physical coworking space in Barcelona that has been partially reconstructed virtually. The physical building will even have dedicated space with VR headsets where visitors can explore the virtual locations.
The virtual version of imaginCafé makes up most of the virtual plot in Decentraland, but also plays a part in an AR imaginCafé that exists through OVR. (Incidentally, Decentraland and OVR are both integrated with the MetaMask browser wallet).
While ARPost hasn’t dwelt too much on Decentraland, readers will recognize OVR. The “world-scale metaverse” platform, among other innovations, sells smaller plots of virtual land, making it easier for individuals and organizations to buy the digital version of their own physical property without creating a race to buy up whole city blocks.
A Substantive Immersive Strategy
For one thing, they already have an established mission and history of driving innovation, not just from within the highest levels of their own organization, but also for members of the general public who utilizes their services. And the “general public that utilizes their services” is nearly four million people largely under the age of 30.
This cohort is the group most prepared to adopt not only immersive technologies, but also the blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies that platforms like Decentraland and OVR are built on. Further, while imagine clearly has a background and focus on finances, they also explore themes like music, gaming, sustainability, travel, urban mobility, and – of course – technology.
So, yes, imaginLAND is very exciting. It’s not just a legacy company creating an immersive space because it draws headlines. It’s a groundbreaking company creating an immersive space because that immersive space is entirely in line with its objectives, mission, and user base.
And, as far as “metaverse” goes, a lot of experiences that claim metaverse status are only immersive, or only blockchain. Meanwhile, imaginLAND is a blockchain-supported virtual space that exist not only in VR, but also AR, and a physical location closely integrated with both.
Is This the Metaverse?
For some people, the metaverse means networks of interconnected digital and virtual platforms or services. For other people, the metaverse just means the blending of virtual and physical experiences and operations. By either of those measures, imagin has indeed “entered the metaverse.”