The metaverse offers exciting possibilities for companies willing to take the first steps into this revolutionary space. Our new collaboration with a leading global payment service provider is set to enable companies in all industries worldwide to enter the metaverse with ease. 

The migration into the metaverse: an exciting new digital era 

The next stage of the digital revolution has arrived. Powered by multiple cutting-edge technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The metaverse is a vision of what many in the tech industry believe will be the next iteration of the internet. In this shared 3D-enabled digital space, users can experience almost inexhaustible opportunities and achieve greater agency and autonomy for consumers and businesses alike. We are guiding the migration of companies and organisations approaching the phygital (digital x physical) world, recently supporting Swiss NGO Pro Senectute beider Basel to enter the metaverse and blockchain space and assisting a global fintech leader and one of the first payment companies in the metaverse, by launching the first-ever phygital collection. Though it provides a fertile ground for prosperity, this burgeoning territory still lacks a unified and cohesive system, which would reduce risk and uncertainty, hence eliminating investor and consumer hesitancy. However, our collaboration with a leading global payment service provider could patch the void and unlock abundant potential. 

The void of untapped opportunities and halted progress 

The intrepid luxury and fashion brands that are getting involved early appear to be reaping the benefits, with examples such as Nike's RTFKT campaign making $3.1M through phygital sneaker sales in six minutes, Gucci selling products for $500-2K through Gucci Garden, Balenciaga pricing items higher than real-world sales, and Adidas making $22M in revenue by selling NFTs in just a couple of hours. The metaverse is expected to be an $800 billion market by 2024, but it could be much more; McKinsey estimates a potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030, representing a 26% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). However, a few systemic challenges are blocking the full potential of the metaverse. Most transactions in the metaverse today centre around a few use cases, such as in-game purchases, Non-Fungible Tokens, and real-world goods, leaving a significant void for other possible untapped applications. As the technology is somewhat in its fledgling state, it lacks a straightforward protocol for getting involved; there is currently no efficient or intuitive process, which makes users distrust solution providers. 

Developing the full potential of the metaverse will require companies to break the barriers customers are experiencing. It is imperative to ensure that users feel confident at the beginning of their metaverse journey. Presently, the metaverse is underbanked, leaving insufficient access to 'mainstream' financial services and products. This is exacerbated by the complexity of crypto payments, which lack usability and demand lengthy, inefficient processes to transact with cryptocurrencies in the digital economy. This breeds a lack of trust in crypto suppliers, as no trusted financial institution in Switzerland operates in the metaverse. Furthermore, there are no corporate crypto wallet solutions in Switzerland that offer the possibility to buy, hold, and transfer cryptocurrencies securely. 

The next frontier of banking is collaboration 

We believe that banks collaborating with third-party players could bridge the metaverse’s underbanking gap, providing a reliable, trustworthy, and seamless payment solution for buying digital products. This type of prospective collaboration could enable consumers to buy any asset sold in cryptocurrency, even if they don't have it in their wallet. Through our proposed solution, users can buy the desired asset with fiat money via a registered bank, which transfers funds to the partner company. The partner company performs the transaction in the required cryptocurrency, and the purchased asset is delivered to the client. While the client is provided with a seamless solution to buy digital assets in their preferred fiat currency, banks avoid holding or trading cryptocurrency by working with the specialised third-party player, essentially opening up the metaverse marketplace for both retail and commercial users and encouraging a step into the future. 

Navigating the metaverse with strategic trust in new ventures 

Naturally, business ventures are not without risk, and the first steps into the metaverse are no exception. With a current need for a reliable banking system and user-friendly access to the cryptocurrency market, the metaverse can seem more like the wild west than a viable and solid investment. However, the lucrative opportunities on the horizon for early-comers and the prolific ability of technological evolution to bridge gaps vastly outweigh the sluggish implementation of dependable pillars, which will inevitably arrive. With expert guidance, proven experience in the field, and active participation in creating solutions to increase trustability and security, we are fully equipped to deliver the right strategy for entering this revolutionary space and foster sustained results. 

About the authors behind the article

Dominic Olonetzky is a strategy consultant and Partner at Metyis with extensive experience in customer-centric and technology-driven business models, as well as high-growth strategies. Jeroen Hermans is a Principal in Zurich.