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Emirates NBD calls for metaverse start-ups to transform the future of banking 

Emirates NBD calls for metaverse start-ups to transform the future of banking 

AfricaBanking & FinanceMiddle EastTop Stories

Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENA region, has launched a global accelerator programme for metaverse start-ups to enhance the customer experience for the new virtual economy, in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) FinTech Hive, and powered by Microsoft. 

Marking Emirates NBD’s first play in the metaverse, the accelerator programme positions the bank as a leader in the next phase of banking innovation. This is in alignment with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, aimed at placing Dubai in the top ten metaverse economies of the world, supporting more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and adding US$4 billion to Dubai’s economy in five years. 

With 94% of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside the branches, the bank is exploring new technologies in the web 3.0 world to expand its digital footprint and create immersive experiences for our customers.  

Emirates NBD is scouting for leading FinTechs, digital experience start-ups and emerging technology players operating across the metaverse landscape to enhance its immersion in the virtual world across three key areas: 

  • Building the technology stack to facilitate the shift to 3D 
  • Creating virtual worlds to augment the customer experience in the metaverse 
  • Enabling a decentralised payment infrastructure for customers to create, monetise, buy and sell digital assets and service 

Over a 10-week acceleration programme, the DIFC FinTech Hive will evaluate and match Emirates NBD with leading start-ups offering unique propositions on the value creation, experience and technology stack required for the metaverse. This will culminate in a demo day at GITEX 2022, where the shortlisted participants will pitch their solutions for an opportunity to co-create engaging experiences for our customers in the new reality. 

“Attracting innovative start-ups is crucial to Dubai’s ambition to be an international leader in the metaverse,” said Marwan Hadi, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking at Emirates NBD. “As a leader in the region’s banking sector, Emirates NBD has always been a front-runner of digital innovation, looking to experiment and partner with tech start-ups who can help us accelerate our transformation journey and develop solutions that optimise the customer experience. With our entry into the metaverse, we seek to reimagine financial services using extended reality and create compelling new propositions for our customers in the new metaverse economy.”  

“As a bank that has always been at the forefront of adopting emerging technologies, see unique opportunity areas to reimagine financial services including virtualising interactions with customers and providing financial services to the creator economy by enabling new products and marketplaces,” added Miguel Rio Tinto, Group Chief Information Officer at Emirates NBD. “With the support of the DIFC FinTech Hive and Microsoft, Emirates NBD is looking forward to becoming a launchpad of innovative financial services in the metaverse, playing an active role in co-creating new experiences for our customers with innovative start-ups from around the world.” 

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