Saturday, January 28, 2023
  • Nedbank becomes the first African financial services company to have representation in the virtual world
  • International financial services giants such as JP Morgan, HSBC, Fidelity Investments and DBS Bank are already part of the Metaverse
  • The total size of Ubuntuland is 204642 plots, of which Nedbank has snapped up 144 (12 x12)

South African headquartered pan-African banking group Nedbank broke new ground as it joined Ubuntuland, the African Metaverse. This makes them the first African financial services company to have representation in the virtual world.

Ubuntuland, the African metaverse, uses its own token, UBUNTU (UBU) and was launched on the 28th of February 2022. Nedbank purchased a 12 by 12 plot tract of land in Ubuntuland.

Nedbank forward-looking

Not only has Nedbank been expanding its reach in Africa. They currently operate in 6 countries through subsidiaries Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, eSwatini and Zimbabwe. Nedbank has also chosen to look forward, where the ball is going to be, so to speak.

“As Nedbank we want to remain at the forefront of the technologies that will enable the next wave of digital business models, so we’re investing in web 3.0 and the newer open source technologies on which the Metaverse is built. It’s important for us as Nedbank to continue leading and advancing our digitisation journeys which have already yielded excellent results for the Group, and enable Nedbank to engage in the future digital market places, where we believe we will need to meet and serve our clients.”

Fred Swanepoel, Nedbank’s Chief Information Officer

The financial services group is on a drive to offer more than banking and financial services in the traditional sense. Entering Ubuntuland shows that Nedbank is committed to meeting customers and providing for their needs where they are.

Another big business in the Metaverse

International financial services giants such as JP Morgan, HSBC, Fidelity Investments and DBS Bank are already part of the Metaverse. In the case of Ubuntuland, telecoms giant MTN, World data Labs and M&C Saatchio Abel are amongst early settlers or ubuntulanders as they are affectionately known. Web 3.0 and Augmented/Virtual reality worlds represent the next frontier, and Nedbank has chosen to go in early on the concept.

“Creating experiences that go beyond banking has always been a focus for Nedbank.  Our entry into the metaverse is not merely about having a presence in this space, it’s about meeting the needs of our clients on platforms that resonate with them, while offering an array of touchpoints that continue to demonstrate our commitment to lead in digital,”

Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank Group.

The Ubuntuland Metaverse

Ubuntuland will be a 3D virtual world that houses NFTs on the Ethereum Blockchain. Their Ubuntu token also runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Land and other NFTs are purchased through this token.  NFTs will represent users, objects and space in the virtual world. The total size of Ubuntuland is 204642 plots, of which Nedbank has snapped up 144 (12 x12).

The Nedbank village

The Nedbank Village, as it is known, will offer more than just services related to finances. As per the press release from Nedbank, the village will also house a sports lounge for residents. In addition to this, the Nedbank village will also cater for virtual gaming. More details will become available in the near future as Nedbank builds out its space in Ubuntuland.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nedbank into Ubuntuland and look forward to creating positive change with them. By entering the metaverse, this organisation will pave the way for new solutions for Africa and play a role in the future of banking in this exciting world,”

Mic Mann, Co-founder and CEO of Africarare.

Big names buying into the metaverse is a step in the right direction. Ubuntuland is still in the early stages and nowhere near the complete vision. However, this buy-in is needed to create the African metaverse that Africarare and other web 3.0 technology enthusiasts would like to see.

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