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How Are We Going to Pay in the Metaverse?

Now is the time for governments, banks, and tech firms to collaborate and discuss how payments and currencies will function in the metaverse.
Many believe that the metaverse will be an immersive, virtual environment where people interact with one another via “avatars,” despite the fact that it is yet mostly undefined. People will soon be able to purchase, attend conferences, or enjoy entertainment events in the metaverse, and everything will feel realistic. That is, at least, the vision.

While bits of the metaverse experience can already be found here and there in online games like Fortnite and Roblox and virtual worlds like Decentraland, nobody has yet to put them all together, so it’s unclear who will take the lead in this new environment.

But one thing is certain: Without a safe, secure, and simple method for paying for goods and services, the metaverse won’t be a success.

In either case, payments are essential to building a virtual “world” deserving of the label. The crucial inquiries are: Will there eventually be one currency used in all transactions? And what kind of currency could it be? Dollars? Crypto? In surroundings that resemble a metaverse, payment options are currently diverse. Players on the Roblox gaming platform use “Robux,” which can be converted into real money like dollars, to buy and trade virtual goods. They use MANA, a digital asset token created on the Ethereum network, in Decentraland.

The good news is that we might not require a single currency if we embrace blockchain technology. Different blockchain protocols can communicate with one another and share information since interoperability is built into the technology; as a result, the blockchain might carry out continuous transaction exchanges. Any currency a buyer chose to pay with would be automatically converted, together with any associated costs, into the seller’s preferred currency. Payment in dollars could be instantly converted into another currency, such as Bitcoin, Euros, or another one.

This kind of rapid and simple payment system will significantly contribute to the metaverse’s growth. Regardless of the system or systems that are developed, forecasts estimate that trillions of dollars will be exchanged over the course of the next ten years, and that innovation will know no bounds. Governments, banks, and technology firms should collaborate right away to think through how payments and money will function in this area in order to move things along.

How businesses can introduce metaverse payments
Business executives can start thinking about how they can develop payment capabilities in a world beyond fiat money and cryptocurrencies. The metaverse will lead to new customer behaviors and expectations, necessitating cutting-edge payment solutions that foster confidence and enable users to seamlessly transition between the real world and any desired virtual environment. Exploring the foundational technologies of this new frontier, such as web3, blockchain, and NFTs, will inspire fresh thinking and change how businesses perceive the world of trade.

There’s a chance that some businesses won’t do anything more than copy their current online presence. However, there are exciting options to go far beyond. For instance, there will probably be opportunities to sell virtual versions of any physical products your business produces in the metaverse, such as furniture, housewares, cars, and other vehicles. Or perhaps the metaverse automatically populates with an identical virtual product when a customer purchases a real-world good.

Similar to this, organizations that organize sporting or entertainment events might provide unique NFTs related to the events.

Businesspeople should consider how the metaverse can be incorporated into business and sales goals at this early stage. How will they conceptualize, produce, and market their virtual goods?

In terms of Synchrony, we are taking action because we think that facilitating payments will be crucial in the metaverse. By using immersive, 3D simulations of our collaboration spaces, we are making it simpler for our employees to learn, collaborate, and create that future. However, we will encourage people to experiment and begin making plans for a time when Synchrony’s products are put into use in the metaverse. Initially, we will use the environment for training and cultural events.

The Web’s transformation from a static medium to a location for conducting business transactions at the beginning of this century signaled a huge opportunity for visionaries. Today’s metaverse is reaching that same turning point once more. It’s time to get started.

Financial services provider Synchrony’s Chief Technology and Operating Officer is Carol Juel.

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