Virtual Reality applications in Financial Services and FinTech

Virtual Reality technology is sometimes considered better suited for entertainment or simulation related training. After seeing a couple of unimpressive applications of VR in a demo (e.g., Comarch) earlier this year, I researched more. In the blog post below I have shared my findings that VR can be quite effective in some situations and it may not be a too early to start exploring VR for FinServ and FinTech.

Are you aware of Financial Services companies using/ trying Virtual Reality? (Citi and Bloomberg had some pilots on this). If so, how?


In my conversations and broader work on the subject, VR is clearly not the way things are going, but that AR is where the action is/will be. Personally invested in a gaming startup, it strikes me that there is not that much talk, and even less action. It is undoubtedly the next frontier where FI’s will interact with the future (millennial) customer. I’m well positioned to have a head start therefore. Happy to have meaningful discussions on the subject.

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Thanks for the comment @MPLMaster. Can you share why you feel AR and not VR where action will be - especially as it relates to engaging with the next generation?

​AR does not need external devices for it to be working, appreciated, and
value add in a material way. VR has and will continue to have form factor
issues - great for gaming, but narrow application in the real world. Future
will tell, but while waiting for all the VR promises, I’ll be making a home
run with AR.

Certainly being used to make complex subjects easier to demo:

Sounds like a trivial use case but it is real.

@MPLMaster Welcome to Fintech Genome. Please change profile to your name - it feels odd calling you MPL Master - atthough I am sure you are :sunglasses:

Pleas tell us more what you want to get out of this forum.

I too am a big believer in AR - Pokemon Go is not the only game in the streets. I don’t remember the name but I enjoyed virtual graffiti app I played with.

Big drawback of VR IMHO is those clunky upgly headsets.

Re financial uses, what about training @MichelleKatics

Not sure what to expect, so future will tell. Re. fintech in general, and marketplace lending in particular, my main premise is the fact that a lot of things need to change / will change, but in ways that will be radically different than what we’ve come to accept as “normal”. It’s a very comprehensive discussion, but for one part, it comes down to this. A lot of people are being left out of the system, and need to be brought back in. To stay with financials, that means that a lot of people and businesses cannot (yet) access the financial system, being unbanked, underbanked, or simply ignorant of the possibilities. A lot of these people are difficult to reach (via classic means), but they all spend hours a day doing one thing we all do: playing games on a mobile phone/device. So the solution is to be where your future/potential customer is, i.e. in the game, on the phone, in the headset, Current and future technology will enable this, be in their face, and will nudge people to …“behavior that is socially desirable and financially rewarding”. It is where things will go, and it’s a focus area of my interest. These and other issues will be discussed on my podcast series that will launch soon - you can get on the list here.

@MPLMaster Maybe I am misunderstanding but I think the Unbanked don’t need to be seduced into banking via gameification - it is an essential task for them. Maybe I misunderstood?

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I think so. Underbanked and unbanked people should be made “bankable” so they can start to build a proper credit profile and get out of the “payday” and similar rat races ASAP. And one novel way to reach this population is, again, go where they are, many hours a day. Through gamification techniques with neo-banks like Moven, but also within the games themselves, which will be the next frontier. No good examples yet, but one in the making for sure :slight_smile:
But the wider population will be interested as well if done properly.

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@MPLMaster OK now I get what you mean. I was thinking of the unbanked in developing countries, whereas I think you mean more the underbanked in the developed world, those in a poverty trap using payday loans, unplanned overdrafts and other high interest debt. The garmeification is more to do with financial education. I agree that done right this is mass market potential. Schools fail totally at financial education and a financially illiterate parent cannot help their children.

Virtual Market Reality (VMR) has several dimensions in any of the applications including financial (VMR). The most fundamental issue is for an intelligent customer knowledge base of transaction relations (trade, finance) to generate virtual orders based on these relations that the machine has learned and then invite customers that are qualified to complete these bilateral transactions bu accepting these virtual orders (bid, offer)
at terms derived from the knowledge base projections. This is technology is at the core of the proprietary TRADEPRAXIS technology of the ORIGIN project that I coordinate with a team of 17 professionals. Then at the stage of invitation a virtual bot can act as clearance broker of trade that adjusts terms, finance and settlement!

I think this is spot on and there currently isn’t a meaningful alternative form factor for powerful VR systems (nice as they are). Having said that, I think it’ll be the “low end” of the market that causes wide spread adoption via phones. Eventually (not too far from now), the computing power of phones will be good enough that Cardboard and Samsung equivalent will give you a pretty amazing experience IMO (uninformed as it is). So, the question is if everyone everywhere can get on VR, how can that be useful in a financial context? I think collaboration and data visualization are two attractive aspects of VR that can & should be explored.

Fidelity is experimeting with VR for corporate clients. Their first proof of concept is examining how employers can visualize the retirement and investment choices of their employees.
Wouldnt you love an employer who advises you on your retirement?

One more use case of VR: Insurance in India