OCBC Bank launches OCBCx65Chulia in Decentraland to redefine access to banking

Designed to extend the bank’s digital reach, OCBCx65Chulia integrates a heritage museum and banking lobby in one immersive and interactive space.

Singapore, 5 April 2023 – OCBC Bank has opened the doors to a different banking experience on leading Metaverse platform Decentraland. Named after the address of the bank’s headquarters on Chulia Street, Singapore, OCBCx65Chulia allows visitors to learn about OCBC’s historical milestones along with the latest banking products and services. They can open a bank account and apply for a credit card through instant access to the bank’s website from the Metaverse platform.

Occupying nine plots of virtual land, the futuristic-looking spherical design of OCBCx65Chulia is modelled after OCBC Bank’s iconic red logo – a nod to the bank’s rich heritage.

With the Bank’s arrival in the Metaverse, customers gain an additional access point that also represents a new way to engage with the younger crowd.

The next phase of OCBCx65Chulia, projected to be ready in Q3 2023, will involve gamification to enhance the experience further. This enhancement will come from the winning ideas of a group of Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Diploma in Interaction Design students. In a hackathon held over two weeks in February 2023, 10 student teams from NYP’s School of Design & Media presented gamification ideas. The top two teams walked away with prizes sponsored by OCBC Bank.

OCBCx65Chulia arose from a ground-up initiative by staff during an internal innovation sprint as part of the bank’s digitalisation and transformation efforts.

To build the bank’s presence on Decentraland, the in-house technology team collaborated with homegrown Web3 firm Memotics, which specialises in creating emotive and social spaces through digital architectural design.

The collaboration with Memotics and NYP reaffirms the bank’s commitment to nurture a pipeline of design and tech talent and contribute to Singapore’s talent pool by offering opportunities for young design and tech talent to develop their skills.

Mr Peter Koh, Head of Group Technology Architecture, OCBC Bank said: “Many have doubted the purpose of the metaverse. Though a nascent and evolving space that we are still working to understand, the metaverse remains one of the newer ways to make a connection. We are ready to tap on these, as they emerge, to reach a larger audience. At the same time, through experimentation and collaborating with an industry player, our younger colleagues can learn and develop themselves.”

Professor Lim Sun Sun, Vice President, Partnerships and Engagement, and Professor of Communication and Technology, Singapore Management University said: “The metaverse was probably the most overhyped trend in 2022. Yet, it has tremendous potential to offer new ways for people to interact and explore that defy current spatial and physical limitations. The full realisation of the metaverse vision may not come so soon but companies that experiment with such emerging technologies may reap early dividends.”

Mr Alan Kueh, Founder of Memotics and Director of AK+ said: “We saw this as a great opportunity to work with OCBC Bank to create a new design language for them in a digital space. By integrating contents of heritage with Web3 elements, we hope to inspire the next generation in an engaging way. Our vision at Memotics has always been to empower creative minds of future generations to express themselves and break free from traditional limitations, co-create the future through the use of Web3 technology and non-linear learning.”

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