Dutch bank ABN Amro is to open an office in Second Life, Reuters reports.
The Netherlandsâ€™ biggest bank told Reuters Second Life bureau that it will create a virtual bank resembling ABNâ€™s real-life outlets, offering financial advice. ABN said it wonâ€™t be offering banking services at first. An ABN spokeswoman said that such services may be available in the future.
ABN Amro joins a growing list of internationally-recognized companies who have established outposts in this virtual world. Those companies include Dell, Nissan, Adidas, IBM, Sony BMG, General Motors, Toyota and others.
While each company has different objectives, they all have one thing in common:
â€œCommunicating with customers via the Internet can become more personal and more direct,â€ Wietze Reehoorn, a member of ABNâ€™s executive board, said in a statement. â€œCompetition between Dutch banks will be determined to a significant degree by finding the best way to establish personal contact with customers.â€
It adds a completely new dimension to the notion of internet banking.
Much reporting and commentary to date about companies entering Second Life has focused on that, ie, their entry. What will get more attention in future will be about what a company plans to do in Second Life – especially if their plans relate to their business in the real world – and how they intend to be part of the Second Life community.
ABN Amro’s December 1 press release (in Dutch) says it will be opening its branch in Second Life at 11:00 CET on December 7.
Neville, the last bit of your post is on point: I think SL will extend its reach when these companies start *doing* something therein. How cool would it be if, say, ABN Amro gave away 100 accounts funded with US $500 for anyone who opened an account through SL/ABN Amro? That would provide real motive for the uninitiated to try to figure out this virtual world.
It’s in Dutch but here you will find a review of the first press conference of ABN AMRO in Second Life:
Thanks Marco. More practice for my Dutch language skills ;)
Just taken a quick look at the ABN Amro island –
Very nice work although I had a few problems getting into some islands (yes, multiple islands). Plan to visit again and spend a bit more time there.
Not yet seen much commentary about their event, other than your post.
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