ABN Amro Bank opens in Second Life

ABN AmroDutch bank ABN Amro is to open an office in Second Life, Reuters reports.

The Netherlands’ biggest bank told Reuters Second Life bureau that it will create a virtual bank resembling ABN’s real-life outlets, offering financial advice. ABN said it won’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:

“Communicating with customers via the Internet can become more personal and more direct,” Wietze Reehoorn, a member of ABN’s executive board, said in a statement. “Competition between Dutch banks will be determined to a significant degree by finding the best way to establish personal contact with customers.”

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 Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Patrice Curtis

    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.

  2. neville

    Thanks Marco. More practice for my Dutch language skills ;)

    Just taken a quick look at the ABN Amro island –

    http://slurl.com/secondlife/abn amro/123/125/26/

    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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