American Express is preparing its arrival in the metaverse. Mirroring many players in traditional finance, the payment specialist wants to offer banking services within digital worlds accessible in virtual reality. The firm is also developing virtual concierge services and a non-fungible token exchange platform (NFT).
American Express has filed 7 trademark applications related to the metaverse and NFTs
American Express, the world’s second largest payment processor, is looking to get into the metaverse. As reported by specialist attorney Michael Kondoudis on Twitter, the American company has filed 7 trademark applications related to digital universes and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Dated March 9, the filings to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office include several of American Express’ flagship products, such as the Centurion Card, a black credit card available only by invitation.
The filings also mention the arrival of the Shop Small program in the metaverse. This program, initiated by American Express, offers to support small merchants and restaurateurs by using your credit card at their establishments. During the campaign launched in 2020, customers received 5 euros in discounts after spending 20 euros with their Amex.
These applications show that American Express plans to exploit several elements of its current offer in the metaverse. The company obviously wants to provide banking services and open ATMs directly integrated into digital worlds. A help desk in the metaverse, to assist users with money transfers, has also been envisioned.
Concierge services in the metaverse
The filings also describe American Express concierge services accessible in the metaverse and tools for digital assets. The company is ostensibly working on digital wallets that store assets, including NFTs.
A non-fungible token exchange platform is also in the firm’s pipeline. As a reminder, American Express had already shown interest in NFTs in the summer of 2021. The company had proposed to Amex credit card holders to buy digital artworks made by the singer SZA. Each token was sold for $100 to American Express customers.
Note that it is not uncommon for a company to file trademark applications related to the metaverse without announcing its arrival in the digital world. These filings, made in advance of a project, are mainly aimed at protecting their brands against potential competitors.
As American Express explains to our colleagues at CoinDesk, the American company is not yet ready to make its plans for NFTs and the metaverse official:
“American Express is always monitoring emerging technologies to see how they might benefit our customers, and the metaverse is a space we’re watching closely. We don’t intend to share more information at this time, but we are watching this space evolve.”
American Express isn’t the only traditional financial giant to take an interest in digital assets and worlds. Recently, JP Morgan became the first bank to open a storefront in the metaverse. The financial holding company has turned to the virtual world of Decentraland (MANA).
For its part, the British banking group HSBC has purchased a piece of land within the metaverse of The Sandbox. According to Goldman Sachs, the American investment bank, the metaverse is an opportunity that could provide “$8 trillion in revenue and monetization”.