Worldline has launched a virtual shopping mall, designed to help merchants, banks and service providers get started in the Metaverse.

In a statement, the company said the shopping mall, which is set in Decentraland, has already confirmed its first nine stores, including the German direct bank Consorsbank, The Chedi Andermatt, a Swiss luxury hotel, and Naked Life, a non-alcoholic spirits brand from Australia.

The initiative, which Worldline described as a “white-label solution’ or “starter pack”, allows its users easily build up an initial presence in Web 3.0. There are two main benefits to this: first, to test how their own community reacts; second, to gain insight into how the potential of the Metaverse can be tapped into.

“We believe that the Metaverse, alongside stationary point of sale and e-commerce, is the sales channel of the future,” said Sascha Münger, Metaverse Expert at Worldline, adding that decision to open the virtual shopping mall had been taken to reflect this.

person walking inside building near glass

“For well-known brands in particular, our virtual shopping mall offers an ideal precondition for venturing into the Metaverse with a clear conscience at low cost,” she said.

Newcomers who take the plunge into the Metaverse are provided with a starter package that includes the Worldline payment function for store tenants, with or without cryptocurrencies, as well as a set of advertising services.

According to the payment firm, optional add-on packages have been built through partnerships with 42Meta, Metyis and Threedium. These include Target Advertising, Phygital Products and Augmented Reality and aim to offer users greater visibility.

The launch follows the completion of a one-year virtual pilot project, which started with the introduction of a showroom in March 2022. Here, well-known brands from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Australia were presented on a monthly basis. With McKinsey estimating the global market volume of Metaverse commerce to be between 2 and 2.6 trillion US dollars by 2030, early adopters see now as a critical time to be curious about new approaches.

According to Svenja Weith, Head of Tribe Banking at Consorsbank, “As a pioneer in digital direct banking in Germany, it is our goal to be curious and innovative in our approach to our customers and to adapt and explore modern technologies at an early stage.”

Jean-Yves Blatt, General Manager of luxury Swiss hotel, The Chedi Andermatt, added: “More and more guests prefer the uncomplicated opportunities that the online world entails nowadays. Thus, we are confident that in the future, the tourism and hotel industry will be just as unimaginable without the Metaverse as is online shopping for fashion.”