Belgian bank KBC is borrowing from the gaming world for its latest pilot, creating a 3D virtual space where customers can move through a game-like environment on their PC, carrying out various tasks in different dedicated zones.
Put together using software from the gaming industry, the Virtual Space is still in the early, 'pre-alpha', stage but KBC is nevertheless inviting people to email for a link that enables them to download it to their desktops.
Visitors enter The Virtual Space through the lobby, where they receive a tutorial before taking the lift down to the branch environment.
From there, they can go to The Vault, where they can log in to KBC Touch, check account balances, carry out money transfers and other tasks.
Meanwhile, the Support Area will help with technical questions and KBC Live will answer product-related queries. In the Experience Zone, visitors can improve their cybersecurity knowledge by going on a ‘quest’.
A gamification element lets visitors to each zone opt to reach a number of targets and in the process pick up points to move up to the next level.
Separately, the bank is hooking up to Amazon's Alexa, piloting a skill that lets customers check their balances though the virtual assistant.
Erik Luts, chief innovation officer, KBC Group, says that the pilots will help the bank "better understand the current zeitgeist, find out what clients want today, how they deal with new technology and how we can prepare ourselves in advance for the ‘day-after-tomorrow'.
"We will draw the necessary conclusions from these trials and then decide where and how we will invest in the future."