Worldline’s New Virtual Mall Helps Merchants Try Metaverse


Payments firm Worldline plans to help companies do business in the metaverse.

The French company announced in a Thursday (March 9) press release it has launched a mall inside Decentraland, letting merchants, service providers and banks build a Web3 presence to gauge how their customers might respond to the metaverse.

“In the future, the metaverse will be another retail commerce channel alongside [point of sale (POS)] and eCommerce,” Worldline said in the release, pointing to estimates from McKinsey that the space will see $2 trillion to $2.6 trillion in commerce volume by 2030.

The launch follows last year’s metaverse “showroom,” which Worldline said offers seamless links between online retail locations and payments platforms the company offers.

“We believe that the metaverse, alongside stationary point of sale and eCommerce, is the sales channel of the future,” said Sascha Münger, Worldline’s metaverse expert, in the release. “The decision to open the Worldline Shopping Mall reflects this vision.”

But the metaverse has begun to generate speculation and commercial interest in a number of fields, such as heavy industry and medicine.

“Many observers also believe metaverse-mapped digital twin environments hold great potential for advances in municipal city planning and global real estate development in the physical world,” PYMNTS reported last month.

Some potential applications of virtual world metaverse platforms include letting a property developer in one city visit digital-twin replicas in other markets and bid on available land or share digitally-created building proposals for approval from regulators.

Once that building gets approved, there’s also the potential for future tenants or homeowners to take virtual tours of properties and make suggestions for modifications before any real-life construction or renovation happens.

“For urban planning, the metaverse provides a way to simulate development in an open platform where relevant parties can get a sense of the space under discussion and collaboratively develop solutions to challenges like air pollution, transportation and community services,” PYMNTS reported.

Meanwhile, some Big Tech companies have struggled to get their metaverse ambitions off the ground. Meta, for example, said in February that it was losing $1 billion per month on its metaverse strategy.

And Microsoft last month decided to fold the four-month-old team it had formed to build out its industrial metaverse.

This “surprise change of course on its industrial metaverse initiative reveals the pitfalls of investing in next-generation technologies that offer a preview of exciting progress but aren’t quite ready yet for enterprise adoption,” PYMNTS reported at the time.