ABN Amro sets up 'virtual bank branch'

4 December 2006

ABN AMRO has become the latest company to open a branch in the online virtual world Second Life.

The Dutch banking giant is creating a new virtual bank in the Internet-based game, though it will initially only be offering financial advice and not banking services to players.

Reuters reports a spokeswoman for ABN saying that the virtual bank would resemble the company's real outlets and may provide virtual banking services in the future.

Internet-based role playing game Second Life has its own virtual economy based on Linden dollars, which are used to trade in virtual goods and property.

Linden dollars can now be exchanged for US dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of transactions take place on the website each day, with around 380,000 users registered on Second Life.

Mobile retailer YouNeverCall has also announced its entry into Second Life, providing players with full functional virtual phones that can be used to retrieve useful information for free.

Other companies that have created virtual operations in the online world include IBM, Adidas and Toyota.

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