Gamification for financial services: the new frontier with millennials

Though mobile shopping habits are on the rise, there’s certainly a method to the madness, as global consumers are also using digital tools to monitor their spending and manage their finances.

Nielsen  survey revealed that certain mobile-banking activities, such as accessing account information and paying bills, are quite common. Nearly half of global respondents (47%) said they checked an account balance or a recent transaction on their mobile device in the past six months, and 42% say they paid bills using their mobile device. Participation in these activities will likely be even higher in the near future: 53% of global respondents say they’re highly likely to check a bank account balance or recent transaction, and 46% say they’re likely to pay bills on their mobile device in the next six months.

In light of these premises, even for those services for which the human component will remain central, for banks and financial institutions it is now essential to invest in technological solutions to serve customers, with the aim of making the interactions with the bank easiermore frequent and above all interactive.
In addition, banks and other financial institutions was subjected to strong pressure to improve their economic performance in the face of the crisis, requiring their employees to make an ever-greater effort.

In response to all this, banks and insurers are studying new approaches to increase revenue, cut costs and generate higher levels of employee productivity.

Moreover, banks and insurance companies are dealing with a new target, the so-called Millennials generation (those born after 1980). This generation represents an historic change, bringing new strong and powerful habits to the market that even change the attitude of this sector. Millennials are about 2.5 billion, and they are the main smartphones and social media users, due to their increasingly widespread and consolidated digital habits that have created a new way of relating to service providers.

And gamification – the use of mechanics and dynamics typical of the gaming world applied in non-gaming environments – emerged as an innovative and effective solution for the Financial Services world to face and win these new challenges.

It is the so-called “PLB Model” (Point – Leaderboards – Badges), based on precise mechanics powered by pointsobjectiveslevelsrankingsmissionschallengesnotifications and obstacles, structured to engage customers and employees in a real experience, in which motivation, participation and the “fun” factor are essential.

There are several advantages associated with the use of  Gamification, but those inherent to the purely emotional side and linked to the user’s ego, have a clearer positive impact, as they lead to a greater level of involvement and loyalty. In fact, gamification allows financial institutions to “exploit” the already collected data, to provide personalized and compelling experiences that encourage their customers towards specific and virtuous behaviours for the company.

What are the real benefits of Gamification implementation to the insurance and financial services world?

• Steady and multi-channel staff-training in a participatory, social and rewarding way;

• Lead employee behaviours, by aligning them with business objectives;

• Create digital engagement and loyalty with the final consumer;

• Convey information and complex procedures in a simple and rewarding way, towards a group of users not involved in the sector’s practices;

• Raise citizenship awareness towards a healthy economic and financial life-style: managing their assets, investments, mortgages;

• Increase participation rates and users’ engagement on company sites or apps;

• Improve employees’ performances and the sales team by leveraging motivation.


In 2013, the Spanish Bank BBVA included Gamification in the experience offered to its clients. The BBVA game was launched to encourage customers to use the digital platform, with the final goal of improving retention and online experience. After this first experience, BBVA also invested in Atom development (the British digital bank that set a benchmark for every new player).

To clearly demonstrate the will to engage their customers in something different and distinctive, Atom acquired Graspa software society specialized in games and virtual reality, entrusting them their digital platform development. Atom invites to “celebrate their selfdom in every possible way”, allowing their customers to choose a logotype, a name and a colour to customize the application and so make their bank experience unique.

Companies as Kapitall and Wall Street Survivor incorporated gamification to educate new investors to create successful portfolios, to grow their skills in order to become experts and able investors.
In attempt to “learn and play the stock market”, Kapitall planned a new kind of investment platform, simple and intuitive, making available tools for helping customers to take control of their own financial future and increase their skills and heritage at the same time. Moving on with the progresses, users can redeem “Kapitall koins” and real awards (like cinema tickets) and can access to extra content.

Moreover, Allstate (the 3rd American insurance company) wanted to educate their employees on an important issue like privacy, using gamification logics applied on an online course.
The goal was to educate employees about privacy, through an online course that involve also “superheroes and villains”; the aim was to explain the risks linked to stolen information, rather than use classical dossier and documents to study and consult.

The results were surprising: about 80% of employees (70000) joined the course and 4500 completed an online test to discover if the gamification program works or not. It is non-surprisingly that younger employees (used to play videogames) are the ones that got the best results.

Discover how Banks & Insurances introduced gamification in their business and reached their KPIs in our Free E-book. 


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