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Gamification: A winning way to market financial services

Not just for fun

Capturing the attention of potential customers and keeping them engaged is difficult, especially when the financial services industry is up against the stigma that it’s boring. Incorporating a gamified experience into your finance brands digital presence is an effective way of marketing to Millennial and Gen Z audiences as it’s fun, attention-grabbing and incentivises them to use a financial service more. Gamification can be applied to a range of financial products and is best used by businesses wanting to captivate a younger demographic. By making the online user experience fun, creative and engaging, finance brands can gain loyalty, trust and profitable conversions.

Move along Xbox finance apps are in

Gamifying your finance brand’s app or digital platform isn’t quite like making it an interactive game. Instead, it’s about incorporating game elements and mechanisms to incentivise users and create greater engagement. The gaming industry has deployed various tactics, that have been well-documented by psychology, to create more addictive habits, generate more fun and ensure users feel rewarded for spending their time playing. By taking these elements and incorporating them into the financial sphere, finance brands can gain a competitive edge. In fact, using gamification can help a company increase customer interactions by 40%.

The fundamental aspect of gamification isn’t to turn the user experience into a game like you’d play on an Xbox but instead create:

  • An engaging and enjoyable experience
  • Challenge the user to create a feeling of accomplishment
  • Turn a boring finance problem into a fun activity
  • Change user behaviour to make them continue to go back to your platform
  • Educate and teach the user about financial topics (check out Zogo who are nailing this area)

Shifts to a more fun financial experience

Using gamification can help a company increase customer interactions by 40%.

Gamification has experienced a surge in the financial industry as a result of the rise in fintech start-ups aimed at Millennial and Gen Zers and the rise in online banking. A recent Nielsen survey revealed nearly half of global respondents had checked their account balance or recent transaction on their mobile and 42% said they pay bills using their mobile device. The digitisation of the finance world has created more options for finance brands to get creative in how they form the online customer experience.

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up around technology and video games, meaning a gamified experience in the finance world is a simple way for your finance brand to stand out and gain attention. This shouldn’t come at the expense of providing meaningful and quality content, instead finance brands should merge valuable information with a fun online environment if they want to capture the attention of a younger demographic and keep it.

Some gaming elements that can be incorporated into a finance digital platform include:

  • Leaderboards
  • Points
  • Missions and objectives
  • Sounds and illustrations
  • Avatars
  • Performance markers
  • Rankings
  • Progress bars
  • Story elements.

Where can gamification be used?

Gamification is great for finance brands to encourage better financial behaviours, build trust and loyalty and capture an engaged audience. By creating a fun user experience your finance brand can create a meaningful connection with users. Not only does it encourage greater engagement but it’s also a way for finance brands to gain valuable data, as making financial decisions on apps leaves a digital trace. This can be another method for finance brands to create a personalised customer experience.

While it’s dependent on each finance brand, you should ensure a balance between a gamified experience and maintaining a trustworthy reputation as too many elements may make you seem cheesy and unprofessional.

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Gamification is a practical element to include in a number of ways across a range of financial services. Some include:

  • Encouraging better savings. By making saving more enjoyable and applying a sense of achievement to it, more of your customers can create a savings goal and achieve it.
  • Educating your customers. Creating informative and high-quality educational content about a range of finance topics is a must for finance brands and adding game elements can make this experience more enjoyable. In fact, informative content is what your users want and can improve trust as educational content makes users 131% more likely to buy.
  • Change overall behaviour. Games allow for positive reinforcement enabling character changes and habits. While this won’t necessarily improve a finance brand’s revenues, what it can do is build rapport and trust as they improve their financial habits as a result of working with your brand.
  • Create an online community. Depending on what gaming features your finance brand adopts, a community can be created through leaderboards and avatar features for example, increasing customer enjoyment working and improving loyalty.

Finance brands nailing gamification

While gamification isn’t a very new concept in the finance world many brands have been slow on the uptake. Those that have embraced it have seen large benefits in customer acquisition, loyalty and positive user experiences. The US finance app Mint encourages better saving and budgeting habits by creating a fun and gamified experience. Users can track their expenses, investments and credit scores through fun infographics, progress charts and goal-setting.

Emirates NBD incorporated a more fun approach to their finance app by merging fitness and finances through an engaging gamified experience. Emirates NBD synced with fitness apparatus like Fitibit to keep track of users exercise. For example, if users hit 12,000 steps they would earn 2% interest everyday. This launch saw great success with 99% positive sentiments and in just one month over 53 million steps were counted and AED 16.07 million saved.

It’s time to get creative with user experiences

As the finance industry continues to go digital it’s time finance brands embraced this trend and incorporated creative and engaging elements into their user experience. One way to do so is through gamification but how each finance brand does so will be unique to its target audience. An older demographic may not appreciate the sounds and graphics but could respond well to goals and progress trackers, whereas a younger demographic may enjoy the community-based element more and personalising their experience through avatars and leaderboards. With companies who employ gamification elements experiencing seven times higher conversion rates, it’s an area finance brands should look to incorporate into their own marketing strategy.

About us

In an industry bound by tight regulations and complex subject matter, we specialise in creating content for finance brands.

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Ella Boyd
Having graduated with an English Literature degree, Ella understands the power of great words. With extensive experience in copywriting for a diverse range of businesses and executing marketing strategies for financial brands, Ella is an expert in crafting content that connects with customers. When not at work, Ella is running an ultramarathon, practicing her cycling skills for her triathlons or reading a book with a cup of tea.