Why look at gamification in banking you may ask?
Well, demand from customers and ever-changing technology has had a huge impact on the way that banks do business. Not to mention how they keep ahead of the competition.
One of the important technologies that banks are employing is gamification.
In banking and financial services, gamification has proven to be a well established approach to leverage performance of employees and customers.
Gamification in banking is focused on customer-centricity. While engaging emotionally, gamification helps customers to achieve their financial goals.
The practice uses game elements and techniques to make processes more interesting, interactive and appealing.
But do you know how to use gamification to build a successful engagement strategy?
If you don’t, then strap in because we collected some gamification examples in banking to help you in your mission.
Let’s get started.Table of Contents1. Understand, Then Motivate.2. Set Up Goals and KPI’s3. Make Motivation a Regular Routine4. Increase Customer Financial Literacy5. Improved Customer Wellness, and Wallet6. Increase Deposits and Savings7. Promote New Products and Services8. Keep Track of Financial Habits9. Motivate Customers to Use On-line Banking10. Develop an Internal Loyalty Program for Employees11. Incentivise Customers to Share Ideas and Suggestions12. Encourage Good Driving Skills13. Build Customer Loyalty14. Reward Purchases and Transactions Conclusion
Table of Contents
Banks have been accused in the past of being deaf to the needs of their clients.
And as a result, were starting to lose out on business because of a growing degree of mistrust in the banking sector.
Traditional banks were under threat and their relevance with consumers was waning. Failing to adapt and not consider their customers needs first was not an option.
In order to reengage with customers, a new strategy was required and one that incorporates the customer into the journey.
The role of banks has changed with time. They started as simple repositories of customers’ money. Today they are institutions that help the customer grow their money and help them when they want to improve their lives.
The notion that by actually helping clients banks were able to increase their own profits had struck a chord. And, as a pleasant side effect, it also engaged customers.
Banks learned the lesson and have since pushed the personalisation of the customer experience ever since. They have taken the concept forward to the point of rewarding customers for banking with them.
The concept of understanding the customer and their needs has become key to business prosperity. And that understanding has led to the notion that customers will engage further with a bank if they are properly motivated.
Give a client what they want and they will want more!
Motivation can take many forms but usually is kept simple and encompasses preferential treatment, rewards, or ease of access such as internet banking.
When it comes to engaging financial customers, there’s an important rule to follow: give them options and let them choose. You can either create your own collection of rewards. Or you can let them exchange points earned for any of your partner’s products, or services.
With NatWest’s MyRewards program, customers can earn between 1 and 15% off at one of the bank’s retail partners.
According to Natwest “The offers you receive are personalised to you. You could be in line to receive offers with retailers you may like to try or with retailers you frequently spend at.”
Now, when it comes to motivating employees, customisation can also play an important role. To better understand what motivates the workforce, we need to keep in mind that there are plenty of different types of motivation.
Not everyone has the same.
So, what might motivate one employee might discourage another and vice versa. For example, some are motivated by time off, some by money, some by health and others wellness.
Some by a combination of the above! But then, how do you know what will work?
Well, if you want to keep everyone engaged, the trick is to ask them what kind of rewards they would like to receive.
Just run a quick survey on the topic, pick some rewards from different categories and let them choose.
The secret is to bring your people into the process as much as possible.
So you can shape your engagement strategy with their feedback along the way.
With that information, you can use variety to customize your employee engagement strategy.
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What behaviours would you like to improve in the company?
Before you can set up an engagement strategy, you need to understand your current situation. And then build a road map to change it into your new vision. But understanding something as large and complex as banking isn’t simple.
In fact, it requires analysis that encompasses the whole spectrum of the business. However, that analysis needs to be focused rather than random, and this is where key performance indicators (KPI’s) become useful.
KPI’s are defined as quantitative values used to determine how efficiently and effectively specific operational goals and objectives are achieved by the bank over a certain period of time.
Which KPI’s you choose will depend on the sector under investigation and which part of the business you are looking to track. Each banking department will use different KPI types to measure success based on specific business goals and targets.
Actually, there are so many KPI’s that you could choose from that there is a real danger of selecting KPIs that do not reflect the meaningful parts of your business. So pick carefully and make sure you are not using vanity metrics.
KPIs allow you to set goals that are forward measurable, honing the way in which the bank engages its customers, while planning enhanced strategies.
With your KPIs, you can measure how effective your employees are at achieving business objectives.
Not only KPIs are fundamental in communicating business goals to your teams. They will also help define your game rules (gamification mechanics).
What’s more, it’s with your KPIs that you will see the ROI (return on investment) for your gamification project.
In the banking and financial sector, we can also define KPIs and goals for customers. So they are empowered to manage their financial well being, or performance.
So, how can gamification help people meet their goals?
As you can see from the screenshots above, Mint helps people monitor their banks, credit cards, investments, loan balances and transactions through a single user interface.
It also allows users to set their own budgets and financial goals.
Quite useful, right?
What do Jack Ma, J.K. Rowling and Walt Disney have in common?
Other than the fact that they all managed to scale their businesses into the billion dollar mark?
They all faced many adversities, challenges and opportunities throughout their journey.
Take Jack Ma for example, who always tried hard, but was never quite the model pupil.
After failing primary school twice, he also failed the middle school exam three times and the college entrance exam twice.
Surprisingly, Ma was rejected because of a score of less than 1 percent on his college entrance exam.
Despite you thinking he already had good reasons to quit academic life.
He tried to enter Harvard University 10 times.
But guess what?
Of the 10 attempts he made, all were rejected!
Once again, when applying for 30 different jobs – he received a NO for all of them.
Not to mention when he applied for a job at KFC.
This time there were 24 candidates, including him.
And I kid you not, all the other candidates were offered the job.
But not Ma.
Ma likes to say that it’s because of his short stature and lack of handsomeness that he was rejected.
However, in the face of all the difficulties he… faced, he persevered and founded Alibaba.
Alibaba is now the biggest e-commerce company in China. The company achieved a remarkable US$56 billion in revenue in 2019.
With J.K. Rowling, life was never easy either.
Prior to being known as the author of Harry Potter, she used to write chapters by hand in a cafe while her child was sleeping.
Keep in mind – she was a single mum, living in an unheated apartment in Scotland.
Of course, with Walt Disney life was equally not easy.
Before being the US$69 billion (2019) revenue business we know today, Walt Disney had to hear NO from over 100 banks when trying to get funding to develop Disneyland.
It’s ironic, but he was even fired from his job at a newspaper for “lacking ideas”.
As can be seen from these 3 examples of persistence, life is made of many bad days.
Luckily continuous motivation leads people to go the extra mile to achieve their goals.
But if you are not Disney, Rowling or Ma.
How do you ensure that your employees, business partners and customers are engaged and fully motivated on a daily basis?
As a leader, you can help to create a motivational environment where people are constantly engaged and focused on achieving their goals.
Here’s 7 ways how gamification can help you to achieve better performance:
Something interesting has been happening in the world of finance.
Over the past 5 years, despite the increasing payments made with bancontact and bank apps, payments with credit cards and debit cards are still the predominant payment methods for products and services purchased online.
According to Fundera, “76% of consumers have at least 1 credit card” and overall, “70% of consumers prefer card payments over cash.”
There’s no doubt that consumers prefer card payments over cash. Especially as technologies like NFC are making the process super smooth.
With cash, personal finances were easier to manage – either you had it or you didn’t.
Today, managing your money is harder. Consider the wealth of options you have at your disposal.
The credit lines, the repayments, financing options, investments, bonds and many more.
It’s not a surprise that many people struggle with this to at least some degree.
Let’s suppose you want an ice cream. You go to the ice cream shop and there are 24 flavours to choose from.
While your ice cream is being masterfully constructed in front of your eyes, you have another choice to make.
Do you pay by credit card, debit card, google pay, cash or wait.. through the new ice cream shop app! Wow. Such a simple transaction, and yet we are already overloaded with options.
Now, have you ever thought about investing in shares, buying your first rental property, or having a retirement plan?
Well, then you know what I mean.
We are once again overloaded with choices that end up becoming obstacles to managing our money effectively.
That’s why financial education is so important.
But how can gamification help to increase financial literacy?
PayPerks developed a SaaS platform to help users to increase their financial knowledge.
The project was designed to engage and change behaviours, using a combination of visual education, gamification and sweepstakes based rewards.
Together with other institutions, they were able to deliver a great solution to improve the financial ability, health and well-being of low and moderate income consumers.
More than 1.4 billion people are at serious risk of developing some kind of chronic disease.
Just to be clear, that means 1 in 4 people is at risk. That’s a lot!
But what’s the reason for that though?
According to Business Insider, this is mainly due to the low levels of physical activity and the sedentary nature of our lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study to understand the impact caused by a lack of physical activity in 168 countries.
Among the many results, the survey identified that most high-income economies are becoming less physically active over the years.
However in lower-income economies, the results were better.
Just think of it this way…
The more economically developed a country is, the more sedentary the jobs, the more lazy the pass time activities are and the greater the level of convenience!
Now, if you look closely, you will find that most successful people out there share the same effective trait: they create habits.
For almost everything in life, if you want to succeed…
You need habits – and that includes getting fit and healthy!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit’’ — Aristotle
Then, why is it so hard to create a new habit, even though we know it’s the key to success?
Well, the answer is relatively simple. In order to create a habit, you need to stick to a routine.
But routine is only achieved with a series of daily actions that involve frequent motivation, perseverance and a lot of focus. That is easier said than done.
The reality is that motivation is the spark that gets us started on our journey to reach our daily goals, routine, habit and success!
So, how do we keep motivation high and use the right incentives to achieve business goals?
As you can see in this short video, Emirates NBD fitness account was a fantastic idea to align fitness goals with financial goals.
The more steps you took, the more you moved, the higher the interest rate you received.
Through gamification Emirates NBD was able to:
As you can see below, the more daily steps, the higher the interest rate the users could receive.
Using this initiative, NBD bank increased deposits by more than $4.37 million.
At the same time they encouraged a healthier lifestyle and provided users with the autonomy to decide their own reward!
When I first read “The richest man in Babylon”, one thing was clear to me.
I realized that the secrets to wealth building are constant in time.
Despite our speedy evolution, there are some rules that remain applicable throughout history.
In this book, George Clason writes about 7 crucial lessons he learnt from Arkad, the richest man in Babylon:
As you can see, making money, spending less and saving more is still a very applicable formula.
So, how do you increase deposits and help customers reach their saving goals?
You can develop a successful engagement strategy using gamification.
With a gamified system you can:
Let’s take a closer look at an example of gamification in banking created by PNC Bank. A US-based bank with around $366.4 billion in assets.
Essentially you have a hybrid wallet which is a virtual account working both for checking and savings.
This makes moving money from the checking account to the savings account and vice-versa very easy.
With the help of gamification, they created 3 distinctively differents ways to save:
What is interesting, is that the rewards used are your own savings.
The savings that will be your new car, next vacation or even a house.
Once you have a new product, you still have an important task: organizing your marketing strategy.
It’s time to plan and decide the right marketing strategy to sustain your competitive advantage.
If you have a deep understanding of the problem you’re solving, know your target audience and create awareness, chances are you will increase your sales and profits.
Just think about it. What is the basic premise of marketing and sales?
It’s communication, right?
Now consider the wide variety of creative ideas brought forward by your marketing team. Despite the range there is always one thing they can all agree on: better communication skills are crucial to generate results and business success.
Then, how can Gamification be used in your marketing to promote products and increase sales?
Gamification can be used as a tool to improve your customer communication and customer experience.
It’s important for your customers to understand your products but also to engage and connect with them.
Provided that only 5% of our purchase decisions, according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, take place consciously.
It becomes easy to understand that decisions are mostly not formed based on a logical perspective.
In fact, purchasing decisions are largely triggered by an emotional component.
Gamification helps you build motivational core drives such as accomplishment, ownership, social influence, scarcity and curiosity using game mechanics and elements.
These in turn help sway customers towards your products and services.
The results can be that of your customers actively participating and interacting with your content from the beginning.
This is exactly what Extraco Banks did when marketing their new online features.
A bit of background, Extraco Banks is the largest financial institution with headquarters in Texas. They have about $1.2 billion in assets, and $150 million in capital and reserves.
With over 140,000 customers, they wanted to make sure that everyone would understand why they were removing their free checking accounts.
So they turned to Gamification to help communicate all the benefits and advantages that the customers were going to have with their new Bonus Account.
Source: Extraco eBank
For example, all the new accounts included cash back on any signature-based debit card purchases as well as monthly fee waivers when certain (simple) conditions were met.
They added gamification to engage customers and explain all the benefits of their new bonus accounts.
As a result, the initiative generated a seven fold increase in conversion rates (from 2% to 14%). Once again a great example of how gamification helped guide customer behaviour and loyalty.
Why would you want to track your financial habits?
Well, the reason is that your future depends on creating financial awareness. It’s impossible to manage what you don’t know.
For example, if you find out where you are failing to spend less, it’s easier to take control and change your behaviour.
It allows you to prioritize your real needs and spend money only on things that really matter.
That way, you can finally start to save money for those rainy days or better, you can put your money to work for you.
I still remember when I used to track my expenses the old-fashioned way using pen and paper.
That is until I started to learn how to make spreadsheets in Microsoft excel.
But these days there are no excuses not to track your money. We have online tools developed by banks, financial institutions and fintechs using gamification to make our financial lives more convenient.
For example, let’s take a look at Monefy:
Monefy is a handy personal finance manager and expense tracker app.
Using analytics, Monefy allows you to easily manage what you spend.
You can easily track all your expenses across default categories or personalise it and create your own categories.
Any idea how many people use online banking?
According to the Financial Times 7 out of 10 people in the UK use online banking.
Now, the results from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) were interesting.
Let’s take a look at the frequency of internet use in Great Britain for 2006 and 2018.
Source: Office for National Statistics
As you can see from the chart above, online banking is not the number 1 reason why people use the internet. However it still occupies the third spot.
Plus, over the decade, online banking was the fastest-growing category. Compare that to emails, and finding information about goods and services.
But, what does that mean?
It means that the future for online banking is looking bright.
Online banking has become the go-to method for financial customers to perform activities like:
So, what are the advantages of having users perform online transactions?
So how can gamification be used to motivate customers to use online banking?
With gamification you can create a narrative and use different game mechanics to encourage customers to perform behaviours that are beneficial to both parties.
If you want a good example of how gamification can be used to engage customers with online banking, check out what the Spanish bank BBVA did:
As part of their gamification initiative, they used a virtual currency to engage users in almost every interaction with their app.
For example, users can get points for learning how the app works. All by just watching videos and answering some questions.
Second, users can earn points by giving their email and phone number.
Third, users continue to earn points and unlock new missions and rewards as they perform financial transactions.
And last but not least, users can exchange their points for amazing prizes, such as football match tickets, movies and music downloads.
All to drive users onto their online banking platform.
A bank is only as effective as the people it employs. If you want to have top returns, you need to have top players.
So how do you go about nurturing top players?
Well, there is a lot of evidence that shows that loyalty programs are a pretty effective tool.
These kinds of programs not only help retain good staff, but actively help attract the best talent.
Take Deutsche Bank for example, they have a highly developed reward and retention scheme.
This has seen them acquire some of the best banking talent in Europe, making the bank one of the premier financial institutions on the continent.
According to the bank, the loyalty program is an on-going process. It starts with regular employee surveys to highlight any major concerns the workforce may have.
From that feedback the company can quickly identify areas that need to be focused on in order to keep their people at their best.
This information also helps the company learn what employees think about their training and career-development paths. At the same time, they can use this information to personalise the training and rewards they deliver.
Deutsche Bank runs an internal program called “Staying Fit for the Job”. It offers tools for analysing and expanding skills and experience.
It supports employee development by helping people to achieve their individual objectives.
Many other banks now run active programs such as Fit for the Job. They are seen as a clear win for both the bank and the employees.
The bank can learn what needs to be better. The employees get what they need to be their best.
If your customers aren’t happy with your service, then chances are they won’t be coming back to you.
According to Inc when customers are unhappy, there’s only a 9% chance they will do business with you again.
So, if you want to deliver a successful product in the long run, it’s not enough to simply sell more.
You’ve got to help your customers fall in love with your products and make sure they want to stick around.
That means, you can’t afford not to listen to what your customers know and think about your products.
So why is customer feedback so important?
Well when you get accurate customer feedback, you can transform insights into concrete actions.
These concrete actions are what will ensure that your products are pointing in the right direction helping your company’s growth.
Here’s a great example of using gamification to motivate customers to share their ideas and suggestions to improve a product:
Barclays in partnership with mastercard, launched the Barclaycard Ring.
In their engagement strategy, they created an online community where customers interact with the brands in different ways.
From voting on future features, new designs and rewards to decisions about where to make donations.
With their ideas validated (and even visible) in their own bank cards and services, users feel valued and grow fond of the Barclays products.
What if you could save money, in real time, for good behaviour behind the wheel?
That would be quite nice.
Not only can adopting safe driving techniques avoid headaches such as fines, imprisonment for traffic violations, and in the worst case scenario even save lives.
It can also give you much deserved insurance discounts.
But… Is this real?
Absolutely, take a look at what Aviva are doing:
This is one of the best gamification examples in the car insurance industry.
With Aviva Drive App, your driving skills are monitored through GPS.
Once you hit the road, and press start, the app automatically begins to track your driving skills. It will monitor how you accelerate, brake and corner.
Source: Windows Central
After you hit 200 miles of driving, the app starts to provide you with tips and hints on how to drive better.
It also gives you a score that ranges from 0-10. This score is crucial to determine if you are eligible for a discount.
So, how much could save?
Well, let’s take a look. Here’s the scores versus discounts table:
Now, let’s take a look at some screens taken directly from the Aviva application.
Source: Windows Central
As you can see, it’s even possible to check your friends’ scores and share your badges!
In their game, Aviva implemented many gamification mechanics such as progress bars, points, badges, missions, rewards and unlocking content to engage their audience.
Similar to the previous example, USAA, an american financial services group, made a partnership with Honda to develop a driver coaching app.
This application is called “Honda Dream Drive”.
The aim of this project is to make drivers aware of potentially dangerous behaviours.
For example, every time the driver is going too fast when approaching a sharp turn or a school zone, they are informed by the dashboard.
Of course, there’s a score and great rewards associated with the program.
Nothing forecasts organic growth like fully engaged customers.
One research conducted by Gallup, revealed that fully engaged retail banking customers generate about 37% more in annual revenue.
When customers are fully engaged, they help to support your company.
Nowadays, with so many different banks and financial institutions to choose from, retaining customers has become a driving force in the industry.
It’s relatively easy to gain new customers; all you need to do is to offer them something better or different than what they already have.
If they have no loyalty and your offer is even mildly better than what they have, then they are likely to move from their current provider over to you.
There are also official bodies working against you, such as the Office of Fair Trading that encourage consumers to switch between providers regularly in order to get some of the best deals.
So, attracting new customers is the easy bit; retaining them is proving to be much harder.
The problem is, once you have offered someone a good deal, you have to keep giving them something to make it worth their while to stay with you.
Joining or one time benefits will rarely work to keep people around in the long run.
Simply offering the same thing isn’t good enough either.
You have to constantly innovative and offer something different in order to stop your customer being enticed by a counter offer from a rival.
Most strategies that have been proven to help retain customers are long term.
For example, offering them different banking services or VIP treatment based on their savings or their behaviours, or for having you as their preferential bank. Providing them with an easy means of tracking and categorising their expenses. Providing them with a way to set goals or become more financially literate.
The list goes one but at the heart of it we have the concept of providing the customer with a great experience.
The key to the retention of current customers is determining what the customers want or are likely to want and supplying it.
Engaging directly with clients is a great way to gain valuable insights and act on them. That way you are more likely to retain them.
Let’s be frank; banks can only really exist as long as they have customers, so it makes sense to say that those customers are actually the banks biggest assets.
It follows then that the banks need to offer rewards to those customers to help retain them and help ensure the continued viability of the banking institution.
This has been understood by some of the younger banks, and this has forced the established banks to follow suit and treat customers as something to be cherished rather than just milked for money.
There are many banking reward systems available, including:
Almost every bank now offers these kinds of rewards as a means to retain customers and offer something in return for purchases and transactions.
With innovation taking place across the globe, banks and financial institutions have been adjusting to keep the pace of the modern consumer and employee.
Gamification is such a fantastic tool, that can be applied to so many areas of the business, that it’s hard to justify not using it.
Whether it’s engaging customers, educating them or increasing their loyalty. Or whether it’s motivating employees, training them, helping them develop or even keeping them healthy.
You’ll always find that you can achieve better results with the right Gamification elements.
Click the link to check out our infographic on Gamification in Banking and Financial Services.
Marcia is a results-driven marketing leader, known for innovation and a unique mix of strategic, creative, operational and technical abilities.