How Gamification of Banking Can Change the Way We Manage Money

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The fundamental concepts of banking have remained the same for centuries. However, the need to reinvent the image of the financial industry with branding, promotions, and events to make it “cool” could create an event-driven game; this would engage a target user base while increasing business efficiency. Event processing is at the heart of banking, and integrating new systems and expanding infrastructure will give a bank the competitive edge it needs while growing its customer base.

Traditional Banking 

A very basic approach to a typical bank process is that it collects money from individuals, stores it, and lends it to others for a price. They allow individuals to access their money, use it, and so forth. While this has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages, banks have needed to respond to both commercial and technological advancements, from managing complex systems like Forex to facilitating secure mobile payments.

Many banks have all kinds of deposit schemes, from classic savings accounts to recurring deposits and mutual funds. A whole slew of lending products, which do not necessarily make you richer, allow you to invest in an asset that has a projected value increase. This sounds interesting, except that it isn’t convincing. Why would any sane individual be compelled to engage with the bank for every single purchase, credit, or investment? Why would you allow the bank to engage with you on every opportunity that they see fit?

Banking On Fun 

In emerging and highly competitive markets, game mechanics could act as the catalyst to fully engage customers. The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology classifies gamers into achievers, explorers, socializers, and killers. What if a bank were to take that concept and integrate it into the daily banking experience?

Picture this: You’re participating in a bank game app; you rummage through the attic for the magic lamp and summon your genie. After your salary is credited to the bank, and you pay your bills, you’re left with a comfortable amount of funds; half of this you don’t expect to spend. The bank’s genie knows this, as he’s been looking at your spending patterns and minimum balance. So, he offers to move it to a savings account. If you accept, he tells you that you would have unlocked the next achievement within the game.

The same genie shows up when you walk into a mall (based on your GPS), knowing that you’re going to purchase something. He asks you what you’d like to buy. “A pair of jeans,” you respond, to which he displays a store promotion that is running a 20% discount this week on jeans. You may question your loyalty to your usual denim store, but wait…there’s another game achievement to be unlocked if you make the purchase! So you give it a shot, and turns out it was a good deal after all.

While you’ve been unlocking achievements, you also have a social network of like-minded people. This community is positioned to include people with similar salaries, culture, location, and families. Despite your similarities, you each have your own buying patterns, histories, and transactions that make competition more engaging.

Trend or Opportunity?

This game mechanics concept can be applied everywhere: Retailers can make shopping at a supermarket more compelling; telecom providers can share points depending on which regions you call frequently, or how long the calls are; and airlines just have to gamify their air miles reward programs with social networks. Games could span merchant partnerships so you could earn miles, or points, for taking an airport cab or purchasing a snack while you wait for your flight in the terminal.

But is this a trend or a fad? Whichever way you look at it, it’s an opportunity to make your customer touch base with you more often than just when he or she needs you. This, in itself, triggers a sense of togetherness that eventually translates to loyalty.

The three pillars in the gamification of your enterprise are: the ability to process events, the ability to integrate all pieces of the business, and the capability to have fun. These pillars also just happen to be the ingredients of the TIBCO DNA. Learn more check out our Integration Maturity Model.