Gamification in fintech: Benefits, examples, and best practices

Gibson Toombs

November 18, 2021

3 min read

The financial services industry has always had a reputation for being serious, boring, confusing, and unimaginative—at least from the perspective of your average consumer.

That’s why so many banks, insurance companies, wealth management firms, and other financial institutions are constantly embracing new digital technologies to facilitate a more impactful and engaging customer experience. But building a user-friendly, mobile-responsive fintech application may not be enough to capture and hold the attention of your target audience.

Perhaps the most exciting innovation transforming customer experiences across industries—from retail, to healthcare, to food and beverage, and now fintech—is gamification.

With gamification, you can deliver a fun and pleasurable user experience (UX) that separates your product from the dull, stereotypical fintech solution. Adding game-like elements to your website or app will motivate users to stick with the customer journey and complete tasks—whether that’s keeping track of spending, boosting financial literacy, or saving money for specific occasions.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits, examples, and best practices associated with applying gamification in fintech.

What is gamification?

Gamification, in its simplest form, means adding game mechanics and experiences to non-game environments. This involves completing challenges, scoring points, earning rewards, and more.

One of the more traditional examples of gamification is frequent-flyer programs offered by airlines. Here, customers are motivated to continue using the same airline over and over again, to become eligible for certain rewards—which translate into savings and other special benefits.

Gamification not only helps keep users engaged on your site or app, but it also helps attract new, younger customers to your financial service. After all, research shows that 80% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers regularly play games.

By creating a customer experience that resembles gaming, fintech companies can more effectively interact with the consumers of these younger generations, who—just like their parents—will eventually need help applying for loans, saving for retirement, investing in stocks, and so on.

Just like any standard virtual game, gamified apps come with a set of rules and goals, which must be designed meticulously so that the user remains interested in the challenge, without ever becoming too frustrated or confused.

Benefits of fintech gamification

Gamification offers a more interactive, enjoyable alternative to traditional websites and applications—which is why experts predict that the gamification market will reach over $30 billion in revenue by 2025.

Here are some of the key benefits to consider when thinking about adopting gamification for your financial services company:

  • Increasing customer engagement and loyalty: Given the right incentives, users will spend more time on your website or app. And if the interface is fun and inviting, they’ll feel like they’re in good hands when managing their finances—which many people consider a chore.
  • Standing out among your competitors: Gamification presents an opportunity to get creative and differentiate your company from other financial services.
  • Understanding user behavior: Collecting, managing, and analyzing data from your fintech app allows you to better understand the wants, needs, and expectations of your clients.
  • Building a digital community: By enabling users to interact with each other and invite others onto the platform via social media, you can form an online community of brand loyalists that grows over time.

Examples of gamification in fintech

Gamification is being leveraged by organizations big and small to enhance customer experiences in digital banking, insurance, wealth management, and more.

Here are three examples of gamified apps currently disrupting the financial industry:

  • Venmo: By allowing users to see transactions between their friends on their feed, Venmo establishes a sense of community that curbs certain anxieties. This gamification technique is known as dynamic feedback.
  • Monobank: This Ukrainian neobank allows customers to make purchases directly from their smartphones. And the more transactions a user conducts, the more badges they unlock.
  • Fortune City: Fortune City is a financial tracking app, where users build entire virtual cities—much like The Sims—based on their spending habits. For instance, if the user regularly eats out at restaurants, more and more food joints will pop up in their personalized city. In addition to having a visual representation of their finances, users can also earn points by completing achievements and competing with their friends.

As you can see, there’s a wide range of gamification use cases. There are apps like Venmo, which only incorporate one or several game-like features. Then there are apps like Fortune City, which have the look and feel of a real video game.

Best practices when gamifying your fintech app

As with all digital platforms, user-friendly design, fast page-loading times, mobile responsiveness, and robust data security are essential when building a gamified fintech product.

Here are a few other best practices you may want to consider when mapping out your new site or app:

  • Prioritize personalization: By leveraging individual customer data, you can deliver personalized financial strategies, goals, challenges, and achievements—as well as online courses, blogs, videos, and other helpful content that’s relevant to each client’s journey.
  • Include avatars: Allowing players to choose, upload, or unlock their unique avatar is a common social element in the world of gaming. In fintech, this can help make traditionally-boring processes a bit more fun and unique for the end-user.
  • Prevent “tilting”: Tilting is a gaming term used to describe overly-aggressive behavior that leads to bad results—like a pinball player tilting the machine, or a poker player going all-in with a poor hand. Whatever your fintech solution is, it should be designed to prevent tilting at all costs, so that your customers don’t make serious mistakes with their money. Many gamified financial apps incorporate AI-powered bots that are trained to identify tilting behavior and send automated notifications to customers before any real damage is done.
  • Encourage team play: As we’ve seen with Venmo and other money-trading apps, creating a sense of community leads to a better customer experience. And highly-gamified apps like Fortune City prove that fintech consumers are eager to do more than simply connect with their friends. Allowing users to interact, team up on challenges, and even compete against each other for rewards can create a more fun and captivating customer experience for all.

Getting started with gamification in fintech

Implementing game mechanics for your customer experience requires a deep understanding of gamification tools and techniques, along with current trends among businesses and consumers in the world of finance. So if you want to get started optimizing your fintech customer experience via gamification and other cutting-edge technologies, team up with the experts here at Codal.

Our award-winning team has over a decade of experience designing, developing, launching, and maintaining modern fintech websites and applications. Once we understand your organization’s goals and requirements, we’ll build a UX—based on in-depth market research, user interviews, historical data, and so on—that exceeds customer expectations, elevates your business’ digital presence, and improves its bottom line.

Interested in learning more about how Codal can help optimize your fintech customer experience? Get in touch with a member of our team today!

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