Should we be taking gamification seriously?

Article de Robin Jensen, Business Development Manager.

My wife enjoys visiting our dentist for root canal about as much as she enjoys talking to our banker. This got me thinking, what is it about financial services that just doesn’t resonate (or even feels painful) for the average customer?

Let’s face it, reviewing last month’s spending isn’t sexy, saving up for our new house is slow and laborious and if you talk to any millennial about retirement, just watch as their eyes glaze over…

And yet budgeting, saving and investing are the pillars of our financial well-being, and we (literally) can’t afford to neglect them.


Historically, banks carry a large part of the blame for the boredom. The good news is this means (paradoxically) they possess the key to turn this to their advantage.

But how?

Well first off, it seems obvious to say, but let’s shout it out anyway, let’s make finance interesting. Let’s invite people to take control of their financial future and let’s engage with customers at a level they understand. How? Through the concept of gamification. It’s worth noting here that several banks have already embraced this concept and have reaped the benefits of its adoption. So, basically put, we have proof that it works.

What is gamification?

Gamification describes the incentivisation of people's engagement in non-game contexts and activities by using game-style mechanics.

Hmmm. sorry, but that sounds as boring as old generation finance. (Old habits die hard.)

Let’s try again: gamification consists in stimulating people's desire to achieve and strives to motivate them to achieve their goals.  And goals, as we all know, are things we can relate to and work towards. There are many examples of gamification, the most well-known perhaps being frequent flyer rewards programs offered by airlines. Who amongst us has not deliberately opted to fly with one airline rather than another in order to accumulate miles despite a higher short-term price? It’s a proven method to generate more sales and build repeat business.

Gamification in finance

Gamification in finance can take many forms: entertaining on-boarding, demystifying financial objectives, helping people determine what is attainable realistically… and if logic prevails, a fun and useful user experience, will have people coming back for more.  The measurable metrics of successful gamification include the level of engagement, influence, brand loyalty, time spent on an activity, and the game's ability to appeal broadly.

Gamification is useful and successful as it applies the same human psychology that sweet-talks people into enjoying winning at games and to dislike losing. Financial gamification makes use of the precise mechanics of objectives, challenges and notifications to engage customers along a journey which mixes motivation, participation and the all-important ‘fun’ factor.

Through the use of simulations that allow end clients to project the impact of various investment scenarios into the future, one of the banks we helped saw a significant growth in clients’ recurring investment: once clients set an objective, they’ve bought into the concept and deliberately committed to it, month after month.

Gamification is not only helping people to reach their objectives, it also cements the long-term relationship with the bank and generates new revenue streams. Now that’s a win-win.

In a nutshell, gamification can:

• Steer customer behaviour, by aligning them with business objectives (save to invest)

• Create digital engagement and loyalty with the final consumer

Convey information and complex procedures in a simple and rewarding way

Raise citizenship awareness about a healthy economic and financial life-style: managing their assets, investments, mortgages.

We at Gambit take our gamification very seriously: it is a tool in our mission to making money a better support, for whatever comes next… Are you ready to play too?