Winning At Life: Gamification Drives New Banking Initiatives

dskbankA Bulgarian bank recently developed a new app that takes the gamification trend to its logical next step. The app, developed by DSK Bank, rewards customers with points for interacting with it, encouraging the setting of certain savings and financial goals and rewarding customers who educate themselves and reach milestones. It’s not a new concept, but it is one that remains quite relevant as content marketers continue to push the envelope to develop ways to reach mobile markets more effectively. The concept of getting people to educate themselves financially by offering cash incentives actually makes a whole lot of sense (cents) (sorry).

Gamification Leads Banking Charge

Gamification has been of special concern in the banking industry, which many people see as being heavily reliant on mobile for its very future. Getting the gaming demographic – a younger, more mobile-friendly demographic – involved in making smart financial decisions in an age of instant payments has been a real concern, and many developers and marketers see gamification as an ideal solution. At this point, it has yet to be widely embraced, with just nine percent of banks having employed any type of gamification, so there is still a big untapped market waiting to be explored.

Apps like the DSK Bank app follow a model that gives in-game rewards for useful real-world actions in a way that many other industries cannot match. The idea of saving up for retirement isn’t exactly a glamorous one, but if by depositing a certain amount into savings you unlock the next reward in the game, suddenly it becomes a matter of winning.

Other banks have run similar promotions based on gamification principles, but the stickiness of a mobile app is particularly appealing to banks looking to get customers involved in their own financial lives and staying active within the app.

What it Means For Agencies

Extrapolating from the banking industry’s growing embrace of gamification, the appeal of stickiness is an obvious one: keeping your customers absorbed in your brand is going to have real-life benefits in terms of ROI and repeat business. The savings and financial education goals of banking may be unique to that vertical, but it’s easy to see that equivalent goals can apply across any industry – rewards for posting the most blogs, say, or for tweeting about your company. Well, maybe those aren’t great examples, but I’ll bet you’re already coming up with some of your own.
How can gamification help you grow your client base?

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John Maloney

John A Maloney is a writer currently living in Honolulu, HI. He earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. He has had a couple poems and stories published in such prestigious rags as The Peninsula Pulse of Door County, WI. He's been to some other places, too. When not writing stellar copy for clients he is writing poetry & fiction, or else hiking various tuff cones & ridgelines on Oahu, or else using a piece of faux-wood epoxy to chase waves in the waters off Waikiki Beach. He just got married, too.

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