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Gamification in Financial Service

UK uses gamification to successfully engage clients in anything from better budgeting to financial education.

Photo of Trey Ng
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The world of banking is changing.  New entrants to the market, new business models, and changing consumer of traditional services are putting traditional banks under pressure.  Banks needs new ways to provide new experiences for consumers to drive more loyalty and revenue.    The move seems to be on innovation in technology.  Cash is “no longer king,” as mobile financing is gaining popularity.  In this consumer-led banking era, we see evidence of successful strategies in improving interactions with end-consumers.  One such result of this is gamification of the financial services industry.

Gamification is more than the provision of incentives in return for the use of a particular service or product.  It is more than just what banks have been doing for years, such as their prizes, money, discounts, and fluffy toys.  Gamification is the concerted attempt to use a gaming psychology to influence and alter consumer behaviors.  It is not a mere promotional strategy, but a product engaging strategy.  It helps actually deepen relations between banks and their clients. 

Here are a few examples of some used in the UK:

Financial Literacy: Britain’s Barclays bank used early gamification to create a Sims-like flash game.  With the city as a backdrop, it taught money management skills to young adults.

Financial Planning: Bulgarian Bank DSK launched DSK Game in 2013.  This uses gamification techniques to help customers have saving goals in a more engaging manner.

Happy Hours: Poland’s Bank Millennium set one random hour every week where user can obtain a 1.5 higher interest rate if they select a new bank product.  This is a way to get customers to behave different in that hour!

Augmented Reality: Bank Millennium of Poland, uses Augmented Reality in their mobile banking app.  By hovering your phone over the bank’s website, you can catch customer offers for higher interest rate t-deposits.

According to VISA, we can see these similar trends to make these possible gamifications a reality in the future:

Virtual Reality – VR installations in bank branches, whereby consumers can experience alternative versions of their retirement ranging from impoverish to the opulent
Augmented Reality – Bank customers can engage with bank statements by unlocking exclusive content
Competition – Games and quizzes can engage users on financial education
Social Banking – Social components can be added to FinTech like Venmo, where groups can compete to see who are more fiscally responsible


What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Can we use human's natural tendency to enjoy gaming and competition to promote better financial transactions in people over 50?

Tell us about your work experience:

I study Management Information Systems at the University of Texas at Austin,

Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!


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Photo of Lillian J Warner

Thank you for this great post! Gaming seems like a really effective way of showcasing new services/products to bank customers and also educating them about what is out there--especially if the customers over time interact with many different types of products/services, they get a better sense of what is available to them, even if they don't end up pursuing that specific product with that specific bank. I wonder thought if some older customers would be distrustful and dismissive of something like this presented by a bank--perhaps some people would find it gimmick-y.  50+ people might be more cynical. 

Photo of Trey Ng

That is a great point Lillian!  I have to agree with you in the fact that the 50+ generation are typically going to be more cynical.  The only thing I can say is maybe gamification in financial education first to allow them to make smarter decisions.  With a  little bit of gamified exposure, they will hopefully be more prone to banks using this.  I will definitely have to consider this and edit to improve a solution.  What do you think?

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