When gamification came onto the scene around 2017, the majority of those in the fintech space reacted with doubt and skepticism, assuming the new approach to user engagement would not apply to the industry. Now in 2022, the addition of gamification elements to digital platforms has become essential and expected by users across all industries, no matter how seemingly serious or separate.
At its core, gamification is when typical game-like components—problem solving, competition, points and rewards systems—are applied to non-game activities—say, investing in stocks on a fintech app or banking online—to appeal to users and keep them engaged. In other words, and in this case, gamification is about making fintech fun! In 2022, game-like elements have been proven to help financial businesses in particular to engage their users more effectively and turn routine banking tasks into fun, rewarding activities.
Despite the early skepticism, the introduction of gamification to the fintech sector has since been welcomed by many different companies and brands worldwide, rendering it one of the most effective techniques for fan engagement. In fact, according to a study by Finances Online, companies that introduce gamification tools into their platform have been shown to realize a 700% increase in conversion rates. In this article, we’re taking a look at the five major benefits of engaging customers with gamified banking solutions.
1. Interactivity Attracts New Customers
Let’s face it, people don’t always have a lot of patience when it comes to app sign-ups, and fintech platforms can be highly set-up intensive. Often, they require users to input personal information, submit financial statements, or even integrate with their existing external bank accounts.
Introducing gamified elements to the sign-up process can help to attract new customers and maintain momentum for curious users, guiding them through the steps without getting bored, distracted, or simply fed up. In other words, turn your onboarding steps into an interactive game and new users are more likely to stick around!
A great example of a fintech gamification tool often used to attract new users is the use of progress bars or quests during user onboarding. Quests are sets of tasks that must be completed in order to achieve a quest goal; such as in this case of getting to the end of an app sign-up process.
With the completion of each onboarding task, users are given a visual display of their progress and proximity to the final step, giving them a sense of encouragement, reminding them of their end goal, and motivating them to keep going so as not to lose the progress they’ve already made.
You might even choose to add a reward that comes with the completion of each task to incentivize users further, whether that be in the form of points, discounts, or even fun, entertaining graphics.
With the use of fintech gamification tools like quests, you can work to address typical onboarding roadblocks, and reduce the friction customers may experience that would deter them from signing up, ultimately attracting new users to your platform.
2. Gamification Makes Fintech Fun!
One of the major challenges of conventional banking or fintech services is that not all customers are going to have a personal interest or even an understanding of typical industry jargon and financial matters. What’s more, even those who do may still associate the industry with dull platform interfaces, boring charts, complex calculations, and general seriousness—but fintech doesn’t have to be tedious!
The key to standing out amongst the crowd is by using gamification to make your platform accessible, intuitive, hassle-free, and fun. Interactive tools like quiz challenges, competitive leaderboards and live chats can turn your fintech platform into a place users come to connect, learn, and even play.
A perfect example of a platform that uses gamification to make fintech fun is Monobank, the first Ukrainian mobile-only bank known in part for its cute feline mascot, QR cat. The corporate character is already a cheeky giveaway of the bank’s fun approach to banking services, and personifies the brand in the mind of its 6 million customers.
QR cat appears all over the app’s interface, including on the many achievement badges available for Monobank’s most loyal customers. To earn these badges, users are challenged to perform certain banking tasks, such as splitting bills with friends, making transactions in different countries, spending in certain categories, and more.
Alongside offering the typical conveniences of a virtual bank, Monobank’s gamification efforts have resulted in a customer base of over 3.8 million, with around 120,000 new users joining each month.
When your users can associate your fintech platform with games, quizzes, and unique creative branding, suddenly the experience of banking becomes a fun activity rather than a tedious chore.
3. Nurture Your Audience: Loyalty & Rewards Programs
As well as aiding in customer acquisition, making your fintech app fun is a great way to keep your users coming back for more, and making sure they stay loyal to your brand. And what better way to keep users coming back to your platform than to integrate gamified loyalty rewards programs?
In an article published earlier this year, we looked at the importance of building and maintaining customer loyalty, and the massive impact it can have on a business when done effectively. This becomes even more relevant in the case of fintech, an industry that is becoming increasingly competitive as the demand for digitization climbs, and one where the most loyal customers often become lifelong devotees.
In fact, according to a study by Bain & Company, customers who feel truly loyal to their bank are up to 6x more likely to recommend it to others, on average spend around 25% more on their credit cards and are much less likely to switch to a competitor than customers who feel no sense of brand loyalty.
Introducing rewards programs for your most devoted customers makes them feel like you care about their experience on your platform and you value their loyalty enough to thank them for it. These programs can include the use of points earned for completing certain actions, leaderboards to show off top points earners, and badges awarded to celebrate customer milestones.
All in all, gamification is about mobilizing the psychological human tendency to want to play games and be rewarded; and when customers are rewarded for their loyalty to an app or platform, they feel appreciated and are more likely to return.
4. Gamification Boosts Platform UX
As previously mentioned, most users of fintech platforms are seeking out simplified ways to solve certain problems they are having, whether it be with saving more money, navigating their finances, or increasing their wealth. In other words, taking financial goals that are often complicated to meet on one’s own and making them easier. Therefore, the use of gamification on a fintech platform should have the same end goal of simplifying these processes to make them more achievable for users, to enhance the overall user experience.
With this in mind, it only makes sense that fintech gamification, when used effectively and responsibly, should actually help to foster positive financial habits for its users, such as curbing overspending, hitting money-saving milestones, and more.
Of course, fintech gamification is not always about making things easier; there’s also strategy in using it to make things more difficult. Introducing more friction on a fintech platform can make it harder for users to commit financial mistakes—overspending, making hasty investments, miscalculating hidden fees—a feature they will be extremely grateful for. Either way, the end result is an enhanced user experience on the platform that works to attract and retain customers.
5. Interactive Features Provide Useful Customer Insights
Finally, gamification is about more than just playing games and improving UX; it can also be a great way to learn more about your customers in terms of their behavior, usage habits and platform preferences. Especially considering the amount of fintech platforms out there, understanding your audience can mean the difference between standing out amongst competitors and falling behind. In other words, the better you know your users, the more easily you’ll be able to create a UX that satisfies their needs and turn them into loyal fans.
The issue with collecting data, however, is finding ways of doing it that don’t bother your customers or make your motives overly obvious. For example, sending out a long-form survey about what users are looking for on your platform might come across as, at best, disruptive, and at worst, spammy. Instead, using interactive gamification tools like trivia quizzes, predictions, and polls, offers a fun and subtle way to gather first-party data while providing an entertaining experience that encourages their participation.
All in all, the use of gamification tools—whether it’s interactive widgets, informative widgets, live chat capabilities, or loyalty programs—appeals to natural human desires, including the need for entertainment, social interaction, rewards, and competition. By introducing gamification to a fintech app or banking solution site, users are given the chance to earn points, compete with their friends, or get to the top of a leaderboard, and consequently, become emotionally invested in staying on returning to the platform.
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