Making finance fun: Gamification, the new frontier of customer engagement


Gamification of information and process is emerging as a key tool for financial institutions as they push to enhance customer engagement.

With Generation Y and Z highly active in the gaming arena, organisation such as Visa and Commonwealth Bank of Australia have turned to games development as an effective new way to disseminate information to potential customers.

In a bid to educate young customers on responsible financial management Visa developed a financial football game to tie into the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Vipin Kalra, Country Manager, Visa Australia, says the game was hugely popular and distributed in a number of different languages.

“We do believe we need to run faster and stay in touch with this generation,” says Kalra. “The brand loyalty is not huge in their mind, and because of that nature we need to make sure we’re able to customise products to their needs and deliver them in the way they want them. If you don’t there’s the risk that not only will they stop using your product but the whole world will know why they didn’t like it.”

Commonwealth Bank is also leading in the gamification space. The bank has developed Investorville, a game that allows customers to practice investing in retail property before buying a real one. In Spain, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) attracted 37,000 users in two months to its Facebook app, ‘The BBVA Game.’ The BBVA Game offers players ‘points’ for engaging with the site that can be redeemed for physical rewards (such as iPads). Rabobank in the Netherlands used gamification to encourage student innovation with the Rabobank Gamification Challenge, which invited students to compete for ways to build fun banking applications.

By 2014, Gartner expects that over 70 per cent of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one ‘gamified’ application, and by 2015 one quarter of all redesigned processes will include one or more gamification engagement practices.

Richard Absalom, Analyst, Consumer Impact and Technology at Ovum says gamification is a strategy that does primarily target the young, or ‘Facebook’ generations at this point in time, but adds there is a great potential for gamification to also have a positive impact on internal processes.

“I can see it being particularly useful for sales teams if integrated with CRM. You could also see it evolving hand-in-hand with corporate social networking, with gamified apps and processes built into the basic collaboration platforms,” says Absalom.