OCBC taps youth psyche with game ‘world first’


In a bid to capture the mindshare of children through entertainment, OCBC has introduced a world-first initiative into one of its bank branches.

The bank has launched an interactive floor projection game for children at its Ang Mo Kio Central branch, with plans to roll-out the technology to other ‘Sunday Banking’ branches. According to OCBC the objective of the game is engaging children while parents conduct banking, as an extension of the bank’s ‘Children’s Activity Corner’ concept.

OCBC’s ‘Sunday Banking’ service allows customers to conduct banking transactions on a Sunday, while at the same time offering a family-friendly atmosphere. Dennis Tan, Head of Consumer Financial Services (Singapore) and Group Premier Banking, OCBC, said “Parents are delighted with our pro-family efforts especially the activities at our Children’s Activity Corner.”

This is not OCBC’s first game application; it also recently partnered with gamification startup, PlayMoolah, to help entertain children while educating them around financial literacy.

The bank’s interest in gamification extends beyond keeping children entertained. Research suggests gamification has the ability to greatly deepen engagement with potential customers and encourage positive feedback response loops. In a Pew Internet research survey on the future of the Internet and gamification the report found that “neuroscientists are discovering more and more about the ways in which humans react to such interactive design elements.”

The report states “they say such elements can cause feel-good chemical reactions, alter human responses to stimuli – increasing reaction times, for instance – and in certain situations can improve learning, participation and motivation.”

The potential for gamification to encourage positive customer behaviour has led Gartner to predict 50 per cent of corporation innovation will be ‘gamified’ by 2015; Deloitte has cited gamification as one of its top 10 technology trends in 2012.

OCBC’s interactive floor projection transforms a floor surface into an interactive platform. The high lumen projector casts an image onto the floor while a high-speed industrial graded camera and infra-red light source are mounted to capture the player’s movements and provide feedback. The system is equipped with tracking algorithm which complements the player’s movements within the area. It dictates the application based on the tracking algorithm and responds by changing the projected graphic content accordingly.

This kind of application has proven commercially successful and is similar to Microsoft’s Kinect motion control system. Initially this technology was tied to the Xbox 360 games console, but has since become a breeding ground for innovation. The medical industry, for instance, has been trialling ways to leverage the Kinect technology to support surgery.

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