gamification

How do banks make their users engage with their online portals?

The banking sector is not traditionally the place where a consumer seeks entertainment, but, to a degree, that might be about to change.

Now, it’s unlikely that you will be sitting down with your bank manager to have a game of poker, but what gamification does for banks is build engagement and interest.

According to Anas Bourani, Digital Channels Architecture Lead at Misys: “Banks can use gamification to continuously engage customers. Customers in return will reveal more of their preferences and needs and provide a wealth of data. Through the use of analytics, that data can assist , in identifying and accurately targeting customer groups with different product and service offerings.”

Gamification is defined as the use of game mechanics, outside of a game context, in which users can be involved in solving problems. Researchers believe that gamification not only adds greatly to the user experience, but also dramatically increases engagement and from that, comes a whole raft of data that can then be analysed for commercial reasons.

For some years now commerce and the military have been using gamification techniques to reach out to the key audiences.

The banking sector, slower than others to implement gaming strategies, is now showing signs of joining the trend, even though much of the advances are coming outside of the US and UK. A recent study of over 150 banks based around the globe showed that almost 10% had embraced the idea of gamification and were putting in place a strategy. However, nearly 40% of banks said that within two years they would start to implement their own gamification strategies, and many of these were in Asia. Banks in South Korea and Singapore lead the way in introducing engagement strategies which reach out to their customers. Such innovations include gamifying of customer’s online statements and children’s games, centred on their savings, which encouraged learning about personal money management.

Holding back the sector is not an unwillingness to change, but the bank’s legacy IT systems which are not suited to gamification techniques. Many of the established banks are facing huge IT challenges which means that the move to gamification will take longer than other sectors. One way around this problem for some banks is to establish partnerships with software firms which allow the development of standalone systems which can handle the greater customer relationship management issues.

Another big benefit of gamification for banks is that they can use such strategies to win the hearts and minds of their customers. The banking sector has undergone an assault on its credibility over the last decades, so that a strategy which can win back the appreciation of their customers will be welcomed. By no means is gamification a solution to all of the banking sectors problems and of course must be managed with caution and correctly in order to generate positive results.

Banking sector experts believe that gamification is set to revolutionise  banking around the world and a bright new age awaits those institutions which can genuinely engage their customer base.

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