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Why is there a need for gamification in Fintech?

Findings in research show that there is a strong relationship between gamification and intent to use online banking services in Fintech. A properly designed gamification can help make bank activities more exciting, interesting and enjoyable. In return, Fintech gets customer acceptance, increased engagement and higher satisfaction. This extends the usage of technology and includes the gamification impact. The results in research explain customer decisions and their journey of using banking services.

The globalization of Fintech is furthering the need to acquire a deeper understanding of the impact of gamification within the financial industry. The results of introducing gamification in the financial industry are quite new, but there is clear evidence of success. New data from South America provides new insights into how game techniques influence individual behaviour in Fintech.

The use of financial applications has in recent years increased significantly, where online banking can be done almost anytime and anywhere. However, most banking services are not very fun to use and are mostly used for simple transaction services, according to studies. Gamification is expected to more easily capture and sustain the interest of the younger generation, the people who are raised in games. However, games stimulate all generations. Providing a more fun and enjoyable environment can favourably increase acceptance of the application.

What is gamification in Fintech?

Online banking can be defined as a type of execution of financial services within an application, or the ability to bank anytime and anywhere. Gamification technology has historically been associated with business and work, helping to complete tasks faster, but also the potential to fulfil purposes. The fact that people like having fun in life inspired us to introduce gamification to the financial industry. Game principles are used in Fintech to drive behaviours and produce desired effects and results, transforming users’ everyday interactions into meaningful and measurable business purposes.

Gamification can be applied within online banking, played by individuals or by teams to generate a broad range of innovative and enhanced banking applications, to help visualize and explain complex banking tasks like transactions in everyday banking management.

There are strongly divided opinions about introducing gamification to the financial industry to provide structure and measure progress, as many critical voices say that this would undermine its serious reputation. But researchers have found opposite results in studies where gamification techniques may produce a variety of benefits depending on the context of implementation. It can produce enjoyment and satisfaction, positive emotions, strong social relationships and a sense of accomplishment. In other words; generate more profit for banks.

Gamification vs other systems in Fintech

Insert Coin has implemented a methodology called UTAUT2, a model developed by Venkatesh et al. (2012).

The model has empirically been tested and proven to be superior compared to other models in other systems and is therefore used related to GWEN. The impact of gamification in this model will become one of the most important enhancers of customers’ appreciation of online banking in the upcoming years.

The definitions of performance expectancy show that individuals will use banking services if they believe it will have positive outcomes. Studies confirm that consumers who find banking easier to use become more willing to do transactions (Lin, 2011). To include social features and a favourable set of conditions such as online tutorials or demos in the gamification service contributes to a greater likelihood of acceptance of application-based banking. The methodology summarizes as follows:

Performance expectancy will positively affect behavioural intention
Effort expectancy will positively affect behavioural intention
Social influence will positively affect behavioural intention
Facilitating conditions will positively affect behavioural intention
Facilitating conditions will positively affect user behaviour

Habits reflect the multiple results of previous experiences, according to Venkatesh (2012), and the frequency of past behaviour is considered to be one of the most important factors that affect present behaviour, which is the reason why users tend to adopt tasks and routines into their mobile banking system. Therefore the methodology summarises as follows:

Hedonic motivation will positively affect behavioural intention

Price value will positively affect behavioural intention

Habit will positively affect behavioural intention

Habit will positively affect user behaviour

Research confirms that UTAUT2 is one of the most complete theoretical models used in the context of information systems in the financial industry. Understanding the key outcomes of this model is crucial to design, refine and implement banking services that yield high consumer acceptance. By understanding the main factors affecting user acceptance, with regards to performance and effort expectancy, banks will be able to evolve and align functionality with customer needs.

There are not that many substitutes for Gamification to drive engagement and create an enjoyable user journey. To mention one is the webchat with integrated chatbots. This allows mobile banking applications to boost digital engagement an optimal user experience by offering quick and personalized interactions.

Gamification and user engagement

Applying game mechanics to motivate and drive engagement in a non-game context will change banking user behaviour, improving service acceptance and usage. New generations are entering the field and the question so important to ask is why most of the mobile banking services still remain so serious? Why can’t users have an excellent customer experience and at the same time have fun in their customer banking journey?

Users get engaged through competition, teamwork, intrigue, curiosity and problem-solving, all which help to infuse a feeling of ownership of their performance and results. Points for actions, badges as rewards and a leaderboard for competition, cash prizes, discounts and other free perks to engage service management. These are all things which result in positive feedback and reinforce loyalty.

Some gamification customer stories and studies from Fintech

In the last few years, the financial industry has witnessed an accelerated and consistent growth of banks and financial institutions deciding to apply game mechanics and game design techniques to their systems and services. There are several successful examples in South America. One example is Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina, where they let customers earn points by using the bank’s transactional site and redeem them for products and services. encourages users to perform financial activities by letting them earn credits and money prizes.

A pilot project has been made for SEB in their mobile banking application, where a module package including the modules Level, Achievements, Shop and Mission. The overall purpose was to make the user journey more engaging and fun in the SEB mobile banking services with features like SEB Rewards with Value Points and earned SEB coins, Loyalty Programme with loyalty level and My Journey.

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