Why don’t Sega make savings accounts?
If I had a pound for every time I’ve seen a really boring product idea and heard someone shout “gamification” as the fix to engage consumers, I’d be richer than Bill Gates. Gamification seems to be today’s slap on fix for a badly designed product proposition.
Here’s why gaming works:
- Games aren’t just fun because they’re games, they’re fun because they’re well thought through and brilliantly designed.
- Good game design raises the difficultly level in line with your boredom levels, keeping things challenging and just out of reach keeps you on the edge of your seat, itching for more and playing for longer.
- Games are intrinsically fun because they motivate you to achieve more, the fun from games comes from achieving mastery, it’s not about rewards, it’s about achievement.
Which got me thinking
- Banks are no longer able to rely on wholesale funding in order to lend to customers so being able to raise retail deposits has become even more crucial
- Basel III will increase the focus on the need to gather retail deposits, but the loan/deposit ratio average for UK’s four biggest banks has decreased by 22% between 2008 and 2011*.
- The high competition for retail deposits means more banks are forced to compete, leading to rising interest rates for consumers.
- Savings interest rates are typically 2-3% higher than the current Bank of England base rate – which is the direct opposite of pre-crisis levels.
So isn’t it time someone shook up NPD in the savings market? Here’s a moment where it feels like gamification could really be the answer to engage consumers.
Imagine you’re saving for a new house or a trip around the world and your bank creates some new rules to help expedite the dull process of squirreling your cash away. How much would more would a bank be able to raise in deposits and how much more engaged would consumers be?
According to Spanish bank BBVA’s innovation team, 53% of gamers are between the ages of 18-49, the sweet spot for banks and credit unions, 55% play games on mobile devices, the future face of financial institutions, so it feels like a natural fit for innovation in this space. BBVA has launched a Facebook app allowing customers to earn points by using BBVA’s transactional banking site. Those points can be redeemed for products and services (direct-download music and streaming of online movies) or applied to sweepstakes. Since its launch in September 2012, they have attracted over 37,000 players vying for 28 prizes (iPad, Samsung Galaxy, concert tickets, etc.).
Games are everywhere, and banks need to take notice, surely it’s only a matter of time before one of the big UK banks takes on this challenge.
Source: European Central Bank; British Bankers’ Association
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