What if saving became a game?

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According to the recent EFMA-Infosys study on innovation in banking, gamifications, although still very rarely adopted, is one of the topics of most short-term interest. Examples such as the one given by the first Bulgarian bank (Banka DSK) with "DSK Gameo" should therefore spread rapidly.

Like many of the pioneers of the genre, this new game targets consumer savings. Available in the form of a mobile application (for iPhone), it first offers bank customers the opportunity to set budget objectives (financing holidays, buying a car, etc.) which then allow them to earn rewards as they progress towards their achievement (progress being illustrated by the image of a glass of champagne gradually filling up).

To enrich this basic foundation and induce more frequent use of the application, which truly capitalizes on the psychology of the game, complementary play mechanisms are put in place - particularly when performing different operations or discovering new products - which naturally also contribute to the accumulation of points. Finally, these points can be converted into real gifts, show tickets or vouchers, for example.

DSK Bank's objective is twofold

From an "external" point of view, the priority is to promote healthy financial behaviour among its clients, and more specifically to encourage them to save. At a second level, and beyond the immediate benefits for the bank of increased savings, encouraging frequent use of the application should also multiply the opportunities for contact with players, both for marketing actions and to collect information on their situation and expectations.

The concept of DSK Gameo is finally quite close to the Bank of the West experience (with the startup SaveUp) already mentioned in these columns. However, it does bring a few variations, such as a smartphone implementation, more in line with the modern world's gaming habits (and potentially more addictive), or a more regular reward model (but less exciting than the $2 million US lottery).

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In any case, gaming in the bank is still in its infancy (as witnessed by the more or less subtle tricks deployed to maintain the player's interest over time) and it will certainly be necessary to multiply the tests to approach the "ideal" solution. Nevertheless, as with most emerging innovations, only those institutions that dare to launch experiments will be able to quickly reap the full benefits of these approaches...

Maryline Passini, Founder and Director of the agency Promote

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