Many people now use financial apps to work towards their savings goals and to track the progress they’re making. Gamification is one of the strategies that the developers of these apps use to encourage people to keep using them.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of using game mechanics in situations and for applications that are not conventional games. For example, when progressing towards a pre-defined goal, rewards might be provided to you as you make progress. In other instances, leaderboards might be used. These are all things that are associated with games and gaming but are now used by a range of apps, including financial apps.
The main reason for using these techniques within a financial services app is to give people a reason to keep saving. The benefits of saving and hitting savings goals often aren’t enough to incentivise people, leading them to give up or forget about their aims. However, people do respond well to gamification techniques. There are now lots of personal finance apps out there that use them and they have the benefit of being popular with customers.
Saving can often seem nebulous because it’s something you do in order to secure your future lifestyle plans. There’s no instant gratification involved in knowing that you’ll have more money tucked away for a future date because it seems such a long way away. However, that instant gratification can instead be provided by these apps when they employ gamification techniques.
Pros and Cons
There are certainly more pros than cons when it comes to the emergence of gamification in financial apps. Lots of people find that they help them improve their financial situation considerably.
Gamification has the ability to lower the barrier of entry to financial apps. Who wants to download and start using an app that seems daunting and overwhelming as soon as you open it up? Most people don’t, especially if they’ve never used financial apps before. But with gamification elements in place, it becomes accessible and easy to get started. It brings a touch of fun to something that might otherwise seem boring.
Then there’s the motivation factor. Gamification provides users with extra motivation to focus on their personal finances and work towards their goals. It’s not uncommon for people to put off financial issues for as long as they possibly can. It’s all very confusing for a lot of people but it immediately seems less so when you’re using a fun app with gaming elements in place.
There’s often a thrill and sense of satisfaction associated with hitting the targets within these gamified apps, goal focused savings, if that helps a person to save money and hit their financial targets, it can only be a good thing. When leaderboards are used, they can also add an element of competitiveness. People want to rise through the ranks and reach the top spot, and they’re only able to do that when they take steps to reach their goals.
If there are any cons associated with gamification, some might say that they’re a little reductive and don’t take important financial issues seriously enough. But this is not a problem for most people because they understand that the gaming elements are secondary to the serious stuff.
It’s also hard to generalize when it comes to the effectiveness of gamification. Everyone responds to things differently and that applies to gamification as much as anything else. It certainly can act as a motivator, but the impact will be less for some people than others.
Financial apps or savings apps might draw people in using gamification, but this should never be a deciding factor for users. Things like how a person’s money is saved and what their interest rate is like are always more important. These are the things that’ll impact savings most over the long-term.
How it Might Help in Fintech Applications
Apps that make use of gamification techniques often have more loyal user bases and offer a more complete and satisfying user experience. They get people wanting to come back for more each day. They do this by allowing users to set particular goals and the apps then offer rewards to users. The sense of immediacy and gratification they provide drives downloads and usage.
From a fintech point of view, engagement is key and that’s what gamification is best at achieving. It’s another way to get people interested in fintech applications and that’s something that many companies and app developers already understand.
Gamification is becoming ever more common in financial apps, so this is a trend that we shouldn’t expect to disappear anytime soon. It’s helping to engage consumers which is great for app designers and developers. But most importantly, it’s helping people to save and generally improve their personal finance management and financial wellbeing.
How does Navag8 use gamification?
The Navag8 platform is white label savings app, so we apply a base level of gamification techniques that encourage people to continue with their savings goals, but can also provide collective insights to motivate them and show how much is being saved or invested overall.