Gamification of Finance May Help Consumers

With platforms, with digital channels, just about — well, anything — can be gamified.

Accumulating points, rewards, joining an online community of like-minded individuals can do much to spur new online habits and behaviors.

We’ve seen the phenomenon at work with the stock market, perhaps most notably with Robinhood.

And more recently, in news announced this week that Truist will acquire Long Game, the gamified finance mobile app, gamification may have positive ripple effects for the paycheck-to-paycheck population.

As reported in this space, Long Game uses prize-linked savings and casual gaming to help motivate smarter financial behaviors.

Read also: Truist Buys Gamified Finance App Long Game

Truist, of course, is what we might term a “traditional” financial institution, the sixth largest bank in the nation, as ranked by assets. By taking Long Game into its fold, the company thus looks to influence customers in ways that would conceivably entice them into, for example, building up savings and adopting other proactive financial behaviors.

The FinTech’s site takes note of prize-linked savings, and in further explanation notes that users can play games and win cash prizes. The games include lotteries and digital “scratch off” options.

The gamers themselves set up personalized savings goals — they earn coins, used as virtual currency to win prizes.

The Need to Boost Savings 

The cross-pollination would be one where Truist would broaden its customer base (and boost its account numbers). But gamification, we note, also has a ripple effect for the paycheck-to-paycheck economy — which now includes more than 60% of the population. Even high earners are caught up in the paycheck-to-paycheck economy. Significant swaths of the population would not be able to afford a $400 emergency expense. The logic follows, then, that gamifying some of these goals, making it easier to save, while padding traditional bank/savings accounts can help mollify the pressures we all face when paying the bills.

In recent PYMNTS data, consumers earning $50,000 to $100,000 per year and living paycheck to paycheck with issues paying bills reported an average savings of $2,360, compared to $7,273 for those without issues. Those earning less than $50,000 per year living paycheck to paycheck with issues paying their bills had an average savings of $788, compared to $4,369 for those without issues.

As for an indication of the inroads gamification is making into all facets of life, Play2Pay CEO Brian Boroff told Karen Webster recently that  gamification is the “new future” of payments.

Gamification, he said, can involve  converting gamers’ attention into currency to a “value exchange” between enterprises and individuals. In that firm’s model, users who spent a couple of days playing the firm’s top-performing game could save more than $70 monthly off their phone bills.

“The more you play,” he said, “the more the mobile gaming company is prepared to pay, quite handsomely, for that engagement.”

Read also: Play2Pay CEO Says Gamification May Be The Future Of Payments



About: Shoppers who have store cards use them for 87% of all eligible purchases — but this doesn’t mean retailers should boot buy now, pay later (BNPL) options from checkout. The Truth About BNPL And Store Cards, a PYMNTS and PayPal collaboration, surveys 2,161 consumers to find out why providing both BNPL and store cards are key to helping merchants maximize conversion.

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