Can Credit Unions “Win” by Gamifying Banking?

Credit union gamify saving money app from long game and cu 2.0

Gamification is the strategy of adding game-like elements to non-game things. The goal is to increase engagement, and it works.

It works well.

If the goal is to increase member financial health and education, read on. If the goal is to provide relevant offers and increase product saturation, read on.

Credit unions should gamify their banking offerings. Here’s what that looks like:


The Benefits to Gamifying Banking

People like playing games. Open your phone’s app store and see what’s popular—you’ll see a lot of games. From Fruit Ninja to Candy Crush and everything in between, there are game options for everyone.

And it makes sense. Digital Natives spend 5.7 hours per day on their smartphones.

Most of that time is dedicated to dopamine reward-inducing activities, including, yes, games. In fact, 86% of Millennials and Gen Z play mobile games.

The captive audience is there—and they’re your biggest segment of mobile banking users, too. Now, it’s time to use that to your (and their) advantage.

Gamifying savings has shown to improve financial outcomes for people. This Forbes article briefly mentions a few case studies, including Walmart, Acorns, and SavingsQuest. In each study, users increased average savings over control groups by a considerable margin.

One fintech mentioned in the Forbes article, Long Game, has shown that they increase mobile banking engagement with the institutions they partner with. That includes:

  • More click-throughs per day to their partner institution,
  • Increased savings balances and direct deposit rates,
  • More click-throughs on institutional promotions, and
  • Higher monthly activity retention in existing users.

That’s more time spent with your credit union… and a clear correlation between your credit union and their desired financial outcomes.


What Does Gamifying Savings (and More) Look Like?

We had the opportunity to try out the Long Game platform. It’s intensely engaging. It looks and feels like any game you’d download through an app store.

Users “pay” to play games with in-game tokens that they receive for logging in. The games are a lot like Fruit Ninja and Candy Crush. Except that when users win, they win actual money.

Users get more tokens (to play more games) when they complete basic banking tasks. For example, members get coins for completing financial education questions. They get coin multipliers for setting up direct deposit.

The app is designed to be fun, but…

It’s also designed to:

  • Improve financial knowledge
  • Increase savings
  • Pay down debt
  • Build better money habits
  • Educate about investments (including crypto)

There’s more, of course. And ultimately, what we decided after taking the platform for a spin, is that you have to see it to truly appreciate it

It’s more than a gamified savings app. It’s a full-spectrum financial wellness tool that increases product saturation, member lifetime value, and non-interest income at your credit union.

It’s also a high-reward game portal for members.


Additional Resources

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