Sunday, November 30, 2014

Finance 2.0: Companies should use gamification, banks must use gamification!

Almost three years ago I wrote in my blog, that banks should develop online games in order to provide fun and interact with their clients in a better way. A few weeks ago UBS launched their first game app.

Gamification in Banking

There are two challenges in banking. First, knowledge of bank clients on markets and investment products is limited, accordingly seems to be their interest to improve this. With this initial situation, frictions in-between clients and banks are very probable in the future, like they already occurred in the past. To bomb clients with piles of documents about risks and behavior of investment products will not change a thing. It should be banks key interest though to train their clients on markets. Financial literacy is the word. A bunch of papers won’t help, gamification will. Second, banks lost confidence of clients. To a wide part it is the banks blame. Without trust, interaction and information flow in-between banks and clients is not at all as it should be. Also here gamification can improve this.

When I wrote about games for banks, I head more strategic games in mind. For example games where one can build and grow an own bank and compete with others, a bid similar as Farmville on Facebook or a trading game where you can act on real market prices without risk. This for instance would be a good way to understand risks better and a much better way to evaluate risk profiles than filling out a questionnaires.With their game app, “Quiz and Fly” UBS launched something far not as sophisticated but I still like it. Why?

UBS launched a very simple game where skills but also knowledge is needed. I like this approach because first, time to market is good and costs are rather moderate too (for UBS terms). Like this they can find out how the audience reacts and where the audience has its preferences. Based on these findings UBS can launch other games in the future, which are much more sophisticated, more specific and costly as well, without having the risk that it becomes a failure. 

For the first part of the game one need skills in order to fly a number aircrafts from one continent to another, while collecting coins. It is very simple a bid similar to classic app games as angry birds. With this part UBS can win audience which likes these kinds of games. 

Gamification Quiz and Fly at UBS

After the flight is completed the second part offers a set of questions, with four optional answers. This is very similar to the popular game in the German speaking area “Quizduell”. The questions are quite general. Some questions though are about economy. These are the questions which have a value for UBS. The better their audience understands the economy the better for UBS. Here UBS has an excellent opportunity to find out what is the best way to transmit knowledge and how to increase financial literacy. 

Gamification Quiz and Fly at UBS

Last but now least, UBS provides a ranking where you can compete with other gamers, which certainly is helping that people stay tuned.

Gamification Quiz and Fly at UBS

All in all a good first step but I expect a series of new a bid more sophisticated games, which have a bid a stronger reference to economy, financial literacy and banking business. Go UBS, proof yourself as a real digital bank!

This blog post might interest you as well: Finance 2.0: God help, Swiss Private Bankers say, Social Media and Cloud completely nonrelevant!



  1. Nice one. You'd be surprise how many banks and financial institutions are already using gamification to engage costumers, employees, and children:

    Banking & Financials Examples - Enterprise Gamification Wiki

    Gamification in Banking & Financials

    1. Mario, thank you and thank you very much for this excellent link. Really exciting. I should maybe point out, that in my post I am referring to Swiss Banks. Here out of our almos 300 banks almost none. Just seen EY study on Swiss Private Banking. These Bankers dont think that the new medias are important. Obviously we have a huge market here. Every scientist has been saying for years and years that gamification is the best way to reach human brains. So I have not the least doubt. Lets see what UBS is doing next?
      By the way are you Swiss? Seeing you work in the states?