With gamification, banks build profit by adding fun

A 39-year-old with the surname Yim plays “My Love Dokdo” on his smartphone whenever he has time – not just because the game is addictive, but because it can garner him a better interest rate on his online banking account.

“I started playing it because if I reach level 20 the interest rate on my account will automatically go up 0.5 percentage point,” said Yim, who recently opened a “My Love Dokdo Cyber Fixed Deposit” account with NH Nonghyup.

As smartphones and tablet PCs become ever-more ubiquitous, local financial companies are grafting games to their online banking systems to attract new customers. The trend is dubbed gamification, which refers to the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts.

One of the most successful examples of this has come from Nike. When runners wear the brand’s sneakers equipped with a sensor called Nike Plus, it calculates the number of calories burned, measures the workout time and distance, and sends them the information online.

When they reach their pre-set workout target, the company awards them a trophy online. Users can also upload their records on social networking services and compete with their friends. More than 2 million people worldwide now subscribe to the service.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

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