Gamification and financial services

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

How would you use gamification to enhance the mobile and online experience for banking customers? That is the question Barclays Bank is asking developers during its Launchpad Business Challenge. Challenge applicants will have access to Barclays’ sandbox banking data and APIs to pitch their ideas. The Challenge will run for 3 weeks in June with successful applicants’ products being released on Barclays’ Launchpad platform for customers to explore and test.

Gamification involves applying game design elements and principles in non-game contexts and is used to improve user engagement and learning. A simple example of gamification is using a points based quiz to improve financial literacy.

This is not the first time that Barclays has experimented with gamification. In 2010 it released an interactive virtual city game in which players’ characters experienced the consequences of good and bad money management decisions.

Gamification is also a novel way to present important information to consumers in a way that is more approachable than traditional methods. In 2015 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) published a relief instrument which allows regulated disclosure documents such as Product Disclosure Documents and Financial Services Guides be disclosed in innovative ways. The accompanying good practice guidance issued by ASIC in Regulatory Guide 221 stated that disclosure documents can now incorporate a range of digital features including gamification.

Regulatory Guide 221 can be found here.

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