People can’t stop talking about Pokémon GO! Here MEF Member and mobile payments facilitator Novatti take inspiration from the phenomenon and reflect on the possibilities of gamification of the mobile financial services sector…
If you are yet to hear about or encounter Pokémon GO by now, you must truly be living in a cave somewhere or the technological equivalent of one. But worry not, we are here to shed some light on the subject, hopefully leaving you well informed.
Pokémon GO is a free virtual reality mobile game that uses your phone’s GPS and camera to view tiny creatures called Pokémon through the window of your phone, as if they exist in the real world (otherwise known as Augmented Reality).
The object of the game is walk around your town, park, mall and business district catching these virtual creatures along the way. Players can also take over ‘Pokémon Gyms’ on behalf of their team (Red, Blue or Yellow) and ‘PokéStops’ to restock items that help catch more Pokémon. The same items can, of course, be purchased via micro transactions.
For financial service providers, financial gamification offers numerous benefits. You get to interact one on one with clients while dispensing financial information, educational tips and skills which will make your offerings more appealing.
The hype and craze surrounding the game has spread like bushfire in a dry African savannah grassland with its’ popularity growing in leaps and bounds with each passing day.
What can we learn from Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go astonished the world, not because of how fast and wide it spread, but because it actually required gamers to go outside and explore their local towns (or internationally in some cases). This type of gamification has achieved what the health and fitness industry has been striving to achieve practically overnight!
FinTech companies should be looking for ways to gamify the financial sector to increase awareness of the industry as a whole. We have seen examples of encouraging clients to look for special interest rates via an augmented reality mobile application, but we’re yet to see a global uptake of a financial suite.
Other side of the coin
Financial service providers can also take advantage of the current Pokémon Go craze, to dispense financial education information and skills directly to the gamers. Currently the most trending game, the potential reach of such a campaign would be fantastic and the benefits reaped would be enormous for all parties involved.
If you are a Pokémon Go gamer, financial gamification would mean that you reaped real life rewards while playing the game as you level up. The rewards and prizes may include discount codes shopping vouchers, cash vouchers, points among others. While the game play is virtual, the lessons learnt and rewards reaped would be applicable in real life, thus providing extra incentives for you to play.
For financial service providers, financial gamification offers numerous benefits. You get to interact one on one with clients while dispensing financial information, educational tips and skills which will make your offerings more appealing. Although the incentives and rewards will come at a cost, the long term effects will be beneficial to the business as it will mean less defaults and better informed clients.
In conclusion, the viral spread of Pokémon Go gaming has just served to underline the huge potential that financial gamification offers, to both financial service providers and gamers. A particularly avid gamer in the USA just received a dream international trip to Europe, Japan and Australia, on an international Pokémon hunt, after catching all Pokémon available in the USA.
Closer to home, a native of Auckland just took a two-month break from his job, to travel around and catch Pokémon. If individuals and travel companies are taking advantage of the Pokémon craze, so can you. Why not take advantage of the craze and make some cash before it runs its course? Over to you now!