Gamification in Private Banking & Wealth Management

Strengthening Client Experience and Proximity

Gamification is a trend across different industries that aims to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction as well as utilisation rates. It does so by rewarding positive behaviour and providing educational features in an easily understandable and motivational way. In Private Banking, gamification features can be applied to enhance customer experience and interest, and to reduce emotional barriers to financial matters by transporting content in a playful and tangible way.

What is gamification?

Gamification refers to the concept of bringing together elements of design and principles of gaming into non-gaming applications to generate a better client experience and increase customer utilisation rates.

What is the objective of gamification?

As opposed to games which have the primary purpose of entertainment, gamification seeks three main objectives1:

  1. Convey a message (whether educational, marketing or a combination of the two)
  2. Improve the learning of users
  3. Have a training or simulation objective in a virtual environment that reproduces a potential situation

Most companies utilise game mechanics to reward positive behaviour and educate players. Gamification also provides other advantages, including the capturing of data, which can be used to promote new products and services, and to enhance customer satisfaction or the ability to help lower customer service costs.

How does gamification fit into Wealth Management?

Private Banking & Wealth Management is still known as a traditional and selective business available to a limited group of people holding a certain amount of wealth (typically above CHF 1m). It provides services related to all financial matters of this group and thus requires clients to deal with personal and emotional topics, and to make respective decisions. While this might explain why Swiss Wealth Managers have on average only two personal client meetings per year2, it also shows the nature of the business that causes Wealth Managers to struggle with building new meaningful client relationships.

Applying gamification could reduce the emotional barriers of financial matters and make the activity of investing more engaging. For example, elements of gamification could make investments more tangible (e.g., virtual tours for private equity or real estate investments) and create a stronger connection with the client, provide a better understanding of investment risks (e.g., scenario illustrations), and improve clients’ perspective on their overall wealth.

Using gamification in facilitating client interactions to enhance the client experience for investment decisions and routine check-ins or chats could help with the establishment of a younger, more innovative business model. With an increasing numbers of millennials joining the workforce in need of investing their disposable income as well as rising financial illiteracy amongst younger people, gamification efforts might be a more and more required measure for Wealth Managers.

A recent study3 found that only 24% of millennials demonstrate a basic financial knowledge. Hence, it is not surprising that many of the gamification efforts in Wealth Management today focus on education and learning, and as a result aim to break through and subvert the barriers that prevent clients from dealing more pro-actively with their financial situations. Besides the emotional factor mentioned above, common barriers in Wealth Management include lack of motivation, insufficient knowledge or fear of mistakes. These are all things that gamification can help reduce and as a result create a better client experience.

What do Wealth Managers need to consider when implementing gamification?

Wealth Managers are advised to adhere to a number of design principles when it comes to the implementation of gamification:

  • Safety and trustworthiness: Trustful relationships and safety when it comes to investing money and keeping personal data secret are hygiene factors in Private Banking, which gamification efforts always need to comply with
  • Design: Finding the appropriate mix of cool design factors and state-of-the-art appearances is essential for Wealth Managers; about 80% of current applications based on gamification fail alone due to poor design quality
  • Functionality: When developing gamification features, Wealth Managers need to carefully consider which functionalities are required in order to provide an added value for their client base – extensive UAT and agile development are basic conditions
  • Client suitability: Gamification might not be appropriate for all clients – Wealth Managers need to carefully select specific client segments when developing a gamification application
  • Investment: Developing and implementing gamification into a business model is a costly endeavour that has to be carefully considered and planned; entering into partnerships with FinTechs or other service providers (e.g., investment firms) could prove to create synergies and open up new markets or client segments
  • Data: Wealth Managers need to make sure that the data, which can be collected through gamification applications, is being reused for marketing, cost-cutting and business development purposes

Wealth Managers should keep these simple rules in mind when implementing gamification into their business models. In order to keep up with the changing client structures, demand and digitalisation gamification could prove to be a major asset for Wealth Managers.




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