Will video games lead to changes in mobile banking?

Millions of people play video games at least occasionally, and studies have found that they can bring players a wide range of positive feelings. Now, many employers are using them to keep workers engaged, but could the same work for mobile banking?

Recent studies have shown that about 71 percent of all workers are usually disengaged in some way, and that this costs businesses about $300 billion annually, according to a report from American Banker. But playing video games can help to make workers happier, as there are as many as 10 positive emotions that consumers feel as a result of using these outlets. These emotions include joy, relief, surprise, pride, excitement and creativity, all of which help to increase engagement and worker performance.

How can video games help change mobile banking?

Now, some experts believe that these same tactics can be applied to mobile banking adoption, and banking in general, the report said. This is because consumers are generally concerned or anxious about their financial situations, and that can bring about large amounts of negative feelings as a result.

“If we could take away some of the anxiety, if we could replace it with positive emotions like creativity, optimism, excitement and awe and wonder, think about the impact you’d have on people’s lives,” Jane McGonigal, director of games research and development at the Institute for the Future, told industry representatives at a recent mobile banking summit. “What if we could bring these ten positive emotions to mobile banking or commerce? What would that feel like if every time we made a financial transaction we were experiencing a positive emotion? Wouldn’t that change our relationship to money?”

What can this teach banks about mobile platforms?

In general, playing a video game for even a short amount of time has been found to lead to longer periods of behavioral shifts, the report said. This was illustrated in a study of cancer patients in which those that played a video game where players destroyed cancer cells with chemotherapy weapons were more likely to stick to their treatment regimens than those that did not for periods of up to three years after just two hours of playing.

As such, making mobile banking more like gaming could lead to increased engagement in these platforms and could also allow consumers to better handle their finances going forward, the report said. If consumers are given games that highlight the benefits of managing their accounts properly, they could be more likely to remain engaged in doing so, and thus use their mobile banking accounts more often.

It’s generally accepted that consumer adoption of these mobile account management platforms will be slow for a while, but will likely increase significantly within the next few years, in much the same way online banking once gained popularity over traditional methods. However, banks will have to demonstrate both the usefulness and security of this type of on the go account management.

Posted in Finance
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