How Gamification Generates Good CX (and Goodwill) for Community Financial Institutions

With competition for customers at an all-time high post-COVID, community FIs are consistently looking for new ways to spark interest and engagement and deliver true consumer value at the same time. Gamification provides such a platform for community banks and credit unions that use it wisely. Beyond simple entertainment, gamification in banking takes tasks – like financial planning and budgeting that can feel a little like chores – and makes them more satisfying, enjoyable, and ultimately, more rewarding. But before jumping on the gamification train, financial institutions should first map their efforts to a strong strategy.

“While it can be tempting to seek out new offerings that provide these addictive interfaces, experts say that there is a time and a place for gamification,” according to Independent Banker’s exploration of gamification in community banking. “I don’t know of a single community bank that is going out and looking for gamification for the sake of gamification,” says Charles Potts, ICBA executive vice president and chief innovation officer in the article. “Gamification is a tool or process inside of something else to solve a very particular problem that the community bank is trying to address.”

Take Workers Credit Union’s Workers PlanIt App, for example. When the Boston-area credit union wanted to make the most of its on one-on-one, customized financial solutions, they partnered with Adrenaline to develop a gamified tool for life-stage financial planning. The result is an in-branch touch-enabled App that matches up people and products in a fresh and fun way.  Whether it’s a 65-plus senior focused on retirement, families look at buying a home or a young person buying their first car, PlanIt helps users identify their goals and gives them the resources and advice to make their dream a reality.

Two people standing and looking at a colorful board on display

With a spotlight on consumer need, Workers Credit Union set the stage for meaningful financial education and support. “By focusing in on target audiences – members and potential members – centering who they were and what life stage they’re in, and, perhaps even more importantly, what their biggest financial goals are, Workers Credit Union is able to truly connect financial services resources to the needs-states and life-stages of real people seeking to do real things with their money,” according to Adrenaline’s case study. The approach has been so successful the credit union plans to roll out two new PlanIt concepts annually for the next five years.

Once exclusively the purview of fintechs, banks and credit unions of all sizes today are trying their hand at gamifying elements of a larger product offering or solutions strategy, even using these tools for employee onboarding, training and development. For more information on top trends in banking like gamification, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it looks at best practices and industry inspiration in financial services. To learn more about customizing gamification and creative brand expressions for your bank or credit union, email