Establishing competitive games that encourage people towards making positive choices such as donating to charity or making more sustainable purchases is becoming increasingly popular. Sophia Wikander, Head of Nordea Connect, discusses the role banks can play in gamification and the benefits the approach may have on society.
At Nordea we spend a lot of time thinking about how the digitalisation of payments will transform society. As a large universal bank, it’s only natural that we have a very good understanding of what’s going on in the payments industry.
We certainly live in an age where payments have never been faster, safer and more convenient. Advances in technology have radically altered the way we give money for products, services and to each other. Hardly anyone uses physical cash anymore and its commonplace all over the Nordics to see people of all ages using cards and mobile apps to pay for things. Our goal is to enable as many payment types as possible to give our customers the choice of selecting the payment method that best suits their lifestyle.
Making digital pay
As people switch from offline to online and from cash to digital payments, this gives us the chance to try to benefit society in other ways. We are constantly challenging ourselves to understand how we can contribute to a better future for our customers and the wider community in general. By offering payment platforms, apps and digital wallets that make the payment experience simple and convenient, we have the chance to develop add-ons that guide behaviour in a chosen direction.
One of the ways we have a chance to do this is through the concept of gamification. In rough terms, gamification refers to the idea of adding game design elements to non-game settings. For example, through our controlled digital environments, we can establish a competitive game that might spur people on to give more in charitable donations or to make more sustainable purchasing choices.
Through our controlled digital environments, we can establish a competitive game that might spur people on to give more in charitable donations or to make more sustainable purchasing choices.
Sophia Wikander, Head of Nordea Connect
Games guide behaviour
At Nordea we have used our Nordea Connect payment platform in the front end and an API (application programme interface) enabled Instant Reporting solution in the back end to create a real-time overview of all incoming donations for a well-known Swedish charity. By connecting our e-commerce offering with a real-time account overview we provided the charitable collectors with instant updates of the amounts being raised. As they were collecting in groups, this gave them a dynamic and fun way of keeping track of their fund raising efforts, staying on top of who had collected the most donations and who had reached their targets first.
The more fun the game became, the more those involved collecting for the charity were motivated to continue raising money. This gamification helped the charity make up some of the losses they experienced due to not being able to collect in person in the usual way due to COVID-19.
Also with the assistance of our online payments platform Nordea Connect, we helped a conservation charity establish a fast and easy way for collecting donations online across the Nordics. We established a simple way for people to give donations using the payment method of their choice wherever they were in the Nordics and then linked those donations via an API to a real time up to date figure of the amount being raised. Once again the game was on for everyone involved to reach the fundraising goal in the time available.
Wider societal benefits
As a way of encouraging people to make more sustainable purchasing choices, we have enabled a CO2 tracker within our Nordea Mobile and Wallet apps. The CO2 tracker attaches a score representing the carbon impact of each of the daily purchases made by our customers when using their payment cards. As people start to compare the results of their own CO2 trackers, it has become a really fun way of encouraging people to be more socially responsible with their consumption choices. By changing behaviour by appealing to our customers competitive spirit, the gamification established by the CO2 tracker is hopefully another way that we can contribute towards a better society.
Now more than ever it's important for us to create a shared link and purpose between us and the people we associate with. Gamification is one way of doing that as we are able to behave in a certain way digitally, then follow up in real-time to compare how we are doing.
Sophia Wikander, Head of Nordea Connect
Creating links, creating communities
Now more than ever it’s important for us to create a shared link and purpose between us and the people we associate with. Gamification is one way of doing that as we are able to behave in a certain way digitally, then follow up in real-time to compare how we are doing.
Developments in technology such as blockchain and a future of interconnected machines offered by the Internet of Things means that we can imagine even more situations where gamification might be possible in the future. For example, data from web connected kitchen appliances might reward ‘gamers’ with donations to the charities of their choice for choosing low energy washing machine programmes or electricity usage during off-peak times. As the use of machine data encourages us to save money by changing our behaviour, those savings might be passed on to charity.
Another interesting way to use technology is blockchain distributed ledger technology that would allow us to follow our donations digitally all the way to their final step and usage. By being part of the game we can be a part of something bigger and connect with people. Doing something together, giving to a certain cause together with your friends, can be so much more fun than spending the money on your own.
For more information about Nordea Connect check out nordeaconnect.com.
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