Playmoolah: Gamifcation In Banking

I was so thrilled to hear late yesterday that my good friends at PlayMoolah won the Global InnoTribe Startup Challenge at SIBOS yesterday. PlayMoolah, an online platform for teaching children financial management through the use of gamification techniques, has emerged as the winner in Osaka, Japan. This is huge proof point not only for this group of passionate entrepreneurs, who sit just metres away from me in Singapore's vibrant HUB run by Social Entrepreneur Grace Sai, but it also demonstrates the tangible benefits game theory can bring to financial services. PlayMoolah's mision in life is empowering children with the tools to take control of their lives and learn with a sense of purpose and ownership. Which translates into their innovative product, a fun online platform for kids aged 6 to 11 to save, manage, and earn an allowance. We bring financial literacy to children by designing technology to persuade real-world savings behaviour.

This exciting moment, comes just a month after PlayMoolah announced a partnership with Singapore's OCBC Bank. Young customers from OCBC Bank’s Mighty Savers(TM) programme will gained access to PlayMoolah’s fun online platform, which teaching six to 12 year-old children how to earn, spend, save, give and invest their money. Through PlayMoolah, OCBC Bank in now able to engage better with its young customers and forge stronger lifetime relationships. It also allows PlayMoolah to reach out to a wider database of users, through the Mighty Savers(TM) programme. More importantly, it will help to boost the financial literacy of more children, empowering them to better manage their money.

“We decided to work with PlayMoolah, as there is a distinct meeting of minds between our Mighty SaversTM programme and their online platform. Both use similar methodologies to encourage good financial behaviour. With Mighty SaversTM, children can redeem gifts when they make a deposit of $50 or more, and with PlayMoolah, their online platform encourages both online and real-world savings. Our ‘Card and Sticker’ game has been helpful for parents to teach kids the importance of saving, and as many children enjoy online games, we hope to continue to engage them in this space,” said Ms Ng Li Lian, Head of Mass Segment, OCBC Bank.

These two milestones help validate that game theory has a place in sustainable financial services as a means for creating smarter money habits through a fun and engaging experience. Something the main stream banks have struggled to embrace, while Silicon Valley startups continue to embrace it as core DNA. And let's not forget the oldest examples of game theory, like Happy Hour at bar. Which encourages a high traffic, high profit period for the bar. For more great pracital exmaples of geme theory in action, check out Seth Priebatsch in his TED talk Game Layer on Top of the World.

Gamificiation is not a scary word, its a smarter way to design the experience of a service in a way that encourages positive progressive experiences that educate the consumer for their own good. So let's celebrate this milestone as a pionerring step towards real innovation in an industry blinded by its own legacy and maturity.

Congratulations to Founders Audrey Tan and Min Lee on this momentous occasion. Help support or follow their pioneering innovation by connecting with them on Facebook or Twitter.