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Fun, Fast, and Secure: The Future of Payments Through Gamification

Updated: Mar 27

How many times do you use a payment app? Once a day? A few times a week? Perhaps only when absolutely necessary? The truth is, that the frequency of our interactions with payment apps varies greatly from person to person. Some of us rely on them for almost every transaction, from morning coffee to online shopping. Others might only dust off the app when faced with a pressing need. But regardless of how often we use them, payment apps have become an integral part of our daily lives. Yet, for all their benefits, these apps aren't without their challenges.


Have you ever found yourself struggling to navigate a payment app's menus and options? Or did you feel frustrated by its lack of personalization and intuitive design? Many users encounter these obstacles more regularly, leading to decreased engagement and satisfaction with the app.


But why does user engagement matter, anyway? 


In today's hyper-competitive app market, it's the key to success! 


Apps that fail to engage users effectively risk being cast aside in favour of more user-friendly alternatives. With countless options available to consumers, retaining users and keeping them coming back for more is essential for long-term success.

Present Challenges with User Engagement for Payment/ Remittance Apps

Less Engagement 

When users don’t find the app to be interesting they may not be actively using the payment app beyond occasional transactions, resulting in low engagement levels. This could be due to various factors such as lack of incentives, limited features, or anything to keep them hooked within the app.

Limited User Retention

Payment and remittance apps rely heavily on user retention for sustained growth. People might give your app a whirl once or twice, but if there’s nothing to keep them coming back for more like better incentives or features, they’ll vanish faster than you think! Without a strong reason to continue using the app, users may quickly abandon it in favor of alternatives.

Lack of Personalization

Sometimes interacting with apps feels like talking to a robot, isn’t it? Even when the user uses the app regularly, still it treats them like a stranger bombarding them with generic messages and offers that have absolutely nothing to do with their interest or spending habits! For payment and remittance apps, understanding users' spending habits and preferences is crucial for offering relevant services and promotions. Without personalized experiences, users may not feel a strong connection to the app, leading to reduced engagement and loyalty.

Complex User Interface (UI)

And about the complex user interfaces! Ever stumbled upon an app that feels like you need a PhD just to make a simple payment? A complicated or confusing UI can deter users from using the app regularly, as they may find it difficult to navigate and perform tasks efficiently. This is so often the case with Payment applications where users primarily are looking for only one feature: to pay and view transactions.

The Importance of Gamification




Sending money need not be as boring as it is. There’s hope on the horizon: gamification. Yes! Gamification of payment platforms adds fun to your app and can work wonders in overcoming the above-mentioned pesky challenges. By adding some gamified elements into the mix – like rewarding users for completing tasks, hitting milestones, or even just logging in regularly – you're giving them a reason to stick around. Suddenly, using your app feels less like a chore and more like an adventure. 


Plus, with personalized challenges and achievements, you're making users feel like the VIPs they truly are. It's all about making them feel seen, heard, and appreciated. 


What are Some Effective Ways to Use Gamification in Payment Services?

Set clear and attainable goals

For gamification to be effective, one of the main aspects is to set clear and attainable goals for the users to achieve. It can be anything from completing a payment, saving money, completing a certain level of transactions per month, etc. But the thing to note here is that these goals should be aligned with the customers' needs and preferences. A progress bar can be used to showcase how far he/she has completed the monthly transactions to win a reward or a badge when they achieve it.

Provide challenges and rewards

Who doesn’t love challenges, right? You can throw in some fun challenges or tasks for users to complete everyday transactions into exciting missions. It can be anything from completing a certain number of payments in a month or staying under budget. It kindles the users’ interest and increases their engagement rate. And, don’t forget the rewards! From badges, and cashback to exclusive perks, completing each challenge should be able to unlock varied levels of rewards depending upon the difficulty level. 

Create a sense of community and social interaction

Gamification can also be used to create a sense of community and social interaction among customers where users can connect, share tips, or even compete (in a friendly way, of course!). A chat, forum or social media platform can be used for customers to communicate, share, and learn from each other. It’s like having a support group right in your pocket, whether it’s discussing money-saving hacks or celebrating milestones, this sense of community keeps users engaged and motivated. Also, this builds trust, and loyalty and increases customer satisfaction and retention rate. 

Personalize the experience and offer feedback

When it comes to managing finances, one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why personalization is a key in gamified payment apps. By collecting and analyzing data like user behavior, interests, and spending habits the payment apps can offer tailored recommendations to suit their preferences and needs. Whether providing insights into spending habits or splitting strategies, users will feel supported at every step of the way. Also, payment apps can employ scoring systems, ratings or reviews to offer customer insights into their actions or progress and offer helpful tips or personalized advice aimed at enhancing and optimizing their payment experience. 

Make it fun and easy to use

Last but not least, keep it fun and user-friendly. Payment apps need not be monotonous and boring. From playful animations to intuitive navigation or maybe even catchy tunes, apps create a visually appealing and stimulating interface that enhances customers' moods and attention. For example, a payment app can use a character or a story to create an immersive experience that connects customers with their goals. With a dash of fun, the gamification of payment platforms turns simple payment transactions into an engagement-driving user experience. 

Key Gamification Strategies for Payment/Remittance Apps

To increase customer engagement and retention rates, payment apps can leverage an array of gaming strategies and techniques. 

  • Incentive progress with points and badge-based rewards

Users earn points for completing each transaction they make, referring friends, or engaging with the app in other ways by exploring features like budgeting tools or completing educational resources. These points can be redeemed for cashback rewards or gift coupons or even used to unlock exclusive features within the app. Badges are like visual trophies that showcase users’ accomplishments, creating a sense of achievement. 


For example, badges like ‘Master Saver’ or ‘Referral Guru’ can be given to users based on their activities in the app. These elements tap into the extrinsic rewards that satisfy the progress and ignite a sense of achievement in users.

  • Amplify engagement with levels and leaderboards

Levels and leaderboards can be used to showcase users' level of progression in a gamified way. Users progress through levels based on the volume and frequency of their transactions or by completing specific challenges like achieving savings goals. 


Leaderboards can display top users based on various criteria like transaction volume, referral counts or savings achievements that add friendly competition, motivate users, and also create a sense of community within the app.

  • Enhance learning with quizzes and tutorials

Learning about money and spending doesn't have to be boring, especially when it's gamified. Incorporating quizzes and tutorials into your payment app not only educates users about its features and functionalities but also makes the learning process fun and interactive. 


Whether it's a quick quiz to test their financial knowledge or step-by-step tutorials to guide them through the app's interface like setting up auto payments or splitting expenses, these gamified learning experiences keep users engaged and eager to explore more.

  • Boost loyalty with personalized offers and discounts

Offers and Discounts? Yes! Personalized to your needs? A double yes!! By analyzing users’ transaction history and spending patterns, payment apps can tailor exclusive offers or cashback discounts that resonate with each user. 


For example, a user who frequently sends remittances to family members abroad might receive discounted transaction fees or bonus rewards for hitting certain transaction milestones. These personalized offers encourage continued app usage and strengthen the bond between the user and the app.

  • Social sharing and community features

Users can share their achievements, such as reaching savings goals or earning badges, on social media platforms directly from the app. Additionally, they can participate in community challenges or group savings goals with friends and family members.

Examples of Gamification in UAE Payment App

Zywa - UAE

Zywa is the first Gen-Z-focused neobank tailored for teenagers in the Middle East. Through Zywa, teens can spend, receive, and manage money.  It leverages gamification to educate and empower young adults. Their app features playful challenges, rewards for saving goals, and a vibrant social community. 


Emirates NBD - UAE 

In 2015, Emirates NBD bank in UAE launched the NBD Fitness Account to encourage users towards fitness, while also tending to increase their savings account openings and deposits. Customers will earn an interest of up to 2% p.a. on their savings based on the number of steps that they walk or run daily. It has levels and challenges that allow users to earn redeemable points and a progress bar to follow the effort. The bank's Mobile Banking App consistently ranked #1 in the Finance category in the UAE App Store, with over 600,000 downloads. With this ‘Turn Health Into Wealth’ motive, the app recorded 53 million steps, $4.37 million in savings via social media, and strategic partnerships with fitness brands. 



Wabra Bank - UAE

Warba Bank's loyalty program, Pocket, gamifies mobile banking by rewarding customers with points for activities like bill payments, and credit card usage, and inviting friends to join the bank. Points earned can be redeemed for rewards or services within the app, enhancing user engagement and loyalty. With over 55,000 members enrolled and 100 million points converted into rewards in the first year, Pocket demonstrates the success of gamification in driving customer engagement and mobile payments. 



Final Thoughts

Gamification isn't just about turning payments into a digital game—it's about transforming the entire user experience. With gamified payment platforms, payment apps become more than just tools for transactions; they become adventures, challenges, and maybe even a little bit addictive (in a good way, of course).


Now, if you're ready to level up your payment app, then why not fly high with Flyy? With our plug-and-play gamification platform, your apps will not just be a platform to send money but also give your users a complete experience filled with challenges, achievements, and maybe even a few surprises. So why wait? Get in touch with us to start today!

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