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Spanish Bank BBVA Embraces Gamification with Online Game

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Spanish bank BBVA Spain has showed the world one more time why it is considered one of the best companies at marketing 2.0. They have successfully launched the BBVA Game, a gamified platform to incentivize clients to use their web services. At first glance it looks like a typical points, badges, and leaderboard system, quite like Samsung Nation. But soon enough you’ll find that there’s more to it, because BBVA has created a virtual economy around the point system.

In quite a refreshing approach, the system allows you to win rewards by directly exchanging points for them or by bidding on auctions. The more points you bid give, the more chances you get to win the prizes. What I wasn’t expecting is that BBVA designed the system to be quite honest and transparent;  it actually shows your probability to win based on your bid  and how the top bidder currently relates to that.

The prizes are quite good: You can directly buy music downloads, movies, and even tickets to the Spanish Soccer League. But the really juicy prizes lay in the auctions.  You can even win trips to the USA with tickets to NBA games (Basketball is really big in Spain now, thanks to Pau Gasol).

How you earn points is pretty standard: logging in, watching videos, performing some defined tasks, doing some transfers, etc. Nothing new there, and its probably where the gamified experience falls a bit apart; its simply not that fun. I think BBVA has the right idea in mind. They have started with a pretty complex platform and centered it around an objective: to get their clients to use their web platform to interact with the bank. They know that what they are trying to accomplish is not in itself fun, so they have created an excellent external gamification system to drive users to use their web services. I would guess that BBVA’s strategy is to use these strong extrinsic rewards to entice most BBVA users out of from their barriers to entry. Once users are in the system, the convenient and easy web services will be the biggest motivators to have users return to use the online system, freeing up human resources at physical locations.

BBVA has also made the correct choice of making the platform optional. Nobody is obligated to use it and those who choose to have a far greater chance of enjoying and sticking with the system. They are also tracking user behavior so they can tweak the system as needed, and will probably start designing different experiences for different kind of “players”. This will be a crucial step as the only problem with the BBVA Game is its lack of fun when performing the tasks.

I’d say the future is bright for this platform, and I’m pretty sure it will show great results for BBVA in the end. I’m eager to see how much more user engagement they have received thanks to this platform. Has anyone in Spain had the opportunity to try this game? What are your experiences with it thus far?

You can check out this Spanish video below to learn more about the platform from Bernardo Crespo, Head of Digital Marketing & Marketing Lab at BBVA Spain:

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  • Filip

    great article

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