When you hear of a bank using gamification techniques to create a mobile banking app, you know that that it's a rare story. That's because you know that gamification and banks are the most unlikely couple and you know that that's what makes it interesting. And that's the story of ING Vysya Bank.
The bank's mobile app, designed using gamification techniques, has already swept many of its customers off their feet. A delighted customer's review on Google Play called it "the best ever mobile banking app", while a leading newspaper wrote: "It seems like mobile banking is finally here".
The unique experience, says Aniruddha Paul, CIO of the bank, was made possible with a bit of calculated risk. "We wanted the app to be completely different from the run-of-the-mill banking apps available today. The UXD, we thought, would be the key differentiator. Hence, we went after a company that develops games, but has never ever designed a banking app."
Instead of replicating the navigation methods of Internet banking, ING's mobile app is designed contextually by placing relevant options on the screen.
For example, the creative design of the balance meter in the form of a speedometer allows the users to receive alerts when there is no minimum balance in the account. A quick glance on the 'green zone' and 'red zone' of the speedometer gives you an idea whether you are getting 'richer' or 'poorer'. Interestingly, the app lets customers check their balance without even logging in. But users won't have to worry about their critical information being exposed. "To ensure security, the devices on which the app gets downloaded are finger-printed. The app can't be downloaded to more than two devices. In the event of losing the device, the customer can call up the bank and immediately wipe off the app. Besides, the customer can actually choose whether he wants the balance meter to be displayed or not," says Paul.
Users can even scan a cheque and save the image in the app for future reference. A distinctive approach makes the app interactive, intuitive, visually delightful--and secure.
In a nutshell, the app facilitates true end-to-end banking, including closure of a fixed deposit.
This holistic experience wouldn't have been possible without a rock solid back-end IT infrastructure and that was the first thing Paul ensured. "The world of digital provides a level playing field to a mid-sized bank like us and enables us to compete with much bigger banks that have thousands of branches. While the mobile app was a major front-end initiative, we simultaneously took up key projects like legacy modernization and private cloud at the back-end," says Paul.
Though ING Vysya is the 24th largest bank in India, it is among the top 10 when it comes to overall money being processed through mobile banking. This is within six months of launching the new mobile app. Now that the bank is fully digital ready, Paul and his team have embarked on a whole lot of digital initiatives like a Facebook app that lets you transact and an app that works on smart watches.
Banking and gamification aren't that unlikely a couple after all!
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