The Convergence of Gaming, Gamification, and Financial Services
In 1994, only months after the World Wide Web software was released into the public domain, Stanford Federal Credit Union became the first financial institution in the U.S. to offer online banking to its customers, marking a major turning point within financial services. That same year, the first Warcraft game was introduced, launching a now-ubiquitous franchise and helping spark a revolution within digital and online gaming. And in the years that followed, just as the proliferation of the internet and computer hardware has helped democratize financial services, the same tailwinds have opened up the gaming and gamification landscape to a whole new universe of users.
But while modern financial services and gaming are two of the foremost phenomena of the internet age, they have hardly intersected. Besides Twitch and other monetizable streaming platforms, financial journeys within games have largely been limited to one-off purchases and narrow rewards programs. And while leading fintechs like Robinhood implicitly leaned on the concept as a way to improve customer experience and steer in-app engagement, gamification, at least when referring to the incorporation of monetary, game-driven rewards into software, didn’t emerge out of the broader gaming movement as a defined concept until the 2010s.
With the accelerated shift towards online and digital channels in the wake of the pandemic and the rise of effective fintech infrastructure, though, these boundaries have been completely overturned. Indeed, play-to-earn and other DeFi use cases have garnered a lot of attention, but embedded finance has begun to spread across the fiat gaming world as well. Creators and publishers are looking to better engage and monetize their ecosystems with financial products while end users are increasingly prioritizing fun and rewarding experiences in a banking and investing landscape that has long been frustrating and unpleasant. For both pureplay gaming platforms and hybrid gamified fintechs, the benefits of embedding financial products are clear:
- Add complementary high-margin revenue streams like interchange, interest, and fee-based income
Immersive Experience for End Users
- Plug a full suite of financial capabilities across banking, brokerage, and credit directly into your app or service without disrupting the quality of the gaming experience
Increased User Value with a Closed-Loop Financial Ecosystem
- Get the most value out of your gamers, freelancers, and other users by keeping money within your application and facilitating peer-to-peer transfers, rewards, and more
- Leverage built-in compliance flows specifically designed for gaming and gamified financial platforms that protect your users without slowing down your product launch
As the gaming universe continues to expand and the economy around the space becomes more tangible, these benefits will only grow. Cards, DDA and sole proprietorship accounts, payment rails, and other financial products all fit seamlessly into the gaming ecosystem, deepening the connections between creators, publishers, fans, and gamers. And with a fintech infrastructure platform like Rize, builders can better delight and engage users with full compliance and effective, scalable economics. The future of the gaming industry is firmly linked to financial services, and embedded finance helps make that future a reality.
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