Spanish bank BBVA is to use social networking site Foursquare to enable online interaction across its physical branch network and encourage more customers to participate in its gamification efforts through the BBVA Game portfolio.
The bank has spent the past three months testing the use of Foursqatre as a mechanism for gaining feedback on branch traffic flows and customer opinions. The online check-in service is now being extended across Spain and to all the countreis in which the bank operates.
In a statement, the bank says: "This innovative service is enabling BBVA to obtain first-hand knowledge of any problems customers may have in each zone as well as giving BBVA the ability to to...offer products and offers that combine the real and virtual worlds."
BBVA's presence in Foursquare is also tied to BBVA Game, the bank's loyaltty project that uses gamification techniques to encourage more interaction with customers.
BBVA Game is run through a microsite that presents customers with six challenges divided into milestones, which they must achieve to obtain medals and points that can be exchanged for direct prizes or entries to prize draws such as iPads, smartphones, and tickets to events.
With Foursquare, BBVA will incorporate a new way of earning points by offering customers a 1500 point bonus when they "check-in" at BBVA branches.
Gamification is currently being driven by novelty and hype. Gartner predicts that by 2014, 80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design.
"The challenge facing project managers and sponsors responsible for gamification initiatives is the lack of game design talent to apply to gamification projects," says Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. "Poor game design is one of the key failings of many gamified applications today."
It is still early days, but BBVA appears to be avoiding the pitfalls by using the gaming platform as a means to fester greater collaboration and crowdsourcing of its customer base and tieing the mechanics of point scores to meaningful rewards. Within two months of its launch in the summer, the BBVA Game app on Facebook attracted 37,000 users, lured by the rewards on offer.