Truist seeks to gamify savings with mobile app acquisition

Truist Financial is building out its mobile banking offering by acquiring the consumer savings app

Truist Financial is building out its mobile banking offering by acquiring the consumer savings app Long Game.

Truist purchased Long Game for an undisclosed amount, it said in a statement Tuesday. The $544 billion-asset bank plans to integrate the finance app’s “casual gaming” platform and “prize-linked savings” into its mobile banking services, according to the statement.

Long Game allows users to link their bank accounts to the app, set savings goals, and earn extra cash by playing casino-style lottery games. The app “creates distinctive user experiences and financially educates along the way,” said Ken Meyer, Truist’s chief information officer of digital channels and innovation.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Truist plans to use Long Game as a complement to its workplace financial wellness program, Truist Momentum.

Bloomberg

“This deal is about our clients continuing to take steps toward financial wellness,” Meyer said. He added that Long Game’s “gamification” approach to consumer savings fits within Truist’s strategy “to meet clients where they are and where they enjoy being.”

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Truist plans to integrate Long Game into its technology offering to serve as a complement to its workplace financial wellness program, Truist Momentum.

Twelve of the app’s software developers and managers, including co-founder and Chief Executive Lindsay Holden, are joining Truist’s innovation team and will remain based in San Francisco.

Truist’s approach to the future of mobile financial services is similar to Long Game’s strategy back in 2015 when its app launched, Holden said.

“We solely focused on the client experience of real financial progress — taking something that feels difficult and at times emotionally fraught and making it into something motivating, fun,” Holden said in an emailed statement.

Truist has been investing in its technology and innovation platforms since its formation in 2019 through the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks.

The Long Game acquisition is a bid to increase engagement with Truist’s mobile banking services while attempting to attract a younger base of customers, said Dylan Lerner, a senior analyst for digital banking at Javelin Strategy & Research. 

But the deal also raises questions about the effectiveness of pairing financial savings with mobile gaming, he said.

“The big question is whether this is going to be a meaningful difference in the lives of consumers trying to save money,” Lerner said.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, you need [consumers] to make big financial decisions to be able to save them money,” he added. “That’s hard to gamify because it relies on the consumer making pretty significant decisions.”


https://www.americanbanker.com/news/truist-seeks-to-gamify-savings-with-mobile-app-acquisition