University of Arizona Eller College of Management Professors Publish Research on Effects of Gamifying Financial Platforms


Associate Professor of Marketing, Martin Reimann and Caleb Warren, Susan and Philip Hagenah Associate Professor in Marketing, have written a research paper on the impact of gamifying financial platforms on consumer risk preferences. The results of their study will be published in the October 2023 issue of the “Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.”

Their research addresses the question: “Should finance be a game?” With the increase of financial intuitions transforming their platforms into game-like experiences by adding features like leaderboards and levels, the co-authors aimed to discover whether this trend makes consumers more likely to take financial risks.

Reimann and Warren conducted six controlled experiments with more than 3,700 participants. They found that when investment apps are equipped with game elements, consumers make riskier financial decisions.

Further, they concluded game elements tempt consumers to take more risk because they direct their attention to an additional goal: Consumers no longer just want to earn money; instead, they also want to win the game (e.g., reaching the first position in a leaderboard).

Based on their findings, which demonstrate that gamification may lure consumers into making poor financial decisions, the authors suggest more research should be devoted to the question how gamified financial platforms could be designed more consumer-friendly in the future.