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August 19, 2016

Pokmon Go, an augmented reality app that started out as an April Fools joke a few years ago on Google Maps, has turned into the biggest game in US history. With nearly 95 million participants, it beats out the ever popular Candy Crush.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with retail banking? Many forward thinking banks have already found ways to capitalize on the Pokmon craze.

Golden West Credit Union, for example, seems to have got its Pokemon Go for Banking recipe exactly right.

Golden West chose to meet their customers where they were, doing what they enjoyed doing in this case playing Pokemon Go. Furthermore, they created value for the customer exactly at the right point in time. Players often find their phone batteries are running out and there is an entire family of chargers for this specific use case. So the banks offer to send the customer a phone charger for catching a Pokmon near Golden West and tagging them on Instagram is a winner. It takes into account the customers persona and location with a relevant, contextual offer that is likely to delight the customer.

What Golden West has done with Pokmon Go is a great example of where banks can go in the future by being tuned in to what their customers need and want, adding value in a non-invasive way and earning the right to be their trusted financial advisor.

Leveraging new technologies like augmented reality used in Pokmon Go and getting the recipe right takes careful planning. Every part of the recipe is important and failing to get one ingredient right could lead to the equivalent of Homejoy a great idea ripe for Uberization at first glance, but missing some key ingredients to make the recipe actually work.

The benefits of leveraging and experimenting with technologies to respond to customer constantly changing expectations, however, far outweigh the challenges. Apps like Pokmon Go collect great customer insights from players along their end to end journeys, from where a player is at any time, where they have been, to where they went next. Insights like these can help banks build deeper customer engagement and deliver relevant offers and services based on location and need- resulting in increased brand loyalty and opening up a universe of new possibilities for new products, services and customer experiences.

Gargi is an ex TCSer and was the Solution Architect for Customer Intelligence & Insights at TCS Digital Software & Solutions Group. She has 18 years of experience focused on utilizing technology and information assets to solve complex business problems while managing costs, risks and change. Gargi is passionate about building a data driven culture in organizations; enabling clients to optimize their own performance and transform the experience of the customer they serve. Prior to joining TCS, she has consulted on analytics strategy and Lean BI implementation with clients in diverse domains including but not limited to banking and financial services, healthcare, retail, telecommunications and logistics. Gargi has a degree in Electronics Engineering with Six Sigma training and a CBIP certification.


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