Nowadays, researchers and practitioners apply gaming elements to non-game contexts. This has also been referred to as gamification. By doing this they want to encourage desired outcomes, such as higher purchase intentions and better school performances. However, there is a lack of understanding on how different levels of gamification influence financial planning behaviours. This study has examined whether different levels of gamification are able to influence the intention of people to use a financial overview application, and whether they influence this intention differently. Furthermore, the effects of different levels of gamification on the perceptions of people with respect to the ease of use, usefulness and enjoyment of a financial overview application are researched. The effect of age has also been investigated. An online panel in the Netherlands (n = 360) has been used to test the effect of different levels of gamification. Participants were randomly assigned to test a financial overview application that was not gamified, that was gamified with badges, or that was gamified with badges, a progress bar and levels. It was hypothesized that the effect of gamification on the intention of people to use a financial overview application is mediated by perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment. The results showed no significant effect of different levels of gamification on perceived usefulness and behavioural intention. Furthermore, an application that was gamified with badges was not perceived as significantly more or less easy to use than a non-gamified application. Also an application that was gamified with badges, a progress bar and levels was not perceived as more or less easy to use than a non-gamified application.

However, the two gamified applications were found to differ significantly from each other with respect to perceived ease of use. An application that was gamified with badges was perceived as easier to use than a financial overview application that was gamified with badges, a progress bar and levels. This study also revealed that heterogeneity exists with respect to gamification. People who are less inclined to plan their finances perceive a financial overview application that is gamified with badges as significantly less enjoyable than both a non-gamified financial overview application and a financial overview application that is gamified with badges, a progress bar and levels. In addition, this study showed that the intention to use a financial overview application is positively influenced by perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment and age. The effect of perceived ease of use on behavioural intention is found to be fully mediated by perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment. The findings of this study have relevant implications for the design of technologies that provide a financial overview.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.

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