WHILE THE APP IS FREE, SOME MICRO GAMES DO COST MONEY
Transformance bills itself as the financial education hub, where people can seek counseling for everything from credit card debt to saving for a house.
But finances can be a sensitive subject for many people who don’t want to talk with someone in person or sit in a classroom.
So, Ken Goodgames, president and CEO of Dallas-based Transformance, said they decided to create an app that gamifies the process and makes it fun and rewarding.
The Pocket Change USA app launched April 27 for both Apple and Android. Users can progress through quizzes, games and videos as they advance through the game, earning rewards in the process.
GAMIFYING IS BEST WAY TO REACH PEOPLE
“To gamify it and make it less threatening so you don’t have to sit in a classroom was my biggest motivation,” Goodgames said. “It’s clearly the best way to reach people where they are. The app will take you to areas that will allow you to look at savings so you can make an individualized plan.”
The app is free but there are micro games within the app that do cost money, Goodgames said.
The lack of financial literacy is an epidemic in the United States not just for the poor but even some of the wealthiest people, Goodgames said. He cited multimillion-dollar athletes as a perfect example because they often go broke once they stop playing because they didn’t manage their money correctly.
His goal is to change behaviors.
The app also allows users to connect directly with experts at Transformance if they do want one-on-one assistance.
“If they need help, then they can ask for it.” – Ken Goodgames
“If they need help, then they can ask for it,” Goodgames said. “It’s a closed loop to our existing services.”
TRANSFORMANCE HAS 3 PHYSICAL LOCATIONS
Transformance has physical locations in Dallas, Colorado and Oklahoma. But with the Pocket Change USA app, they’ve gone nationwide.
“This is a good catalyst for future expansion,” Goodgames said.
Transformance worked with Noggin Lab in Chicago, an app developer that focuses on e-learning. Goodgames was familiar with the company from his time working for the American Red Cross.
The company developed the Pocket Change USA app, creating the coding for the user experience and the games.
“It was a marriage that was really a very good one,” Goodgames said. “They are an expert at turning the business language into technology.”
The initial version focuses on creating a savings or rainy day account. The goal for the next version will take things a step further, showing how the savings can be used for a down payment on a house or for investments.
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