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The Jedi Mind Trick Banks Are Using to Keep You Loyal

Increasingly in every quarterly report, the giants in banking -- such as Bank of America  (NYSE: BAC  ) , JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo  (NYSE: WFC  )  -- are pointing to online and mobile banking usage as being key growth platforms for their retail businesses.

All of these players are reporting 20%-30%+ growth in mobile and online banking adoption. Many have even called for an end to the physical bank branch as the convenience and utility of digital banking approach and even surpass that of the human teller. There is a very valid argument that this channel is the future of retail banking.

Intuitively, it makes sense. Consumers are increasingly staring at their smartphones or tablets day and night. It follows that they'd increasingly access their most basic banking services on those same devices.

Growth + engagement = market share
Never a group to pass up the opportunity to wring out an extra dollar of profit, banks are now turning to technologies developed in the gaming world to increase your engagement and time on their respective apps or websites. 

Gamification, as its known, is the process of adding video game-like features to programs or products in hopes of luring users back into the game over and over. The user is stimulated with points, coins, stars, or other rewards (real or virtual), and comes back to continue accumulating these rewards. Add in a social sharing element, and the app now has a better-than-average chance of going viral.

From American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) to eBay's (NASDAQ: EBAY  ) PayPal, financial services companies are jumping at this opportunity for growth and engagement. 

In the video below, Motley Fool contributor Jay Jenkins discusses how gamification is altering the mobile landscape for financial services companies with Brandon Workman of Business Insider Intelligence. While still early in its implementation, these two analysts see a rising tide for the technology, particularly as banking continues trending more and more mobile.

Banking is changing -- fast. Don't get left behind.
The traditional bricks-and-mortar bank will soon go the way of the dodo bird -- into extinction, that is. This sounds crazy, but it's true. Every single one of the nation's biggest banks are dramatically reducing branch counts and overhauling the ones left behind. But despite these efforts, they're still far behind a single and comparatively tiny lender that's already leapt into the future. Since the beginning of 2012 alone, this company's shares are already up more than 250%. And they're bound to go higher. To download our free report revealing the identity of this stock, all you have to do is click here now.

Have a comment or question about real estate, banks, or financial stocks? Like Jay on Facebook and leave your question or comment!

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  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 4:56 PM, jasjfarrell wrote:

    I've been a member of a credit union for 40 years. I even had a business account there. No fees, interest on checking, free bill pay, free checking. I do everything online or using a MAC machine.

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