App case study: Emirates NBD promotes ‘impulse saving’ with Shake N’Save app

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How do you make financial services appeal to the younger generation? This case study looks at how Emirates NBD used mobile app Shake N’Save combined with social media and video content to encourage savings among teens and potentially win over their custom for life.

Case study summary

• Emirates NBD targeted a new generation of tech-savvy savers from the UAE, a country with the world's highest smartphone penetration rate

• A ‘shake and save app’ and complementary social media and YouTube campaign made ‘impulse saving’ (rather than impulse buying’) seem fun

• A smart example of combining financial services with popular technology trends such as gamification in non-game contexts.

The challenge

Emirates NBD is the largest banking group in the Middle East, but to maintain its lead, the firm needed to encourage a new generation of tech-savvy savers from the United Arab Emirates.

According to the U.A.E. Central Bank, the average resident in the U.A.E. has no more than AED 10,000 ($2,700) in savings. The bank wanted to provide an opportunity for ‘impulse saving’ as opposed to spending.

According to recent figures from Google's Mobile Planet, the U.A.E. had the world's highest smartphone penetration rate in the first quarter of 2013, at 73.8%, higher than South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

It made sense that the banking group needed to look to mobile to future-proof its market lead.

The solution

The firm worked with creative agency Liwa, based in Dubai, to produce a ‘shake and save app’ and complementary social media and YouTube campaign.

Emirates NBD's app let customers pre-set limits for the amount of money they want to save each time they shake their smartphone.

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With each shake, the phone displays a random figure within a pre-set range. Customers can shake as many times as they wish before accepting the displayed amount.

A statement within the app allows them to see how much they have saved and what funds remain in their account.

Billed as a ‘fun and casual way to save money’, the app was promoted on online platforms via a music video that went live in September 2014.

The video dramatises the proposition of ‘shake and save’ with a song and dance featuring a motley group of people. It commences in a college classroom, the subject taught being ‘How to save’.

A young woman who looks to enter late picks up her mobile and demonstrates the app to her mates. One of them joins her in a ‘Shake N’Save’ dance routine, and the rest follow – professor included. People in a variety of settings feature in the video, happily dancing their way to savings.

The bank said it pays an interest rate of up to 2 percent on savings through Shake n' Save. Customers can elect to use Shake n' Save without the need to log into their bank accounts.
Suvo Sarkar, Emirates NBD's general manager of retail banking, said: Emirates NBD is continuously on the lookout for ways to offer customers an enhanced banking experience through launching value-added services in the digital banking space."

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The results

Emirates NBD said Shake n' Save is a smart example of combining financial services with popular technology trends such as gamification in non-game contexts.

The launch was in line with the bank's strategy of encouraging customers to migrate to digital banking through greater use of mobile and online banking channels.

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