Gamification of financial literacy

by Owen Cammayo, Head of BPI Corporate Affairs

and Executive Director of BPI Foundation

For some, learning about financial management can be tedious or intimidating, but there’s no going around it. A key aspect of financial wellness is having a solid grasp of how to manage one’s money, especially amid crises such as the one we have today.

It’s comforting to know that there is no shortage of webinars and online workshops about how to save, manage debt, and invest. But changing the Filipinos’ mindset isn’t always as simple. It’s just too much work, they say.

Let me introduce you to something called gamification. In other words, converting work into play. Game-based learning platforms have become more popular over the years and not only is it effective in teaching the younger audience about financial management; surprisingly enough, it’s effective among adults, too. The reason? Gamification simplifies complex terminologies through fun and engaging formats.

To prove this point, the European Commission’s Electronic Platform for Adult Learning said in its website, “Board games, role play, and digital games in 2D or 3D have all proven to be effective ways of developing financial skills while having fun. Game-based learning solutions are interactive ways of solving problems, teaching, and satisfying the fundamental requirements of learning by providing enjoyment and motivation.”

If gamification works, then why not create a game that will infuse fun into the learning process?


Earlier this year, we at BPI Foundation launched “Breakthrough: The Financial Choices We Make”—a first-of-its-kind mobile app game that aims to educate more Filipinos about personal finance in an entertaining and informative manner. The development of the app is our response to the World Bank’s recommendation to use edutainment as a form of teaching financial concepts to the public and part of our pivot to digital.

With this game, we hope to sharpen one’s financial awareness, understanding, and judgement by introducing basic to complex financial concepts such as saving, budgeting, retirement planning, insurance, debt management, and investment.

We believe the proper understanding of financial concepts helps us to make informed decisions and manage our money in good times and bad times.

“Breakthrough” is a board game played through an app that allows players to test their skills in personal finance and show how financial choices affect their daily lives.

Going against AI opponents, players roll the dice to travel around the digital board. They will encounter common life events at every turn, and make “adulting” decisions that could affect their score. Should they save? Go on a vacation? Invest in stocks? Get insurance? Throughout the game, players will either amass or lose wealth depending on the path they decide to take.

Better financial decisions

The player has to make smart and practical decisions to gain the most assets, investments, and FinEd coins, and whoever ends with the highest net worth wins the game.

Aside from the actual board game, the app also includes a Financial Wellness Journal, quizzes, and tips for a more immersive learning experience. Likewise, the app will be used in future runs of financial literacy webinars and activities of the Foundation.

Currently, the game is gaining more mobile users and app usage is increasing. We are also continually updating our app to meet the needs of our users, address their feedback, and improve their learning experience.

Why are we doing this? Poor financial education has left many Filipinos overwhelmed with debt, while others have found themselves scrambling for money during these uncertain times.

While there are uncontrolled variables contributing to financial challenges or instability amid this pandemic, the good news is, there are available tools to improve to help people improve their situation in a more accessible, enjoyable, and effective manner.

Play to learn

We encourage everyone to take a step forward on the road towards financial wellness. Knowing the basic financial concepts is a good start. Download and play the free game to achieve your own personal breakthrough.

“Breakthrough by BPI Foundation” is available in Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Published on August 2021

About the Author

OWEN CAMMAYO | Head of Corporate Affairs and Executive Director of BPI Foundation

Owen brings his passion and advocacy for #WhatMattersMost to his approach in leading the communication and corporate social responsibility functions of the BPI group. He is largely responsible for creating awareness of BPI’s purposeshaping and safeguarding the bank's overall reputation. He is a seasoned business communication practitioner with 24 years of solid experience in Corporate Affairs disciplines acquired from stints in leading global and local companies. More importantly, he is a dedicated and certified stage dad to his two daughters.

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