New Company Wants to Improve Financial Knowledge Through Gamification

Competition and reward can help teach invaluable skills.


A new startup is helping instill financial literacy through gamification, or adding game-play elements, to saving, budgeting, and investing. Arro, created in 2021, wants to help people improve their creditworthiness and instill financial literacy. The app tracks users’ spending and monitors their credit information, helping to ensure that they are safe from financial fraud. By saving more through their Arro account, users can access more credit, helping them develop credit while learning financial literacy through the apps’ built-in training lessons. Unlike other competitors, however, Arro is partnering with Equifax – to ensure that using Arro does not ding one’s credit score – and academic professors who will ensure that Arro’s financial literacy trainings are accurate and engaging!

Gamification Improves Engagement

By completing financial literacy learning tasks, users of the Arro app can actually lower their interest rate and access more craft. Unlike most other finance apps, this lets users with poor credit scores actively build an improvement of their creditworthiness in real-time. Typically, those with poor credit must wait months or years for their credit score to slowly improve via credit reports accumulated at the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). The Arro app is designed to engage users so that they complete these learning tasks and develop lasting financial literacy skills.

The gamification used by Arro is increasingly common across websites. To motivate users, many websites use features that allow them to compete for various rewards or recognition, such as likes, badges, ranks, followers, points, or units of currency. This taps into humans’ deep-seated desires to achieve and compete. Education programs, including financial literacy, can use gamification to engage and motivate students. Allowing users to see the additional rewards or recognitions they can attain will encourage many to complete the next task, furthering their learning.

Gamification Plus Finance Equals Strong Motivation

While gamification is not a new concept, the Arro app applying it to one’s actual finances is relatively new. Instead of competing in a simulation, app users utilize positive lessons regarding their money. Being rewarded for avoiding impulse purchases and sticking to a budget by receiving an increased credit limit and/or lower interest rate is likely to motivate Arro users…since it is their own finances being benefited! This is an example of where financial literacy extends beyond the classroom education setting and can motivate learners more concretely than any course. Self-motivation is easier to spark when one’s own money is on the line!

By starting with small amounts of money, Arro can meaningfully motivate the estimated 150 million Americans who are “locked out” of traditional credit or distrust mainstream lenders. Gamification can encourage those not intrinsically motivated by classroom learning, reading books and articles, or seeking out educational videos. These individuals, just like everyone else, stand to benefit tremendously from financial literacy education. Reaching them through an app like Arro can improve the community’s financial stability by having more financially savvy and secure citizens. It may be considered a non-traditional way of delivering financial literacy education, but any financial education is invaluable!

About the Author

Owen Rust

Owen Rust teaches AP Economics and AP Government in Texas, and has also taught Personal Financial Literacy, which Texas high schools must now offer! He has a Master's degree in Finance and Economics from West Texas A&M University and is passionate about young people learning how to take charge of their financial and investing goals. Outside of teaching, Owen is also a writer who writes about politics, government, education, economics, and finance and investing.

Last updated on: July 8, 2024