Long game or long odds, there’s a new app in the iTunes and Google Play store making a bid for your download.
Long Game is a personal finance app that rewards its users for setting aside money in an FDIC-insured savings account, by allowing them to unlock games of chance that could yield additional cash — or cryptocurrency.
Partnered with Blue Ridge Bank, the app allows users to set aside their money in an FDIC interest-bearing savings account.
I spoke with Lindsay Holden, the CEO and Founder of Long Game about how her passion for personal fiscal management led to the company’s latest release, Crypto Spin, a cryptocurrency rewards system. Before starting Long Game, Holden co-founded the Applicant Auction, the primary auction for Top Level Domain names, which held over $1 billion in auctions before being acquired, in addition to helping launch Formation 8, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.
How Does “Long Game” Work?
The personal finance gamification app operates based off three pillars–personal missions, financial progress, and immediate rewards.
#1 — Download and Create Your Account
#2 — Deposit Fiat Into Your Long Game FDIC-Insured Savings Account
The platform allows its users to deposit money from a variety of financial institutions, including, but not limited to Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, US Bank, USAA, Fidelity, PNC Bank, and Capital One.
Once the bank is linked, the next step is letting the platform know how often you are able to save–on payday, weekly, monthly, or twice a month. Once the user selects their option, they are now able to set aside a certain amount of fiat each withdrawal period, based off the option previously selected., which is immediately placed in the users new FDIC-insured, interest-bearing savings account.
#3 –Watch Your Account Grow and Have Some Fun
That’s right, you heard me correctly. The savings accounts do accrue interest at a 0.1% APR compounded monthly rate and paid out at the end of the month. But, according to the site, the app transfers the interest to the users account “after [they] have earned at least $0.01 that month. If [they] do not earn at least 1 cent in the month, [their] interest is rolled over until [they] have earned 1 cent.”
Once the user begins (auto) depositing that amount into the Long Game account, they will begin earning native coins in exchange for their frugal savings. Those coins can in turn be used to play a variety of “spin-to-win” games within the app, allowing the user to earn prizes, including additional cash and crypto.
The more money a user sets aside, the greater number of coins they have the ability to earn. From there, the coins can then be used to play mini-games or to unlock more interactive games from within the application.
No different than a “choose your own adventure” game, Long Game presents its users with a “choose your own fiscal path” type journey, where they are able to track their progress in real financial life by participating and playing through their journey in the Long Game journey map.
Of course, there is no penalty for withdrawing, as the user is able to withdraw their cash,interest-earned deposits, and/or their crypto at any time, transferring it either to a linked bank account and/or an external wallet.
Education Through Tokenization
Long Game has taken a proactive approach since its inception to educate users, predominantly millennials, about their financial habits and how to better improve saving techniques through games and rewards.
Andrew Rossow: As a millennial, what can this app teach us?
Lindsey Holden: Our users are used to doing life on their phones and expect things to be personalized, fun and engaging, and we’ve built these values into Long Game. We don’t think that traditional “financial literacy” is very effective– instead we focus on rewarding users for taking smart actions with their money. So when you’re doing well in Long Game, you’re also doing well in your real financial life!
With Crypto Spin, the platform now offers users free crypto assets when they save money and “level up” within the application. The tokens are selecte dbased on an alignment with the company’s mission, and are rewarded to users for free as an incentive for them to build and/or demonstrate healthy financial habits.
In addition to the cash prizes they have the ability to earn, cryptocurrencies offered as a reward provide a no-risk way to access the crypto-market, while still reinforcing smart fiscal behavior. Currently, Ether (ETH), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and 0X (ZRX) are being utilized.
But for Holden, her vision is to improve the economic outcomes for an entire generation, “sett[ing] up millennials to be on the path to healthier financial lives.”
“In the long run, we want people who use Long Game to be in a better financial position than if they didn’t use the app. If […] users are happier with their financial lives than users of traditional banking apps, then we succeeded.”