We insure our homes, our cars, and even ourselves. But now, over eight thousand Russian gamers have taken out a special insurance policy to protect themselves while they play Pokémon Go.
If you are not familiar with how the game works, it’s essentially an augmented reality game that takes place in the real world. Players have to travel around on foot, exploring their city to catch all 151 of the different Pokémon. Many people have praised the game. It’s helping to get people off the couch and into the world around them. People have been making friends while meeting up at the local “Pokéstops,” where players can replenish on important items such as Pokéballs.
Photo Credit – rt.com
Unfortunately, the games release hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Many players have become injured while seeking out some of the rarer monsters. In the “Pokémon Go” subreddit, many users recount injuries they’ve received while playing the game.
“Only 30 minutes after the game was released, I slipped and fell into a ditch. I fractured the 5th metatarsal bone in my foot. Going to have to spend 8 weeks in recovery. I told the doctors that I was just simply walking my dog… keep your eyes peeled guys!” Says Reddit user Amalthea.
“A friend and I were playing while on our bikes. We were barreling down a pretty steep hill. My friend wound up flipping over top of his handlebars!!” Recounts PoGo_Envish.
Stories like this have forced many public institutions to take a hard stance against the game. Pokémon Go is being banned at schools, and many Police stations are urging gamers to restrict their use of the game to their own home.
“Are you going to be stepping into a busy road? Is there a possibility of crashing into somebody? Your game might not be the only thing that comes to an end” they said. “There is also the risk of theft. If you are regularly gathering at the same spot, it’s simple for a stranger to track your locations. Make sure you stay with a large group of people.younger children should always inform their parents where they’re going to be.“
But one company wants to help gamers enjoy the game instead of restricting their use. Sberbank, one of the largest financial institutions in Eastern Europe, has installed over seventeen thousand special lures at each of their branches. These lures will entice Pokémon to gather around the banks, letting players catch their next monster in a safe environment.
But that is not the only thing they’re doing for Pokémon Go players. Users can actually sign up for a free insurance package that will protect them against injury. By visiting a special website set up by Sberbank, found here, players just need to enter their name and mobile number to activate the special insurance.
If Pogo or Amalthea would have signed up for the insurance, their hospital visit may have been compensated with up to 50,000 rubles, depending on the severity of their injuries.
The program has already had a tremendous response. One representative of the insurer spoke about the impressive number of signups they’ve received only a short time after launching the promotion.
But the goal isn’t just to help protect gamers, but to promote financial literacy in the younger generation.
“Many of today’s youth lack the skills that are essential for financial literacy.” The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy wrote in its 2008 Annual Report to the President. Now, thanks to Sberbank, a dialog has been started helping to understand the inner workings of Insurance programs. Insuring yourself from injuries during Pokémon Go may inspire them to spend more time thinking about the future, and find other ways to protect themselves.
This marketing strategy demonstrates just how far ahead the Russian banks are of American ones. In an interview with American Banker, an Executive from a popular American bank states that he is more concerned with building a profit for his institution than reaching out to consumers to promote financial literacy.
“Would I spend any time doing something like this? Of course not. Why? I use the power of online marketing to connect with both retail and business customers. I want people to come into the branch and explore opportunities for us to work together. A lot of time and money is being spent in order to cash in on the popularity of this video game. What if bankers put the same amount of energy into improving the profitability of their bank? I’d rather help people refinance their lines of credit or help them get a mortgagegive them some silly Pokéballs, potions, or monsters they can catch, etc.”
In an age where digital currencies like Bitcoin are taking off, it’s important that banks take steps to show that they care about their customers. The 2008 financial collapse caused outrage and faith in our financial institutions has never been lower. Perhaps of all banks take a page out of Sberbank’s book, consumers will feel more positively towards their Banks.