Mana makes perks-filled neobanking play for gamers

The news: Mana, a new US neobank, is launching with a focus on gamers that includes a slew of incentives to join.

  • The company has opened a waitlist and plans to make itself available to the general public in summer 2022.
  • The banking products, accessible via an app, include a deposit account and a debit card. Mana relies on MVB Bank to power its offerings.
  • The newcomer was only founded in 2021 and has seed funding worth more than $7 million.

Tiers and perks: The neobank offers two tiers for users: a free version and a subscription version called Mana Pro, which costs $119.95 annually, or $9.99 each month. However, people who join the waitlist can get the paid tier at a discounted $69.95 annual price.

Both tiers’ debit cards come with four points categories that cover:

  • Certain entertainment and gaming subscriptions, at 3x for free and 5x for Mana Pro.
  • Purchases of gaming products via the Mana Shop, at 2x for free and 3x for Mana Pro.
  • Purchases for all other types of transactions, at 1x for both tiers.
  • Getting points each month just by playing favorite games, with more available for Mana Pro.

Customers can use Mana’s app to do reward redemptions in exchange for items like gift cards, in-game currency, and game keys.

Paid-tier customers also get subscription offers on gaming services such as:

  • Discord Nitro Classic, at $50 for one year.
  • PlayStation Plus, at $25 for three months.
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, at $45 for three months.
  • EA Play, bundled with the Xbox perk, at $15.

Mana is also offering rewards to people who sign up for the waitlist, at seven levels, with points and tickets to win prizes.

Why this could succeed: Mana appears to have studied its target audience in depth. This is integral to successfully targeting affinity audiences who are passionate about a specific topic or interest. In this case, the affinity audience represents a sizable potential market, and Mana’s perks, tailored to its passion, could help it quickly gain a following.

  • Survey data Mana shared shows that 191 million people in the US play video games, with 64% of them identifying as gamers. This implies an addressable market of about 122.2 million.
  • Average spending related to video games increased by 8% in 2021, with total US spending at $60.5 billion for the year, it noted.
  • Targeting gamers in particular helps Mana sign up millennial and Gen Z customers: It shared data showing that people ages 21 to 35 are more likely to play video games during their free time (26%) than watch TV (20%).

By melding banking with gaming, which plays a significant part in its target demographic’s lives, Mana will also be able to quickly foster engagement, paving the way for cross-selling in the future.