The “Fintech-influencer” bubble: are the social blogging current fintech battlespaces?

You will find endless pictures of glamorous bloggers posing with colorful payment cards through scrolling Instagram today, debating “financial wellness” and “savvier spending” between sips of their coffees.

Fintechs are now concentrating their fight for market share and online consumers, paying social media influencers to post endorsements on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok.

All the ‘fin-influencer’ promotions, as well as Chime in the US have been publicly used by Starling, Revolut, N26, and the now defunct Bó.

According to a social media study, several fintech firms are also experimenting with influencer marketing. These include Plum, Habito digital mortgage broker, Zelf Gen-Z banking app, Vivid Money in Germany, Penta SME bank, and Klarna.

The trend shows a quiet shift in the strategies of fintechs; dominating platforms where large banks are still not playing.

The primary uses of ‘fin-influencing’ go ahead to 2017, when Loot paid to advertise their Monzo-esque student card to many Instagram bloggers. In 2019, Revolut finally jumped on board, paying hundreds of social media stars using a £ 32-per-user referral scheme to advertise their services.

But the increase in ‘fin-influencer’ posts over the past 12 months shows that the $15 billion influencer marketing industry has doubled in fintechs. Most significantly, by launching a massive state-side influencer campaign, Revolut now wants to crack the US.

Chad West, marketing chief of Revolut, told Sifted that the company is especially interested in employing “to reach the right people” influencers with significant immigrant and Latino followers.

It has already proven successful elsewhere to use influencers to break into new markets. Several international campaigns have been initiated by both N26 and Klarna, with bloggers (sometimes called ambassadors) posting in various languages.

As such, consumer fintech may soon be part of the 17 percent of businesses that spend over half of their marketing budget on influencers, shifting away from TV and tube advertising campaigns.

Marketing of influencers has clear appeal for fintechs. It creates brand recognition, it creates a buzz, and in the midst of a lockdown, it can be the strongest advertisement outlet.

Based on an overview of a fashion influencer’s interaction stats - just about 0.01 percent engagement on her banking advertising was received by the blogger, while her average was ~5 percent (comparing how many ‘likes’ her posts got as a percentage of her overall follow-up). Many of the fintech initiatives seem to be misaligned, mostly concentrating solely on scope instead of importance. So as for my point of view, influence marketing for fintech could be effectively used but should be well-planned accroding to each blogger audience and engagement.

JCash co-founder, fintech/blockchain expert. Interested in innovations in digital payments and AI technologies.