#Fintok and Financial Regulation
28 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2022 Last revised: 13 Oct 2022
Date Written: September 12, 2022
Social media platforms are becoming an increasingly important site for consumer finance. This phenomenon is referred to as “FinTok,” a reference to the “#fintok” hashtag that identifies financial content on TikTok, a popular social media platform. This Essay examines the new methodological possibilities for consumer financial regulation due to FinTok. It argues that FinTok content offers a novel and valuable source of data for identifying emerging fintech trends and associated consumer risks. As such, financial regulators should use FinTok content analysis—and social media content analysis more broadly—as an additional method for the supervision and regulation of consumer financial markets. The Essay test-drives this method using audiovisual content from TikTok in which consumers discuss their experience with “buy now, pay later,” a rapidly growing and less regulated form of fast, digital credit. It reveals tentative evidence of payment difficulties and strategic default in the buy now, pay later credit market, with attendant consumer protection risks. These insights provide a point of entry for the further study and regulation of the buy now, pay later credit market.
Keywords: tiktok, fintech, financial regulation, consumer finance, content analysis, empirical, CFPB, enforcement, rule making, supervision, market monitoring, BNPL, credit, lending
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