Odinet Publishes Policy Brief on Financial Regulation and Social Media
Christopher Odinet, senior research fellow in the Social and Education Policy Research Program, authored a policy brief regarding financial regulation and the emerging "FinTok" social medial trend. Odinet collaborated with postdoctoral research fellow D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye from the University of Leeds and postdoctoral research fellow Nikita Aggarwal from the University of California, Los Angeles on this study.
Their study focused on the social media platform TikTok and videos mentioning the increasingly popular "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) products, specifically the Swedish fintech company Klarna. The concern with such products is the increased risk posed to younger, less-informed consumers borrowing and spending beyond their ability to pay, a trend that would be of interest to financial regulators. To investigate these consumer protection risks, the authors conducted a qualitative content analysis of TikTok videos labeled with "#Klarna" and analyzed trends and themes.
The authors concluded that social media analysis can serve as an important tool for financial regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in supervising regulated entities and the general market. The study also revealed that younger consumers tend to share their views on debt, finance, and consumption on social media platforms, including insights as to their opinions and experiences with BNPL products, specifically.