The culture of influencers and how they shape the future of digital payments

Monday 11 December 2023 08:51 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Interview

Irene Skrynova, Chief Customer Officer at Unlimit, discusses the culture of influencers and how they shape the future of digital payments for two generations – millennials and Gen Z.

Can you describe the influencers culture that has rapidly grown globally in the past five years and its importance to the payments ecosystem?

Anyone could argue that influencers reshaped marketing over the past decade. The culture itself has risen rapidly to become a powerful marketing resource, and during that time, influencers themselves have evolved. In the beginning, a lot of the recognition for influencers came from the brands they were associated with – the bigger the brand, the greater the exposure – but that has changed in the last few years, and now influencers themselves are becoming brands.

Influencer marketing is as important in finance as in other sectors such as food, health, and fashion. What makes it so powerful is that it resonates – we want to hear about the best places to eat or who makes the most fashionable, sustainable clothes because they are relevant in our daily lives.

At the same time, few things are as important to individuals as their finances, so people are interested in which company or brand is  the most transparent and which one provides the best services and delivers the best solutions.

Recent studies revealed that 28% of Gen Z and around 25% of millennials follow influencers’ accounts on social media. What are the main trends in the digital payments industry that influencers are prone to pick and make popular for merchants or marketplaces?

One of the biggest trends, particularly in the last few years, can be seen in digital currencies. Today, people want to exchange currencies quickly and easily, and they also require smooth on- and off-ramps when it comes to switching between traditional currencies and crypto.

What’s important for millennials and Gen Z is offering intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that allow them to spend in the currency of their choice, wherever and whenever they want. This is reflected in the things influencers pinpoint the most.

What about gig economy? How were the payment habits influenced by the gig economy in the post-pandemic years, and, most importantly, what role did influencers play in the boom of this underground economy sector?

The gig economy cannot be described as an underground sector. If we take the US, for example, around 36% of the total workforce has participated, or currently participates, in the gig economy, with it continuing to grow globally.

Gig economy witnessed a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, but participation levels by workers and consumers were high before that. Platform work, such as ride-hailing and delivery services, is what truly gave rise to the gig economy, and payment solutions have been critical to platforms since the beginning. Because these services are on-demand, businesses need to be able to take in-app payments from customers and process payouts to workers immediately.

Traditional payment methods, such as checks, bank transfers, and cash, are of little use.  So, it is business-critical for platforms to have advanced and streamlined digital solutions to initiate instant payments and payouts – because without them there is no gig economy.

Looking into the future, how do you see the influencers culture evolve, as more Gen Z are attracted to the idea of a glamorous life on social media? What will this mean for merchants and payment providers worldwide who want to gain more popularity in this age segment?

Millennials and Gen Z don't mind spending more on experiences they consider unique, authentic, or both, and we are seeing the impact of this perspective play out across various markets, maybe in travel more than any other.

Over half of Gen Z are considered frequent travellers — with the majority considering travel a financial priority and more important than other expensive purchases. Thus, the industry is reshaping itself around its target audience. We see the knock-on effect of this in the payment services industry as more and more merchants demand solutions like ours that focus on facilitating borderless payments, whether that's being able to access alternative payment methods or receive international transfers.

The influencer culture for financial services will continue to evolve in the direction of travel and towards a globalised payments ecosystem.

Finally, what is Unlimit’s approach to the shift in the payments paradigm determined by the younger generations?

Our goal is simple: to open  up  financial borders.  We want to help every business, no matter how big or small, no matter where they are located, to operate as easily internationally as they do locally. This is the foundation of all our services and the focus of our solutions.


This editorial piece was first published in the Payment Methods Report 2023, which provides an in-depth overview of the latest worldwide developments in how people pay, the payment methods space, the innovative technologies that these methods work upon, and the best strategies on how to win at conversion and retention.

About Irene Skrynova

Irene Skrynova is the Chief Customer Officer at Unlimit, where she manages client interactions, from lead generation to portfolio. She began her career in finance developing white-label trading platforms and cryptocurrency projects, and she possesses a wealth of experience in international PR and marketing roles that has seen her work with a wide variety of businesses, from startups to scale-ups and traditional players. Irene is an expert in trading platforms, payment solutions, cryptocurrencies, ecommerce, and customer experience.

About Unlimit

Unlimit is a global payments solutions provider that offers payment processing services, including payment processing, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), and an on- and off-ramp fiat solution for crypto, DeFi, and GameFi, among other things. The company’s mission is to deliver solutions that eliminate financial borders and enable businesses to operate both locally and internationally with ease across Europe, the UK, LATAM, APAC, and Africa.

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Keywords: gig economy, Gen Z, online payments, mobile payments, digital payments, travel payments, local payment method, ecommerce, trading platform, cryptocurrency, PSP, payment processing, payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Unlimit
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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