The emergence of the creator economy has been the biggest byproduct of Web 2.0 and social media in the past decade. The sheer number of creators encashing their passions and creativity is increasing by the day. While that is happening, unfortunately, the banking sector has failed to match pace with the booming creator economy.
Creators come with a different set of financial profiles and requirements that traditional banks have struggled to meet. One of the most significant problems faced by creators while applying for financial services is that the service providers do not consider their work legitimate, even though the creator might enjoy huge popularity on a certain medium.
There’s an opportunity here for fintech companies as well. The nature of a creator’s business is that past campaigns (YouTube videos, Instagram content, newsletters, music, etc.) act as a good source of recurring revenue. Banks can use this revenue to create their own underwriting model, granting the creator an advance or loan, maybe even in exchange for a portion of the revenue generated by these campaigns for a period of time.
The creator economy is growing fast and yet creators need help with the most common financial problems, like:
- Tax computation - Creators have a big problem in understanding tax structures and in paying taxes. The lack of a simple payroll-based tax form makes this complicated.
- Acquiring loans - Creatorship is not an easy business. it demands equipment, tools, etc. that costs money. Getting a loan or a line of credit is difficult since they do not fit the regular risk assessment methods that are based on salary slips as proof of stable income.
- Getting insured - Creators want to get health insurance for themselves and their families, and maybe also get liability insurance in case someone sues them. Again, companies want to see proof of income and proof of work before underwriting insurance policies.
Creators have been seen as a risky category to lend to. A creator’s past success may not necessarily ensure future successes and underwriting based on past performance is tricky. But fintech companies can not ignore this lucrative segment either, and to create solutions for creators, they need to create new models to tackle these challenges:
- Verifying creator identity - Most communication today happens digitally, and there are e-KYC practices set in place to verify the identity of a person or a business. But here’s the tricky part - how can one verify if a particular Instagram account or a YouTube channel on a niche topic like “self-help” or “food recipes,” is actually owned by the same individual?
- Identifying the health of an account/page - An important metric is how many followers a certain account or page has, but getting fake followers is no big deal in these times. So it’s ill-advised to take any financial decision on this metric alone. To gauge the real engagement on the page is a challenge for financial institutions.
- Understanding a creator’s financials - Understanding a creator’s income through a bank statement is not as straightforward as that of a salaried person, because, unlike the latter, the creator receives income throughout the month, and also their spending is erratic.
Brands can address these challenges by resorting to the manual verification method which is cumbersome or by using Phyllo APIs which offer accurate creator data on request.
Solving the data problem for creator FinTech
At Phyllo, we solve this problem for financial organizations by providing them with the simplest way to get trusted, first-party creator data:
- One API across multiple creator platforms
- Almost all the data comes from platform APIs
- Consent-driven and hence access to private data while ensuring data privacy
Solving for data authenticity
Using Phyllo, developers can get access to creators' and independent workers' consented data directly from source platforms (e.g. YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Shopify, Upwork, and more). We work with these platforms and not against them to ensure the data is trustable.
Getting access to first-party creator data that comes directly from source platforms, with consent from the creators themselves ensures a high level of trust and validation while ensuring data privacy.
Solving for creator identity
We use the native platform apps that ask for a native platform login from the creator. This ensures that anybody who shares their data knows what they are sharing and there is an automatic verification of the source of data.
More importantly, it also ensures that the authenticity of the creator and their work can be verified too.
Solving for cash flows
Phyllo APIs give you info on a platform’s net payable amount to the creator. Each platform has a net payable, which means it does not pay the creator immediately. But this data can be studied to offer loans or other financial products to the creators.
Past income data along with future earning potential can be used to create new risk assessment models to provide better, smarter, and faster financial services to creators.
Solving for security and fraud
With Identity and Engagement API, it’s easy to ensure that fraudulent accounts don't end up getting a financial product. It also adds the assurance that the creators are actually who they claim to be and not imposters.
With verified, first-party data and deeper insights into a creator's income and engagement, banks and fintech firms can choose to bet bigger and better on the creator, reducing risk and even creating new risk assessment profiles for the future.
Traditional systems don’t work in the age of the creator economy and web3. Multiple sources of income are difficult to verify while ensuring authenticity and accuracy. Phyllo APIs help solve this enabling both creators and the fintech serving them to be successful.
Providing unique financial products and services
By making creator data available in a seamless manner, Phyllo data pipe opens up the possibility of innovation to creator-focused fintech.
Having access to different data points and data types around identity, income, engagement information, demographic information about a creator’s audience, etc. can help generate new product and service offerings.
Solving for coverage
We cover every leading platform where creators engage their audience including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Discord, Twitch, YouTube, Substack, etc.
We provide various API products to simplify the data needs:
- Identity: Identity API verifies a user's identity and returns unique identifier information about the creator such as name, email id, etc. depending upon the source platform.
- Income: Income API gives you the income and transaction-level data from a creator/ independent work platform.
- Engagement: Engagement API gives you data about content created by a creator and the reputation of a creator from the source platform (e.g. subscribers, followers, etc.)
- Audience: Audience APIs provide information about their audience’s demographics (age-gender pairs, interests, state/country, etc.)