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Leaders in Lending | Ep. 43

BNPL, eCommerce, and Crypto: Leading Trends Driving Consumer Preferences

In this episode, Rich Longo, Strategic Advisor at NXTsoft and fintech investor, explains leading trends shaping consumer preferences, the transformative nature of cryptocurrency, and how traditional institutions can adapt.

Rich Longo-modified


Rich Longo

Rich Longo is an investor and advisor in several companies within the FinTech space.

Rich led and advised for high growth companies such as Mambu and Robinhood through their early stages. Rich has had significant success in transforming and growing large traditional on premise global FinTech companies such as EdgeVerve (Infosys) and Temenos into dominant cloud platform leaders.

Rich is known as a thought leader in the industry through both published articles and television interviews with FinTech Finance and Bloomberg.




NXTsoft is headquartered in Birmingham and has offices in Orlando, Atlanta, and Denver. NXTsoft is the market leader in secure, comprehensive, and complete workflow API connectivity, connecting fintech companies to banks and credit unions throughout the United States. NXTsoft’s other solutions include data security, data analytics, data management and data migration. NXTsoft’s products and services help businesses secure, connect and optimize their data to maximize revenue opportunities, enhance profitability, and mitigate cybersecurity risk.


Key Topics Covered

  1. Where younger generations are getting financial advice
  2. How Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and eCommerce are changing the landscape
  3. Crypto initiatives poised to upend traditional practices
  4. How traditional institutions should adapt to these trends


Young consumers are upending the traditional banking system.

In recent history, the narrative of the lending industry has been focused on putting the consumer at the center of the product design journey.

However, with a growing distrust of corporate institutions, this generation of investors are paving their own paths to financial wellbeing.

On this episode of Leaders in Lending, Rich Longo, Strategic Advisor at Nxtsoft and fintech investor, joins us to discuss how and why consumers are approaching finances differently and how institutions can rise to the occasion.

We discuss:

  • Where younger generations are getting financial advice
  • How Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and eCommerce are changing the landscape
  • Crypto initiatives poised to upend traditional practices
  • How traditional institutions should adapt to these trends

How millennials and Gen Z consume financial advice and information

Millennials and Gen Z consumers are seeking self-education.

Social platforms like Tik Tok and Reddit have become stomping grounds for consumers looking for no-strings-attached financial advice.

According to Rich Longo, this information is actually accurate and valid.

“You're seeing a generation that's willing to take risks, but they don't want to do it in the traditional way,” he says, “and they're learning from each other.”

With so much free and powerful financial advice circulating through popular culture, the market is driving a massive demand for cryptocurrencies, like Dogecoin.

Trading platforms that don’t support specific cryptocurrencies are struggling to meet those needs and innovating to provide more access to those types of exchanges.

How traditional institutions should respond to young consumers' needs

Traditional financial institutions are at odds on how to respond to this emerging trend. 

How do regional and community banks engage in the new conversation and build back their credibility?

Offering new and diversified products and services, according to Longo, is a good place to start. 

Lenders, specifically, need to get creative and understand what the Gen Z and Millennial generations want.

With more flexibility in their schedules than ever before, these consumers need financing options that help them maintain those new liberties.

What traditional banks can learn from neobanks is that services like Buy Now Pay Later and providing early access to paychecks give consumers in a volatile, gig economy far more agency.

Buy Now Pay Later

Younger markets are allured by the Buy Now Pay Later plan.

It offers a different, more accessible way to finance items without accumulating interest.

The younger generation is especially sensitive to borrowing schemes after seeing their friends and families affected by the housing crisis, and they have developed a resistance to deceitful lending practices.

With BNPL, consumers don't have to worry about foreclosure, bankruptcy, or increasing debt because the model allows them to micro-handle payments.


Compounded with the no-frills benefit of BNPL, shopping has never been easier.

On applications like Snapchat and Instagram, brands are inundating feeds with products that can be bought with the click of a button.

For instance, users can find an outfit online and easily purchase it with a straightforward BNPL plan and the money will get transacted directly and automatically from Apple Pay.

It’s frictionless and free of “gotchas.”


With such a huge shift to cryptocurrency, banking institutions have to adapt on some level.

According to Longo, crypto will break out into three levels: trading, stablecoins, and centralized bank digital currency.

A number of financial institutions are forming consortiums to provide an alternative to ACH by wiring through stable coin because they’ve become weary of waiting for the government to implement real-time payment.

“Community banks, this is your chance,” says Longo, “it's going to happen, so you can either be part of the conversation or not part of the conversation”.

Stay tuned for new episodes every week on the Leaders in Lending Podcast.


Stay tuned for new episodes every week on the Leaders in Lending Podcast