Nicole Casperson, WTFintech? Founder, Declares Fintech Is Femme
Nicole Casperson is a Zillennial finance technology journalist who covers the industry with an emphasis on humanizing these innovations. Her podcast and newsletter have 50,000+ subscribers comprised of professionals from within the industry.
Nicole is an original content creator for media company, Workweek, and has interviewed countless industry leaders, such as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, and American businesswoman Mellody Hobson. Prior to joining Workweek, she reported on fintech for InvestmentNews, hosted the podcast TechStack$, and produced the Her Success Matters Podcast.
While Nicole’s main focus is on financial and societal equity, which she demonstrates through her content and analysis, she also has a 20-year background in dance and an intense love for music.
Millennial spoke to Nicole about her career path covering fintech and the challenges she faced along the way.
Explain what fintech is, Nicole, and how it affects our daily lives.
Fintech, or financial technology, is the use of technology to improve financial services and processes while expanding access to financial services to more people at a lower cost for both companies and consumers.
It includes a wide range of products and services. Think of any finance app you have on your smartphone, whether it’s your bank, how you invest or manage your money, or how you pay your friends back via a payment app – that’s fintech. Fintech has revolutionized how we manage our finances, making accessing financial services more accessible and more convenient.
Give a real world example of how fintech has made an impact on our economy.
Remember the Gamestop stock surge? Like many of you, I was enthralled with the entire phenomenon (and spent many long hours as a reporter covering it). But I wasn’t impressed with the financial technology that enables a digital battle between Mainstreet and Wallstreet. Instead, I was mesmerized by the cultural implications that the saga had.
That moment in January 2021 was followed by millions of new investors opening brokerage accounts for the first time. It was followed by multiple documentaries on Hulu, Netflix, and HBO to unfold and explain the events from that day. The Gamestop stock surge and more users interested in finance as the pandemic shuttered IRL (in real life) experiences, shifted fintech from behind-the-scenes technology to center stage and wholly a part of everyday culture.
What motivated you to pursue a career in fintech journalism?
Raised in California and Texas as a Filipino-American, I’ve always been in-between cultures, hometowns, and generations. I turned to storytelling and journalism to be a part of narratives, landing jobs as a finance reporter and editor in New York at different trade publications. Because my dimensions, like my ethnicity, are split between two, I was typically left out. That fueled my determination to create spaces and write stories that helped women and people, typically outsiders, have a sense of belonging.
Explain your career progression and the defining moment when your company took off.
I spent the last five years covering financial markets only to find women and people of color are constantly left out of the narrative, both as leaders and consumers. In the newsrooms I sat in, I was typically the only woman, a person of color, and the youngest. If I wanted to rewrite narratives, I had to start my own media brand.
Once I left the traditional media route and built my own newsletter, podcast and events, everything took off. A year in, I’ve solidified my brand voice and built my confidence to be authentic through my writing, podcast, speaker gigs, and events. Once I found my voice and wasn’t afraid to use it, my audience grew faster than ever expected. It’s key!
Describe your business model and how you monetize your brand.
Sponsorships and brand partnerships! A company that partners with my brand supports female-led journalism and content creation. I’m also working on more educational guides so my audience can get a hold of my secrets to success when building out content and an authentic brand voice.
Share the best business advice that you’ve been given to date.
Authenticity is success. Someone told me that authentic people win, which has stuck with me ever since. So even when I feel like I need to “fake it” to make it, I don’t. Whatever I’m feeling, my audience will see it in my writing, stories, and content. I’ll always be honest.
What are some of the pros and cons of being an influencer?
Pros are the community. For me, having influence isn’t about vanity metrics like followers or like counts. It’s about impact. I want my content to reach people whose opinions I value, and that’s a small pool! Cons are the societal pressures of growing your vanity metrics and caring too much about what others think of you.
What challenges come with your social media strategy?
The industry I cover and why I do it is a complex message. Not everyone knows what fintech is and awareness of its ability to help make the world a more equitable place is low. I try my best to help educate and share stories of leaders building in this space so audiences can understand that this industry is complex but impactful.
Share a special engagement you’ve had with your following.
My event series, Fintech Is Femme, is one of my favorite experiences because my audience gets to come together and laugh, cry, be inspired and feel supported by our community. It’s the best engagement to hear how my work has impacted someone’s life – no follower count can beat that.
What would you like to see happen to your brand in 2023?
I hope a year from now, my newsletter will have 100,000 subscribers! But also, I hope to inspire a new generation of modern female journalists to join me in changing the narrative. I hope my event can grow to fill stadiums one day as we inspire women to own their femininity and never suppress who they are to succeed in work.
And finally, Nicole, how can we learn more about the Fintech industry?
Follow and engage with all the content creators providing valuable and free information to their audiences. Of course, you can start by following me on social media, subscribing to my newsletter and podcast, and attending my events.
Other creators I’d follow to help bridge the educational gap are Tori Dunlap, founder of Her First $100K, Vivian, aka Your Rich BFF on TikTok, and Humphrey Yang, aka HumphreyTalks. Also, Alex Johnson, founder, and creator of the Fintech Takes newsletter – it’s a little more advanced but a great resource for learning.
To learn more about Nicole, sign-up for her newsletter, or attend an upcoming Fintech Is Femme event, and visit her social media accounts below.