What is Valentine’s Day?
Whilst many of us know the basics of Valentine’s Day: the gift giving, day of extra appreciation and so forth, how many of us actually know about the history of Valentine’s Day? The day we have come to love and cherish is named after Saint Valentine, a priest who lived in the 3rd century. St Valentine helped Roman soldiers marry their partners in secret ceremonies, because the Roman Emperor passed a law preventing soldiers from marrying. Centuries later the 14th of February was proclaimed as St Valentine’s Day and associated with romantic love.
Decades and hundreds of Valentine’s Days later, the celebration has become a practice of expressing love and admiration for romantic partners. In recent years, we have seen the expansion from purely romantic involvement to the celebration of other relationships, such as for pets, ourselves and female friendship – also known as ‘Galentine’s Day’.
How do people celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Whilst it’s honoured differently in most countries, adapted to cultural values and traditions, there are commonly tokens of appreciation gifted to loved ones. The most traditional gift being a single red rose, along with a message of affections and a light-deficient…sorry- candlelit dinner at home or in a restaurant.
In more recent years, the repetition of traditional gifts is no longer making the cut, with commercial competition heating up. The market has opened with creative solutions to keep passions alive with virtual reality experiences, culinary adventures, holidays, gifts and some even make investments for their future (how sweet and savvy!). People are trying to create close relationships with loved ones, even if they are miles apart physically; and brands want to achieve closer relationships with their customers to be the merchant of choice.
So, why is Unlimint talking about Valentine’s Day?
Much like fintech, the world of relationships is also fast moving and seen a significant shift since early 2020. Arguably, fintech facilitates many of our ideas of romance in our modern world, driven by millennials – from paid memberships on dating apps and websites, to gift giving at a global scale.
Valentine’s Day alone set a record spend in 2020 of $27 billion. From 2020 to present, we’ve seen an increasing number of brick-and-mortar stores closing, with more options and brands available online at the convenience of a click. The outpour of generosity during this celebration of love has become a retail high, with brands offering numerous packages and offerings and discounted delivery fees for those last-minute shoppers (hey, we’re not pointing any fingers).
Long distance relationships aren’t always the ideal choice, but they are sometimes unavoidable for people. But with the growth of technology and uptake in digitalisation, the distance begins to feel all the smaller. Still unsure about why fintech is the cupid of the 21st century? Not a problem! In a similar way to the connectivity fintech brings merchants, with global expansion; it’s similar to the world of love. People are confidently able to purchase items online to send as a gift to a loved one, irrespective of their physical location or financial means available at the time. With so many brands having a presence in several countries, they have a need to ensure their product is accessible in the correct currency. Fintech solutions tailored to cross-border payments facilitate consumer purchasing without concern for conversion rates and additional fees.
Relationships in general, and long-distance romantic relationships, have many ways to connect and spend quality time together. Couples can book spur of the moment trips abroad with a one-click checkout process to serve that quench for spontaneity! Thanks to technology and payment options, buyers can enjoy impulse purchases stress-free. More brands are adopting fintech solutions and accepting a plethora of payment methods from instalment payments, digital wallets, crypto currencies, etc.
An embracer of change and free-movement – fintech advances are accessible to consumers. Made for consumers, by consumers. So, whether you want to spoil yourself, your ‘Galentines’, your significant other or your pet – we’re down. Fintech wants to give accessibility to everyone, hence why so many technologies exist, tailored to local regions in terms of spending habits and the socio-economic climate.
Cupid’s New Arrows: Alternative Payment Methods
Digital romance continues to take the lead with over 32% of consumers shopping online for goods and services. Thanks to the innovations of fintech, even the last-minute shopper can make a great impression with quick purchase items such as downloadable gift cards, express delivery purchases and activity-based experiences.
The mid-month calendar event can be exorbitant for many, with payrolls running at the end of the month, people being paid cash in hand, or generally having less disposable income. Buy Now, Pay Later is an asset to Valentine’s Day, with men spending an average of $291.15 (which is up to three times more than women).
To grow and stay relevant in today’s fast paced society, businesses as well as people are trying to stand out from the crowd and be a contender of choice. To stay relevant, businesses partner with fintech organisations who shoot their cupid arrows internationally to expand a merchant’s outreach. People able to buy things in a currency they don’t use from bespoke brands or for a loved one in another country. And fintech technologies have ensured that consumers and merchants are safe, with neither party making a financial loss in the movement of cross-border transactions.
V-day aside, how else is fintech setting the mood?
When the mood is SUCCESS, fintech is there to help you create that setting. People now use technology to raise funds for their personal lives. Crowdfunding for individual purpose is available – with online links to donation pages so that friends and families can contribute to your honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Goal based savings accounts. What a wonder. If you have a taste for the finer things, using a savings account to reach your goal of financial stability so you can make that special purchase for your loved one. If the idea of high interest rates on small loans from the bank puts you off taking your loved one to a fancy dinner or sun-soaked holiday; this could be your solution! Majority of online banks now have the option for you to create a savings pot, but for the fintech aficionado there are also bespoke solutions which exist to help you reach your savings goals. The great thing about it is the visible tracking on your mobile device, so you can regularly check your progress.
In essence, the presence of technologies driven by fintech has meant that there is a continual access to purchasing, irrespective of socioeconomic factors. The great thing about our modern-day love guru is that it is innovation driven by forward thinkers, for the benefit of consumers. So, whether you decide to treat yourself, your pals, your partner or throw an anti-Valentine’s Day party – fintech is there to have your back and support your decisions. Now if you ask us, that’s true love.