[According to one Harvard professor, the world is getting better. Perhaps this is partly driven by the impact of fintech on global corruption.]
[3 min. read]
The world can be a tough place.
In my courses on International marketing, I spend an entire class period talking about corruption around the world. What’s the difference between a full-on bribe and slipping someone $20 as a lubricating payment to expedite your application?
I talk about how different cultures perceive these with varying degrees of acceptance. What is blatantly dishonest to one is just the way things are done (and really NBD) to another.
How does corruption impact humanity?
This world map illustrates how countries are perceived in terms of their tolerance and support of corruption.
I heard Utah-based VC, Paul Ahlstrom on the Sales Founders podcast discussing the impact of fintech especially in the developing world (which you may notice also tends to have a high perception of corruption).
Paul drew the interesting correlation between global corruption and global poverty. By comparing these two maps, it isn’t hard to distinguish a rough correlation between corruption and poverty.
Paul makes the case that graft and the flow of money fueled by corruption
I’d love to see the memo on my statement for that transaction.
Nor would I expect to get shaken down for ransom payments in bitcoin (although that’s not unheard of).
What do the trends for poverty and corruption look like?
I’m not suggesting that big
Maybe they do.
But I expect they are out to make a buck by solving problems for people just like any other company. Messing up the financial infrastructure for corruption is just an unintended bonus.
Maybe there’s an argument to be made that these examples of corruption would be unknown to the public if not for the rise of technology.
Whether intentional, related, influenced, or coincidental to the growth of
Harvard professor and author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, Steven Pinker gave a TED talk in which he shared that today fewer than 10% of the world’s population still live in abject poverty.
Which seems like a very good thing.
Since my time as a fintech CEO, I’ve been very bullish on the fintech space and today that seems more sensical than ever. I’m excited for the changes we will see in the coming years as these developments among others alleviate suffering caused by corruption (however unintended).
Author Bio: @chadjardine is the head of marketing for @goreact, an associate professor at @uutah and sometimes blogs about marketing on Medium.