The Coronacceleration: Online-everything will drive growth for developing nations
This post was also published on LinkedIn Pulse.
A series on the latent trends that have been accelerated by the Coronavirus
The online-everything trend is particularly relevant to emerging countries. Similar to how most of the developed world skipped landlines and went straight to mobile telephony, developing countries that were well on their way to copying Western structures will consider skipping the present and going straight into the future.
Financial servicesEven in the West, many financial services were still in a “come on down to the branch” phase for many interactions including mortgages and wealth management. With these types of interactions no longer possible, consumers have flocked to fintech apps. Local, regional, and global banks will rethink their branch footprint as they expand through Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa. The ubiquitous Bank of America and Wells Fargo branches we see throughout the United States do not need to be replicated in growth economies.
While we may debate the efficacy of the U.S. Postal Service, the thought that a developing country should deliver marketing materials, bills, and the occasional private letter by building out the sorting and distribution infrastructure to have humans visit every single residence and business six days a week is not realistic.
EducationNow that even Ivy League universities are going to issue accredited degrees based on distance learning, emerging economies should seriously consider the balance of distance and in-person education. In the U.S., students are paying an aggregate $10,000 per hour for large introductory classes at public universities. Personalized distance education is a viable alternative that can reach students in emerging economies while bypassing the need to build expensive campuses and maintain administrative staff.
Sometimes crises are an opportunity; Coronacceleration will enable the developing world to bypass the calcified systems of the West.