1 Universidad Espíritu Santo-Ecuador (ECUADOR)
2 Universidad de Guayaquil (ECUADOR)
4 Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 7889-7896
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1586
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
This paper’s main objective is to propose a framework of recommendations for the most up-to-date digital skills needed in digital financial professionals in developing countries to catch up with financial specialists in the developed world. Following previous systematic reviews (Sanchez-Riofrio et al., 2016 and Furrer et al., 2008), the methodology consisted of five key steps: First is selecting the unit of analysis. We chose to review articles as opposed to other kinds of documents because, according to Ramos-Rodríguez and Ruíz Navarro (2004), papers are considered as “certified knowledge.” Second, we applied search equations in the databases of (1) Web of Science and (2) Scopus, using various search criteria. We searched for two main concepts, “digital competence” and “digital transformation”. The third step consisted of the depuration and selection of the final articles’ sample using Bibexcel. In this depuration, we erased duplicated articles, articles without full information, articles in other languages besides English and Spanish, etc. Fourth, to classify the final sample, we identified categories of keywords following Furrer et al. (2008). For “digital competence,” the main categories were: digital skills, digital literacy, and information literacy. For “digital transformation,” the main categories were: digitalization, digital technology, and digital transformation strategy. The fifth step consisted of analyzing those articles to recognize the digital skills needed by current professionals. We started with 11,554 articles to finally explore 234 papers. Such articles had a time range of the last five years, with the highest numbers of citations; in journals from Q1 and Q2 quartiles, and in English and Spanish.

As a result of this study, some digital skills needed to undertake a digital transformation of financial services in developing countries are:
(1) Personal, social, and management skills;
(2) Digital data analytics competence;
(3) Enterprise architecture expertise; and
(4) Digital curiosity. Moreover, it was possible to present a framework of recommendations for best practices in digital financial services in developing countries:
(1) to acquire (not develop) financial technologies such as mobile computing, big data, blockchain, among others, depending on the services offered by the financial entity;
(2) It is recommended to have governmental rules and regulations to boost financial technologies. Governments could benchmark proven developed countries’ frameworks and adapt them to their institutional environment reality;
(3) In the educational field, besides formal education, it is central to offer continuing education (lead by international peers) on financial technology topics to senior managers, employees, and customers.

This paper synthesizes the body of knowledge that shapes the literature related to digital skills development in the financial sector in the 21st century, with a global scope. The study’s educational benefits are that the most-wanted skills for digital transformation in developing countries are identified. These skills should be included in the new finance curriculum for the creation and dissemination of relevant knowledge. Developing countries need to leapfrog to cope with the digital transformation of developed countries. This paper promotes the best practices that should be taught to develop digital skills in developing countries.
Digital skills, digital competence, digital transformation, digital financial services, fintech, financial companies, developing countries.