Situación de los servicios financieros digitales, la seguridad de la informacióny ciberseguridad en el Sector Financiero Popular y Solidario
X-pedientes_Economicos, 2022, vol. 6, issue 14, 18-32
The world is experiencing an accelerated digital transformation, with adaptation rates that differ between regions due to the existence of digital gaps between countries and within economies. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 accentuates these gaps, with special effects on vulnerable groups, low-income groups or those located in rural areas, making it an enormous challenge to prevent the deterioration of financial inclusion levels.In Ecuador, access to basic financial services is still insufficient, a possible solution to this problem is digital financial inclusion. In other words, putting digital media at the service of excluded and neglected economic populations, adapting financial services to their needs.Digital financial inclusion makes it possible to address two fundamental problems: high operational costs and the lack of personalized services. Through the use of new technologies, more users can be reached, allowing families to improve their quality of life by having access to financial products, thus being able to plan, start, or expand businesses, investing in education, managing risks, and even saving.Similarly, the implementation of digital financial services allows entities to reduce process costs, optimize the use of physical spaces, reduce administrative times and reach remote areas, which was previously not considered possible.Among the challenges faced by the Popular and Solidarity Financial Sector regarding the use of digital financial services are: the balance between security and user experience, the importance of personal data protection and privacy, as well as the establishment of clear and stable regulations and guidelines that allow proper implementation and the promotion of dynamic Fintech ecosystems with disruptive technological changes.The digital transformation is more than an expectation, it is a reality, and its accelerated pace entails various challenges for economies. A greater offer of digital services implies a growing exposure to cyberattacks, making it a priority for entities in the popular and solidarity financial sector to have mechanisms that allow data to be protected against threats, and thus generate trust on the part of partners and customers.In this context, it is relevant to analyze the situation of digital financial services in the popular and solidarity financial sector, as well as aspects related to information security and cybersecurity. That is why the Superintendence of Popular and Solidarity Economy carried out two surveys to collect information on the entities of the Popular and Solidarity Financial Sector, specifically on: a) digital financial services; and b) current status of Information Security and Cybersecurity. Among the main findings, the following stand out: 1) the offer of financial services in the Popular and Solidarity Financial Sector prioritizes physical attention; 2) there is a low budget allocation for technology and innovation; 3) approximately 20% of members demand financial products and services digitally; 4) there is a marked difference between segments in terms of the state of digital transformation and, 5) the entities do not have a greater relationship with the development of Fintech initiatives.Based on the results obtained, a series of recommendations are presented, summarized below: a) strengthen specialized financial education programs for providers and applicants of financial services, and b) generate sources of financing for the creation of new digital financial services, security of information, prevention of cyber attacks and training.
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