Drive to Reimagine

What is Digital Trust and why it's important.

Saakshi Jain
Oct 6
3-4 mins

Table of contents

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Digital Trust

What is Digital Trust:

We live in a digital world. Things come at you at the speed of light, metaphorically of course. This speed is hailed as one of the biggest benefits of the onset of the digital age. Looking at all of human history, digitization is still a very recent development. One thing that has stayed constant throughout human history is the need for trust. However, the concept of ‘trust’ means very different things in the physical world as compared to the digital world.

Trust is the most important key for the success of any business, be it digital or analog. Establishing trust is the first step for any interaction. In recent times, the lines between digital and physical have slowly been coming together, and therefore, the definition of trust has also evolved to meet our new expectations. Hence, Digital Trust is a concept that enables customers and business owners alike, to carry out transactions in a way that is secure, and ethical for all parties involved. 

Digital Trust is a very important part of the expanding global economy which is becoming more and more reliant on connectivity, data use, and new technologies. In order to be trustworthy, technology must be secure as well as responsibly used. There is a lack of understanding regarding these two aspects that have led to people being suspicious of digitization. Lack of security, transparency, ethical questions, etc. are causing a growth in the  distrust of digital technologies. 

Globally, there isn’t any agreement on what digital trust exactly means. There is also a clear lack of guidance to ensure that people can work together to rebuild digital trust. Another area that is lacking is an assessment backed by data, of what actually drives digital trust between people and technology.

General ideas about trust are not flexible enough to meet the demands of trust digital interactions.  Digital Trust is therefore a reworking of the framework of traditional ideas of trust to meet the demands necessary for digital businesses. 

What your customers think of you, as a brand and business has never been as important as it is now. Business relationships are no longer just focused on an exchange of just goods and services, but also the belief that their personal information is safe and secure. Everything from managing finances to doctor’s appointments all happen with a couple of clicks. The World Wide Web is overloaded with the same services offered by millions of people. Therefore, consumers are moving more towards trusting ‘people like me’ rather than a specific organization.


Currently, Digital Trust covers six key areas, privacy, security, identity, predictability, risk mitigation and data integrity.

  • Privacy: This ensures to your customers that you have the ability to carry out any transactions or data transfers without taking a peek into their personal data for longer than necessary.
  • Security: This would be a company’s power to guarantee that there is absolutely no threat to the data of any of the parties involved in the transcanction.
  • Identity: Our online presence does not do much to hide our “real” identity. Identity as a factor of digital trust means that customers are provided with anonymity unless stated explicitly by them.
  • Predictability: A company’s ability to use existing data to predict any risks that may befall them, and make extensive plans in case of a “what if” scenario. This shows their clients that a company with foresight is a company that can be trusted.
  • Risk Mitigation: To be able to understand and plan out a way to minimize the impact of uncertain events brings in the approval of current and potential customers. A customer will be more willing to share their data when they know that all possible risks have been  accounted for.
  • Data Integrity: To keep your customers' trust, you must keep their data safe above all. Data Integrity is to ensure that all the data you have is complete and accurate, and also that it is being stored and handled appropriately. 


How to build Digital Trust:

We’re all aware of the fallout that happens when data is leaked or sold without the client's knowledge. Recurring customers only come back because they know for a fact that in the past your company has kept its promises and their data safe and secure. 

A lack of digital trust can break down everything you’ve worked hard for. Building digital trust is especially important for businesses. Unlike other corporations, managing your customers' data not out of fear but trust, keeps you a step ahead in this era of Digitization. Digital Trust is a foolproof way to make sure that your clients feel safe giving their business to your company. 

In a World Economic Forum article from November 2018, Robert E. Moritz, Global Chairman at PwC, shared results from the firm’s latest study titled Digital Trust Insight. The article offers great advice for companies that are navigating the unsteady waters of trust and what it means in a world that is taking steady steps towards total digitization. 

The Pillars of Digital Trust:

pillars of digital trust

Building digital trust takes time and effort. Many companies face the dilemma of turning their customers away by digitizing their operations but they are also losing customers by not having a well established digital presence. There are four pillars on which companies can establish digital trust with their customers. 


Transparency and accessibility

With an uptick in the numbers of digital products and services, consumers expect transparency in every aspect of their interaction with a brand. In the digital world, people have access to vast hordes of information available at their fingertips. They can easily search up what products and services are available. In an exchange, they also provide companies with their personal data. This is done with the expectation that there is transparency in the operations of the company as well as accessibility when required.


Ethics and responsibility

For all its wonders, the digital world also has a dark side, it is only as ethical as its creators. What this means for a majority of companies is that they must understand how they can repurpose the technology available to them in a way that aligns with their core values This gives them a chance to prove to their customers that their company is worthy of the trust placed into them. 


Privacy and control

In the digital world, there is a trade off between consumers and companies. Consumers trade their data in order to gain access as well as make their experience more convenient and personalized. This trade, although consensual, also has its limits. If customers feel like their data is being utilized in a way that they don’t agree with, companies can offer them control of when and how they want their data to be used. This creates a trusting relationship based on mutual respect between the companies and their customers. 


Security and reliability

Security and reliability: Customers greatly appreciate the convenience that comes with digital platforms but they also believe that business should be held accountable for breaching their trust. Consumers are more aware of cyber risks now more than ever. This in turn leads them into choosing the companies they believe can be trusted with their data. A company that is up to date with its cybersecurity is more likely to get an influx of customers than one who is in the news for security breaches surrounding their customers’ data. 

Future of Digital Trust: 

In order to achieve a future that drives success through digital trust, we need to make sense of the rapid developments that take place on a daily basis . To thoroughly understand the digital environment, it is extremely necessary to reduce misunderstandings and embrace better technology. Cybersecurity is a key player that will ensure that there is digital trust between consumers and service providers. Building a future in which digital trust is an undeniable part of your business model requires dedication to ensuring that a customer is satisfied with entrusting their data to you. The work for a digitally trusted future begins today. 

Saakshi Jain

Saakshi is a content writer with a deep interest in research and analysis.

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