Building digital trust can boost GDP per capita by $3000

88% of MEA consumers saw a net improvement in their levels of digital trust
Building digital trust can boost GDP per capita by $3000
Digital trust

ِA new study has identified significant economic value in building digital trust. A 5 percent increase in digital trust results in an average increase in GDP per capita of $3,000. The Digital Trust Index: the value of digital trust is seminal research, conducted by digital trust Callsign, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), into the attitudes and drivers of digital trust across modern economies. The findings come at a critical time for the global economy with economic slowdowns occurring, building digital trust has the potential to unleash trillions of dollars in economic growth.

The new report has found that a ‘digital trust gap’ is also emerging around the world. Non-Western markets have a positive trust gap (South Africa (16 percent), MEA (15 percent), Brazil (6 percent), and APAC (5 percent)) indicating consumer attitudes toward digital trust exceed societal trust levels. Conversely, Western markets have a negative trust gap (USA (-4 percent), Benelux (-6 percent), and Canada (-9 percent)) where societal trust is higher than digital trust. With more consumers living online, this is a critical differentiator for emerging markets as economies slow down.  The potential to unleash GDP per capita growth from the digital economy may see emerging economies gain an advantage in this new online era.

In the MEA region, 56.3 percent of respondents say that online and digital services can be trusted. But in terms of the factors that negatively impact digital trust, 21.1 percent of MEA consumers said their experience with online fraud led to their distrust in online services. Other factors negatively impacting trust in online services include the experience of data breaches, cited by 12.8 percent of MEA respondents. Further, 15 percent of MEA consumers believe that there is a lack of transparency in online and digital services, and 16.1 percent voiced concern that they do not always know how to use online and digital services safely leading to mistrust.

The digital economy is expected to grow from $14.5 trillion in 2021 to $20.8 trillion by 2025, while the cost of online crime over the same period will rise from $6 trillion to $10.5 trillion. If businesses and governments want to harness the power of digital trust, they must tackle the foundational element, digital identity. 

As much as 54 percent of consumers expect governments to create a more secure digital world. To achieve this, three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents reported support for the creation of a digital identity system covering technology, process, and data policies overseen by an independent body. Consumers would trust banks and financial services firms the most to create and maintain the system. 47 percent of those surveyed expect a digital identity system to be part of their everyday lives for the next 12 months.