New Delhi: Only 41% consumers in India trust organizations offering digital services to protect their personal data, according to a new Microsoft-IDC consumer study released on Thursday.
The study, Understanding Consumer Trust in Digital Services in Asia Pacific, aims to understand consumers’ expectations of trust and their experiences with digital services and provides tangible insights to organizations to help bridge the gap by earning and sustaining the trust of consumers in the digital world.
The study found that establishing a trusted platform needs to be a priority in organizations’ strategy for digital services. It found close to half of the consumers (46%) in India have had their trust compromised when using digital services. More than half (51%) of the respondents indicated that they would switch to another organization while 32% would reduce the usage of the digital service.
Nearly one out of three (32%) of consumers would stop using the digital service altogether. Moreover, only 7% of consumers prefer to transact with an organization that offers a cheaper but less trusted digital platform. Close to 73% consumers said they would recommend a trusted digital service to others even if the cost is higher.
The study further revealed that not just organizations providing digital services, but the broader industry, including institutions which set rules and regulations, should be responsible for building trust. Consumers in India feel that technology companies (46%) followed by governments (34%) should be responsible for building trust, indicating the need for a stronger partnership between the private and public sector. When it comes to fostering trust in AI technologies, consumers feel that the technology companies (43%) and government (39%) should take the lead in ensuring AI is used in a trusted manner.
Conducted among 6,400 consumers across 14 markets, the study surveyed 459 consumers in India. It asked respondents to provide their opinions on the five elements of trust jointly defined by IDC and Microsoft – namely privacy, security, reliability, ethics, and compliance– when using digital services. Consumers feel that all five elements of trust are almost equally important to them. Specifically, security (86%), privacy (85%) and compliance (82%) emerged as the top three most important elements. Consumers also have the highest expectations of trust from financial services institutions, followed by education institutions and retailers.
“The upside for organizations with a trusted digital platform is tremendous as India is one of the largest and fastest growing digital services markets in Asia Pacific where almost all of the transactions and interactions here would be digital in the near future," said Keshav Dhakad, Group Head & Assistant General Counsel - Corporate, External & Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft India.
“However, despite consumers’ increasing dependence on digital services, there is still a considerable trust gap that needs to be addressed. Most consumers still do not perceive organizations to be trusted data stewards. It is clear that businesses need to do a lot more to understand what drives consumer trust and focus on how they can build trust and make it a key competitive advantage for their digital services," he added.