Navigating The New World Of Digital Trust

It is often a flexible, rarely precise concept, around which centuries of philosophical, political and artistic debates have revolved: trust.

In business (specifically digital business that relies on consumer data), trust is something that commerce and payment providers and consumers can use as a means of trade. There may exist no “trust index,” no way to peg trust to some value that involves decimal points, but that doesn’t mean trust is not a vital part of the digital ecosystem.

A PYMNTS digital discussion, scheduled for Tuesday (Aug. 28), will explore in-depth the relationship between trust and data, offering discussion about the best ways to operate successfully within data privacy constraints and dealing with disputes on data ownership. In advance of that webinar, entitled “Data: The Currency of Trust,” Karen Webster had a conversation about those topics with digital discussion participant Arman Aygen, head of technology and innovation at UL.

The webinar comes at a time of significant  perhaps, even head-turning — change for online privacy, data security and data sharing. Europe’s new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) is slowly, but very surely, changing how businesses collect and use consumer data, with outcomes already in the world of online advertising. Meanwhile, PSD2 is creating a world where data flows more freely among financial institutions (FIs) and FinTech providers, paving the way for payments innovation while also raising its own privacy issues.

Such online developments can, at minimum, lead to more of those online ads that pop up after seemingly eavesdropping on one’s conversations or reading one’s mind, which can, in Aygen’s words, “feel a bit creepy.” But getting into the hearts and souls of consumers is where the money is, and it’s not as though consumers are saying “no” to the practice in any case  at least, not en masse or in total.

However, there’s a big, vital, impossible-to-ignore caveat in that.

“People are willing to actually trade privacy for convenience under one condition,” Aygen told Webster. “That condition is trust. How do you build that trust and maintain that trust is the big question.”

That question has been around for years at this point, and it may tire some people or even come off as cliché. But any consideration of the past year or so in digital life could persuade that it is still an important question  given the move of other jurisdictions to pass their own GDPR-like laws, the bruises Facebook has taken from its data sharing scandal or any of the other numerous examples out there.

The webinar will bring a fresh perspective to that old question by considering such issues as the role of machine learning and risk management, the bartering of information among different actors and using trust as a barometer for an interconnected and cashless world.

One cliché that happens to be true is that change is the only constant. That is reflected in the world of online trust by the fact that criminals bent on fraud keep moving to better targets, evidence of which comes from the long-term trend away from card-present to card-not-present fraud, Aygen said. One way the webinar will address that area of trust is via a discussion of social authentication, which, simply put (in a way to not give too much away), uses all kinds of data points made available through the freer flow of information to authenticate and protect consumers.

Any discussion of trust almost always comes around to onboarding — that is, getting consumers onto mobile apps and digital services in secure ways, but without frustrating or wasted time.

“The biggest pain point for people who want to go through the shopping experience is the onboarding process,” he said.

Trust is, and will remain, a wide-ranging concept. But, as this webinar will show, when it comes to online commerce and payments, trust has specific and significant value.



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.