Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2022: A new global study has identified significant economic value in building digital trust. A 5% increase in digital trust translates to an average increase in GDP per capita from U.S $3,000. The Digital Trust Index: the value of digital trust is fundamental research, conducted by digital trust pioneer Callsign, and the Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), on the attitudes and drivers of digital trust in modern economies. The findings come at a critical time for the global economy with economic downturns, boosting digital trust has the potential to unlock trillions of dollars in economic growth.
The new report found that a “digital trust gap” is also emerging around the world. Non-Western markets have a positive trust gap (South Africa (16%), MEA (15%), Brazil (6%) and APAC (5%) indicating that consumer attitudes towards digital trust exceed levels of trust from society. Conversely, Western markets have a negative trust gap (USA (-4%), Benelux (-6%) and Canada (-9%)) where societal trust is higher than digital trust. With more consumers living online, this is a key differentiator for emerging markets as economies slow. The potential to unlock GDP per capita growth through the digital economy could enable emerging economies to take advantage of this new online era.
In the AEM Region 56.3% of respondents say online and digital services are trustworthy. But when it comes to factors that negatively impact digital trust, 21.1% of MEA consumers said their experience of online fraud led to their distrust of online services. Other factors negatively impacting trust in online services include experience with data breaches, cited by 12.8% MEA respondents. Further away, 15% of MEA consumers think there is a lack of transparency in online and digital services, and 16.1% expressed concern that they don’t always know how to use online and digital services safely, which breeds distrust.
Saeed Ahmad, MD, Callsign MENA commented: “This research is groundbreaking because for the first time we are able to quantify the value of trust in our digital world in both economic and societal terms. The results of this research should be a call to action for businesses and governments to work together to build a secure and ethical digital identity framework so that citizens can live digitally, safely, and to drive growth. economy at this critical time.
The digital economy is expected to grow from US$14.5 trillion in 2021 to US$20.8 trillion* by 2025, while the cost of online crime over the same period will rise from US$6 trillion. US dollars to 10.5 trillion US dollars. If businesses and governments want to harness the power of digital trust, they must tackle the fundamental element, digital identity.
54% of consumers expect governments to create a safer digital world. To achieve this, three-quarters (77%) of respondents said they support 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 companies the most to create and maintain the system. 47% of respondents expect a digital identity system to be part of their daily lives in the next 12 months.
Ahmad continued, “The foundation of digital trust is our digital identities. We need to know who we are interacting with online so we can trust brands, transactions and people. Consumers in MEA want a secure digital world and governments want to continue to grow the digital economy in the region, they need to work with businesses to reap the GDP per capita benefits that increased digital trust could bring. Our research demonstrates that we have a trillion dollar opportunity and given the current global economic challenges, we can no longer afford to ignore it.”
To view the full report on the Digital Trust Index, visit