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From Left to Right: Mr. Bon Moya, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Philippines, Mr. Randy Roberts, Head of Operations, IDC Philippines, Mr. Joey Rufo, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Union Bank of the Philippines, Mr. Andres Ortola, Country General Manager, Microsoft Philippines

The Philippines has become one of the fastest growing markets for digital services in the APAC region. And even as more and more people are relying on such services for their day-to-day transactions and activities, it seems that there’s still a huge gap that needs to be addressed.

These days, almost everything is done in a digital manner, whether it’s a bank transaction, to purchasing your favorite gadgets online via popular e-commerce platforms, or even paying bills. At the same time, consumers are also becoming more aware of the security risks to the privacy of their personal data, not just from cybercriminals, but also from organizations holding their data.

According to a recent study by Microsoft and IDC Asia Pacific titled Understanding Consumer Trust in Digital Services in Asia Pacific, 44% of consumers in the country believe that their information will be treated in a trustworthy manner by organizations offering digital services. The study, which surveyed 454 consumers in the Philippines asked respondents to provide their opinions on the five elements of trust – Privacy, Security, Reliability, Ethics, and Compliance.

The study revealed that two out of five (44%) consumers have had their trust compromised when using digital services. As such, more than half (57%) of the respondents said that they would switch to another organization, while two out of five (38%) would reduce usage of the service.  Close to a third (31%) would actually stop using the service altogether.

“The upside for organizations with a trusted digital platform is tremendous as the Philippines is one of the fastest growing digital services markets in Asia Pacific. However, despite consumers’ increasing reliance 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. We urge business leaders to do 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.” 

– Andres Ortola, General Manager, Microsoft Philippines

The results are interesting, but not surprising. Based on my personal observation, there have been a number of cases where the reliability of the service, or even the organization in-charge of implementing the service have been put into question – one good example would be a company who has never asked for your personal information before, suddenly knows your mobile number and sends you numerous messages.

Consumers feel that all five elements of trust are almost equally important, with Security (87%), Privacy (93%), and Compliance (89%) topping the list. Moreover, they  have the highest expectations from Institutions which offer Financial Services, and then Education Institutions and Healthcare Organizations.

Trust in Digital Services is Fragile

It also turns out that establishing a trusted platform needs to be a priority, as only 6% of consumers would prefer to transact with an organization that offers a cheaper but less trusted digital platform. In addition, three out of four (73%) of consumers said that they would still recommend a trusted digital service to others, even if the cost is higher.

“Trust is critical for organizations to succeed in this digital world as consumers overwhelmingly prefer to transact with organizations with a trusted digital platform. As competition between digital services becomes more intense and global in nature, advocacy through word of mouth can be a strong differentiator for the organization and a shot in the arm for the brand.”

– Randy Roberts, IDC Philippines Head of Operations

Building Trust in AI and Digital Services

Technology continues to transform how we live, work and play. As such, more and more organizations providing digital services are harnessing the capabilities of AI, and should be responsible for building and fulfilling the five elements of trust.

The responsibility however, should not only rest on the hands of these organizations, but also in a broader industry. That means the government and technology companies.

44% of Filipinos feel that the government should be the one to take the lead in building trust, then technology companies. This indicates a need for stronger partnerships between the two entities.

When it comes to fostering trust in AI technologies, consumers feel that it’s now the technology companies who should take the lead in ensuring that AI is used in a trustworthy manner.

“To establish a trusted framework for the development and usage of AI and technology in general, we must first consider its impact on individuals, businesses, and society. This would require a broader debate that involves the appropriate stakeholders, including the government and technology companies. These dialogues would need to be backed by actions, including forging closer partnerships and facilitating greater knowledge exchange. These are all necessary steps that will enable us to collectively establish a well-balanced, holistic baseline for trust for the entire industry.”

– Andres Ortola, General Manager, Microsoft Philippines

 

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.