Imagine, if you will, a world where you wouldn’t have to second guess whether a product or service was safe and authentic — even online. Imagine a world where you could just click, and trust.
Digital technology has created incredible opportunities for us to interact, to share, to exchange information and to offer products and services never before dreamt of.
At the same time, our hyper-digital reality is creating more and more data, which is increasingly generating concern regarding where and how our data is being used.
It has been said that data is the new oil. If this is the case, I believe trust will be the currency of the future.
We all know trust is an essential element of society. It unifies our families, our communities and the way we are governed. It is also a key component to the success of any business. That means companies need to think about trust at every touchpoint. Done well, not only is it an expression of brand, it can become a competitive advantage.
Interac recently commissioned a study to ask Canadians about their attitudes and feelings around trust in a digital world. According to our study, just 27 per cent of Canadians believe that technology is making their personal information safer and 71 per cent say too many online services have access to their personal or financial data.
At the heart of any new technology there is a ‘trust challenge’ – we want the convenience the new product or service is offering, but we are uncomfortable with sacrificing control and consent over personal information and data.
When trust is lacking, it’s not just a moral issue — it can be a significant barrier to how companies can grow and scale. Our study showed that 83 per cent of Canadians want to limit the personal information they give to technology and social media companies. A similar number say there are negative consequences to giving consent online for companies to access their personal or financial data. All of this speaks to a deficit of trust.
To ensure continued adoption of new and innovative technology, we need to rise to the challenge and raise the level of public trust.
When we asked Canadians what the most important factors are to trust a new technology enough to use it for the first time, they cited transparency around how their data will be used, the reputation of the company offering the service and whether it is endorsed by a trusted institution such as a bank or government.
These answers are illuminating: They connect directly back to core concepts including trust, control and confidence.
In a future where trust is paramount, our approach to technology, data and innovation requires empowering people with greater control over how their information is used. For Interac, this means working with government and industry to develop robust, secure and convenient digital IDs that would not only help Canadians securely verify their identity without sharing sensitive personal information, but also provide reassurance that the other party to a transaction is who they claim they are.
Interac is working hard to empower Canadians to take full advantage of the digital economy—utilizing the foundational technology behind our secure payments network, combined with the trust we have established with Canadians over our 35-year history. Trust is central to who we are as a company, and it’s going to become even more important for all Canadians as we move forward into the future.