What is digital trust and how can it be established?

Posted by Pieter Rensburg on Oct 18, 2023 11:03:00 AM

What do you think when you hear digital trust? Digital trust is often related to online activities, but its true definition isn’t entirely clear to many.

Ascertia is a global leader in high-trust products and services. Alongside our global community of partners, we help companies to establish and maintain long-term digital trust. So, what is digital trust? Let us explain.

What is Digital Trust blog

What is digital trust?

According to Jeffery Ritter, University of Oxford, digital trust is:

The confidence users have in people, technology and processes’ ability to create a secure digital world. Digital trust is given to companies who’ve shown their users they can provide safety, privacy, security, reliability, and data ethics with their online programs or devices.

People expect digital technology and services to protect all stakeholders’ interests and meet societal values. In a more practical sense, digital trust is often seen as establishing a trusted online reputation, being credible and transparent and ensuring customers have a strong and secure experience.

Despite its name, digital trust reaches farther than the digital realm. For example, when an individual places an order online, they expect safe and punctual delivery of the product – any other result will likely reduce their trust in the supplier.

Why is it important to establish digital trust?

It is rare to come across a business that doesn’t operate online in some capacity. Establishing digital trust provides a wealth of benefits, including:

  • Builds customer loyalty – Meeting customer’s expectations that their sensitive data will be handled responsibly, and their privacy won’t be compromised
  • Reduces cybersecurity risks – Strong digital trust often means strict security policies, making businesses that establish digital trust less of a target
  • Facilitates innovation – Digital trust gives businesses the confidence to collaborate and share data with digitally secure partners, fostering innovation
  • Improves profitability – Businesses that establish digital trust are more likely to attract new customers and retain existing customers

How to establish digital trust

We’ve explained digital trust and why it’s an important initiative, but how do you establish digital trust?

If you want to establish digital trust with customers, clients and partners, there are a few distinct elements you should keep in mind.

  • Online user experience
  • Transparency
  • Reliability
  • Security

Providing a positive online user experience

Customers and clients expect a smooth experience when using a business online. They expect an optimised and user-friendly website interface or a simple, secure checkout and post-purchase experience.


Transparency is another key component of establishing digital trust. Users want to know that when they use your service, their data is being collected, stored and utilised fairly and ethically. Doing so will enable your business to gain trust by being open about data policies and giving customers confidence that you follow all required regulations.


In the digitally connected world, people expect businesses and their products to be available when they need them.

If you’re looking to establish digital trust, you need to be reliable. People and companies interacting with your business need to have the confidence that they can rely on you to deliver on what you promise across every facet of your operation.


The final facet of digital trust is just as important as the others: security. In a time when the world’s top organisations are in the media for data breaches, you must prove to customers that your business is secure.

If your business is vulnerable to cybersecurity threats or isn’t clear that data protection is a top priority, it naturally will not be trustworthy for customers, clients and partners. They need to know they can trust you.

Establishing digital trust with Ascertia

Global enterprises and governments rely on Ascertia’s Global Digital Trust Ecosystem to achieve and maintain digital trust.

Our digital trust products and services power Trust Service Providers (TSPs) and Qualified Trust Service Providers (QTSPs) and enable eSignature platforms to integrate with business applications, securing online businesses – providing certainty, dependability and peace of mind for parties on all sides.