Digital checklist for nurturing online trustNews / TechnologyBy Viewpoints | October 30, 2013Share This article was originally published on Today’s travel industry is dominated by digital.Of the billions of passengers that travel around the globe, 74% book their travel online, and by 2017, industry experts predict 50% of travelers will use smartphone apps, kiosks or social media to book a trip.But, how many businesses are addressing online trust?NB: This is a viewpoint from Ori Eisen, chief innovation officer at 41st Parameter & TrustInsight. Many consumers have become addicted to the convenience of every day necessities available at their fingertips, and are comfortable making transactions on their devices more than ever before.International credit card transactions are also on the rise; Visa’s Q3 earnings reported that its international transaction revenues were up 14 percent year-on-year to $854m.But what happens when a customer, trying to enjoy his honeymoon in the Caribbean, is denied a transaction when trying to book a deep sea diving excursion on his mobile device?Or the procrastinating adventurer who finds his frequent flyer miles have been drained from his account when attempting to book a flight through JetBlue’s mobile app?The last thing anyone taking a break wants to worry about is their credit card being rejected or find out an account has been compromised.Consumers are also exposed to rate parity, fake reviews and are often fooled by the lack of price transparency; these problems could easily be avoided with face-to-face interaction but, instead, are hindered by this 'third screen'.When such trusted consumers are wrongfully declined a transaction, this can lead to what we call "consumer insult". It’s an uncomfortable situation to be denied a purchase because the credit card company, airline or merchant doesn’t recognize you as a trusted buyer, and consumers feel insulted that they aren’t seen as such.Consumer insult can turn into loss of loyalty, and brands can ultimately lose some clients that matter most to their business, because digital trust is nearly nonexistent.The big question is how can we level-set trust as an industry standard in today’s digital centric world?Where a familiar face or a photo ID no longer exist, merchants must have a way to recognize and reward trusted customers in the most efficient and effective way possible.To help push trust to the forefront, we’ve identified a few things organizations need to understand: Know your clients and their devices. The device is the mediating channel for online transactions and relationships, and is the natural starting point for establishing trust; however, the key is connecting the device with data elements that belong to the owner as well as their behaviors – to establish a history, or recognizable pair, that can be relied upon. Recognizing previous "pairings" will help to eliminate these falsely declined transactions, and avoid "consumer insult".Knowledge is power. Leveraging consolidated knowledge from the masses is becoming a common practice across businesses. Having insight into a consumer’s behavior and interactions with other businesses or merchants enables an organization to better assess the trustworthiness of that consumer. The concept of trusted parties is already widely understood and accepted; for example, credit scores, email whitelists, mobile device allowed lists and in the TSA’s Trusted Traveler program.Be a trusted vendor. As a merchant, airline or financial institution, don’t give your consumers a reason to question your integrity. Establishing a trusted transactional environment is crucial to gaining consumers’ trust and those on the receiving end want to trust you, just as much as you trust them. Vendors need to better understand their customers’ online purchasing history which includes multiple transactions over the years. Listening to feedback from other institutions which have interacted with the consumer will help to tell a story of trust online. To ensure an environment of measurable trust, merchants and financial institutions will discover that knowing their customers through their devices and relying on a shared history of previous digital behaviors will help find fraud and reduce the frequency of committing "customer insult".In today’s digital world, it is critical to maintain ease and quality of service, both online and through mobile transactions; especially while your consumer is trying to enjoy a much deserved break from their 60-hour work week on the beaches of Punta Cana.Now pass the piña colada.NB: This is a viewpoint from Ori Eisen, chief innovation officer at 41st Parameter & TrustInsight. NB2: Human bridge image via Shutterstock.