Three in four Canadians say government services should be accessible online: report

Half of respondents want a single digital ID that bundles various physical IDs in one location

Three in four Canadians want government services to be available online even after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey from Interac.

Approximately half of the respondents to the survey said that it’s more important now than pre-COVID-19 to have online access to health and government services, like renewing a driver’s licence and registering for benefits.

The survey also found that 37 percent of Canadians are accessing health services online more often now than before the pandemic.

Further, 67 percent of respondents said they are open to using a digital ID if it means their identity is better protected than it is today.

“Canadians are particularly keen to use digital IDs when accessing government services, as six in 10 (61 percent) expect to be able to use these services online more often in the future,” the report notes.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said the government should prioritize providing Canadians with digital IDs in addition to physical IDs.

The survey also found that 69 percent of Canadians believe innovation is needed to speed up access to government services in a crisis. It’s worth noting that the Ontario government released a plan earlier this week that looks at digitizing driver’s licences.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated that although his government had developed this plan before the pandemic, it has accelerated the plan due to increased need for online services amid the health crisis.

One in two respondents to the survey believe that it would be more convenient to have a single digital ID that bundles various physical IDs in one location when accessing online services.

Interestingly, the survey found that “over six in 10 (62 percent) care more now about keeping their identity data safe online than they did in the past. Canadians over 55 are more likely to cite this concern (72 percent).”

Further, 62 percent of Canadians say they wish there was a more convenient way to verify the identity of someone they are doing business with online.

Interac commissioned Hill+Knowlton Strategies to conduct the online survey survey of 996 adult Canadians between August 10-15th, 2020. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent. 

Source: Interac