Pandemic fuels need for digital ID, online access to government services

Nearly 60% of Canadians have been transacting in ways that reduce physical contact.

Fifty-eight percent say they worry about hygiene when handling physical IDs.

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In addition to transactions, Canadians are accessing various services online at increasing rates, with 37% saying they accessed health services online more often than before COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has highlighted new expectations for the future of Canada’s digital economy while exacerbating security concerns over current forms of identity,” said Debbie Gamble, Chief Officer, Innovation Labs and New Ventures, Interac Corp.

“In preparing for this future, Interac, alongside its subsidiary company 2Keys Corporation, is working with public and private sector stakeholders to bring digital identification solutions to market in order to address the increasing need for secure, convenient and privacy-enhancing identity verification by Canadians, while yielding a high degree of trust.”

The online survey was conducted between Aug. 10 and 14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3% 19 times out of 20.

COVID-19 is changing the way Canadians use their identity documents and how they access services digitally.

According to a new survey from Interac Corp., 75% of Canadians say government services should be accessible online instead of in-person.

Approximately half say it’s more important now than pre-COVID to be able to access health and government services, such as renewing a driver’s license.

Canadians are increasingly using online services during the pandemic, and there are growing hygiene concerns around physical IDs.

“The pandemic has fueled a greater need for innovation as Canadians recognize that digital access is needed not only to make life more convenient but also to increase the speed by which Canadians can access government services in a crisis,” said Mark O’Connell, president of Interac Corp.

“Physical identities can no longer be the status quo, and secure digital-first solutions, underpinned by government, must be adopted to meet the changing needs of Canadians,” he said.

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