Canadians want convenient government eservices, with 62% preferring a single government ID card: PwC Citizen Compass report

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More than 3,000 Canadians weighed in on issues related to the convenience, cost and control of eservices

TORONTO — Canadian governments, at all levels, are introducing or have already implemented austerity measures to reduce expenditures and a new PwC report finds that Canadians want government to also provide them with cost-effective and convenient electronic services (eservices). Citizen Compass, an online initiative undertaken by PwC to gather and measure the views of citizens on emerging public policy issues, shows that the next generation of eservices must accommodate the lives of Canadians, while meeting their expectations for quality customer service.

Infographic: Next generation of eservices

Infographic: Next generation of eservices

What do Canadians want from government eservice delivery?

Three key themes emerged from more than 3,000 Canadian participants:

1. Convenience. As Canadians become busier and technology makes their lives more fast-paced, they’re looking for convenience:

  • Sixty-two per cent of respondents are supportive of the idea of having a single identity card.
  • More than 80% of Canadians like the idea of receiving automatic notifications about available government services. 
  • Canadians are willing to use technology to renew government photo ID with 65% interested in taking their own photos and submitting them electronically to renew their driver’s license, health card, or passport.

2. Cost. Canadians won’t pay for eservices, but they’ll pay to jump the line:

  • Nineteen per cent of Canadians are willing to pay more to skip the line and receive their IDs more quickly.
  • More than half (56%) of those willing to pay to skip the line are prepared to pay twice the fee.
  • A quarter of Canadians will pay a convenience fee for online ID renewal – for services they’re familiar with.

3. Control. Canadians are willing to share information, but they expect information to be protected:

  • With new technology, Canadians respondents said they are often wary of information security threats, but when presented with a more convenient option, they’re willing to make trade-offs.
  • While Canadians said they are willing to share information, they expect information to be protected. They hold federal and provincial governments to the same high standards of accountability that they hold private institutions such as banks and credit card companies.

“Canadians are asking why government can’t provide the same level of customer service experience online as banks or retailers,” says Michael Jordan, Public Sector and Government Services partner for PwC Canada.  “This pressure is on for governments to look at how they deliver eservices to meet Canadians’ demands while reducing costs.”

He continues, “Success for the next wave of eservices will rely on innovative techniques. Governments are exploring the challenges associated with mobilizing electronic channels to reduce costs while also enhancing the eservice experience, and at the same time, building awareness and maintaining the public’s trust in government.”

Methodology

The research for Citizen Compass was conducted through a ‘Choicebook’, which took a randomly selected group of 3,147 Canadian respondents through an interactive online experience where they learned about government eservices and explored questions related to the issues. The second stage of the engagement process was the “Idea Forum”, where participants were given the opportunity to submit their ideas on what eservices they would like to have now and in the future.  The results are based on more than 3,000 respondents from across the country.

To obtain a copy of the report, click here: www.pwc.com/ca/citizencompass. A copy of the report is also available from the media contacts. 

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #gov4ppl. Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pwccanada.

About PwC Canada

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