BCers like the idea of digital ID for government services, but only with increased security: report

The survey shows that British Columbians want more financial services accessible online.

The survey shows that British Columbians want more financial services accessible online

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted British Columbians to favour putting more services online, according to a recent survey.

The poll, released by Canadian financial services firm Interac Corp. in partnership with the Canadian branch of American PR giant Hill+Knowlton Strategies, found that 76 percent of British Columbians want more financial services to be accessible online rather than in-person. Meanwhile, 57 percent said they’d be interested in using a digital ID for things like renewing a driver’s licence and registering for government benefits.

Those numbers reportedly square with the rest of Canada. Where BCers differ a little bit, though, is in concerns around digital security.

Nationally, 67 percent of respondents said they’d be open to using a digital ID if it meant their data is better protected than it is today. In B.C., that number was 72 percent, the highest share in the country.

“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,” said Mark O’Connell, president and CEO of Interac.

Overall these days, Canadians put more emphasis on transparency around how their personal information is used—70 percent of survey respondents, versus 58 percent in a similar study last year.

For the survey, 996 Canadians were polled from August 10 to 14, 2020.