Citizens increasing their uptake of digital government services

28 August 2023 4 min. read

Australian citizens are increasing their uptake of digital government services – a positive development in light of the government’s strategy to make the country one of the top three digital governments in the world by 2025.

New research by Publicis Sapient among over 5,000 respondents in Australia shows that the number of people using digital government services has been rising steadily across all age groups.

The survey also found that citizens with practical knowledge of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, extended reality and Web 3.0.are more likely to engage with digital government across technology platforms.

Citizens increasing their uptake of digital government services

A vast majority (94%) of Australians used at least one digital government service in 2022. MyGov (56%), healthcare (55%) and financial services/taxes (45%) were among the most accessed digital government services.

Healthcare services (92%), transportation/ recreation services (92%) and general (MyGov) services (89%) also registered the highest positive rating amongst the listed digital government services.

While most Australians use digital wallets, uptake varies by state and age group. Millennials (25-44) and Gen X (45-64) are the most likely age groups to use myGovID compared to Gen Z (18-24), Boomers (65-79), and Builders (80+). Citizens from Victoria (VIC) and Queensland (QLD) are slightly more likely to use the myGovID digital identity method compared to those in New South Wales (NSW), and Victorians are almost twice as likely to not use digital wallets compared to those in NSW.

Citizens increasing their uptake of digital government services

Even as digital adoption rates steadily rise in Australia, privacy and accessibility are hindering service usage. People continue to be victims of cyber-attacks, scams, and identity theft, and as a result, citizen trust remains low, says the report.

“Some of the biggest concerns are privacy breaches from storing data in a single source, the perceived threat of not being able to access personal data, and concerns around this data being stored on government databases,” explained Sanja Galic, Senior Client Partner at Publicis Sapient.

Regional differences

The ‘Digital Citizen Report 2023’ by Publicis Sapient shows that citizens from New South Wales (NSW), Tasmania (TAS), Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory (NT) are generally more trusting of digital government services compared to those from Victoria (VIC) and Queensland (QLD), who are less trusting following recent data breaches.

Citizens increasing their uptake of digital government services

The road ahead

According to Galic, the report shows that the Australia government is “certainly on the right track when it comes to building an interconnected ecosystem that engages with citizens”. To continue the progress towards a fully digital and inclusive system, Galic puts forward a number of recommendations.

“There is opportunity to tap burgeoning mobile penetration and digital literacy to expand digitisation, particularly as Australian citizens now expect a wider spectrum of digital services to support evolving needs, especially in digital voting, mental health services, and digital driver’s licences.”

Citizens increasing their uptake of digital government services

“There is also an opportunity to build public trust and confidence in personal information handling practices,” she continued. “Addressing data privacy and security challenges will elevate credibility and citizen trust in digital government services.”

“Equally, it is essential to include citizens and disadvantaged communities in the development and design process. This could help address their specific pain points and deliver targeted and intuitive apps and programmes in the future.”

“The time is ripe for federal, state, and territorial governments to engage with all sections of society through ongoing digital skills development, education, and investments.”