Here is a survey from Interac Corp showing that COVID-19 is transforming the way Canadians use their identity documents and how they prioritize accessing services digitally. According to the survey, three in four Canadians (75 per cent) say government services should be accessible online instead of in-person, with approximately half agreeing it is more important now than pre-COVID-19 to access health (55 per cent) and government services (50 per cent), such as renewing a driver’s licence and registering for benefits, online.

This appetite for a digital-first approach has been accelerated by Canadians’ increasing use of online services amid COVID-19, coupled with hygiene concerns around physical IDs. Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) Canadians have been transacting in ways that reduce physical contact more often than before the pandemic, with nearly the same amount (59 per cent) citing worries about hygiene when handling physical IDs. Less than half (48 per cent) say they are comfortable accessing government services in-person now, a 25 per cent drop since pre-COVID-19. In addition to transactions, Canadians have been accessing various services online at increasing rates, with 37 per cent saying they accessed health services online more often than before COVID-19.

Canadians continue to recognize the convenience of using digital IDs, with digital versions of identity documents such as driver’s licences and heath cards seen as 10 percentage points more convenient on average now than in 2019. However, security remains a key consideration for adoption, with nearly seven in 10 (67 per cent) Canadians noting they are open to using a digital ID if it means their identity data is better protected than it is today. Even more than in 2019, Canadians place greater emphasis on transparency around how information is used (70 per cent vs. 58 per cent, in 2020, 2019, respectively) as well as endorsement from banks (59 per cent vs. 48 per cent) and governments (57 per cent vs. 46 per cent).

Canadians are particularly keen to use digital IDs when accessing government services, as six in 10 (61 per cent) expect to be able to use these services online more often in the future. Over half (53 per cent) would be interested in using a digital ID to access these services with nearly the same amount (51 per cent) saying the government should prioritize providing Canadians with digital IDs in addition to physical IDs.


-Nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) Canadians believe innovation is needed to speed up access to government services in a crisis
-Over six in 10 (62 per cent) 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 per cent)
-Over six in ten (65 per cent) Canadians wish there were a more convenient way to verify the identity of someone they are doing business with online
-Four in 10 (40 per cent) have taken pictures of a physical ID, but almost six in 10 (57 per cent) feel this is a risky behavior as compared to 45 per cent in 2019
-One in two (51 per cent) believe it would be more convenient to have a single digital ID that bundles various physical IDs in one location when accessing online services