The latest Digital Citizen Report 2023, developed by Publicis Sapient, has shown that 94 per cent of Aussies now use at least one digital government service.
A vast majority of Australians are more confident of using technology to engage with digital citizen services and 94 per cent say they have used at least one digital government service.
MyGov (56 per cent), healthcare (55 per cent) and financial services/taxes (45 per cent) top the list of the most accessed digital government services. This is according to the findings of the second edition of the Publicis Sapient Digital Citizen Report, which analysed responses from over 5,000 participants across a wide range of demographic characteristics across Australia.
The research found a progressive shift to personalised and user-friendly online citizen experiences and high satisfaction levels across healthcare services (92 per cent), transportation/recreation services (92 per cent) and general (MyGov) services (89 per cent).
The Publicis Sapient Digital Citizen Report 2023 also shows that Australians are as enthusiastic as ever about emerging technologies, with over half of respondents (63 per cent) having a practical knowledge of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Extended Reality (XR) and Web 3.0.
A majority of Australians (75 per cent) with practical knowledge of emerging technologies were also more likely to engage with a digital government across these technology platforms. Notably, there was a surge in tech adoption among older populations from 61 per cent to 85 per cent, however, millennials were still the most likely to use digital services. A key area of opportunity for governments is to continue to build digital government services among elderly populations to improve their digital literacy.
“The second edition of our survey shows that Australians are more comfortable with technology playing a mainstream role in their lives. This is evident from high satisfaction levels across digital healthcare, financial services and myGov”.
“Improved personalisation, user-friendliness and accessibility are driving this shift and encouraging more Australians to embrace a digital future. Embedding greater customer-centricity will be essential to scale digitalisation across all demographics, especially among *minority groups and vulnerable populations. Equally, keeping track of evolving citizen preferences and pain points, will be critical for governments to deliver more connected citizen experiences in the future,” said Mark Williams, Federal Government Lead Australia, Publicis Sapient (LEAD).
The report revealed that Australian citizens value digital government services during key life events, with 42 per cent stating that digital services simplified administrative tasks.
Digital government services were most likely to be used during births (92 per cent) and marriages (88 per cent). Australian citizens also expect a wider spectrum of digital services to support their evolving needs, especially across digital voting (31 per cent), mental health services (29 per cent) and digital driver’s license (26 per cent).
Meanwhile, consumer preference for fast, convenient, and secure payment methods is driving a shift to virtual payments and digital wallets. Publicis Sapient’s research found that a majority of Australians (81 per cent) used a digital identity method, and 85 per cent could identify at least one benefit of using the myGovID digital identity, while (72 per cent) used a digital wallet on their mobile phone.
Mental Health remains a growing area of concern
Mental health remains a growing area of concern in Australia. More than 6 out of 10 Australians experienced mental health issues in 2022 – which is a 12 per cent rise year-on-year compared to the findings of the inaugural report – from 57 per cent to 64 per cent.
The report revealed that digital mental health services were used at least once among working professionals (78 per cent), those who experienced a major life event (81 per cent), caregivers (86 per cent) and those with university level education or higher (83 per cent). Physically or mentally challenged citizens were also more likely to use digital government services.
“There’s no doubt that Australian citizens want more digital services to simplify administrative tasks in their everyday lives, however, gaps in digital literacy, accessibility and privacy will need to be addressed for digitalisation efforts to be optimised. Involving citizens and disadvantaged communities in the development and design process will help address specific pain points and deliver targeted and intuitive apps and programmes in the future,” Williams added.