Digital wallet for government services on the cards

An one-stop app to store Australians’ government information and identifications is being flagged to help improve services.

The government’s myGov app, which spans services like Centrelink, Medicare and the tax office, is set for a revamp.

Government Services Minister Bill Shorten said he envisaged a simple, go-to digital wallet where Australians only needed one password to access their information.

“People don’t have to remember all their passwords and have to deal with multiple government accounts,” he said.

Mr Shorten says driver’s licences and other services could be added to the app to have 100 points of ID available and easily accessible on your phone.

“My hope is, the vision is, that you’ve got sufficient ID in your government wallet that you can show a private sector business … and you don’t actually have to transfer your data,” he said.

Medicare cards are expected to be available digitally in March.

The app’s usability, response time, and access to information will all be improved.

David Thodey, who chaired the audit into myGov, says there’s no evidence having data on an app instead of through other portals increases the risk of fraud.

“The multi-factor authentication that we have within the myGov ID, and you use both the phone and you use other authentication, means that we think the incidence of fraud can be brought down,” he said.

Mr Thodey says continued investment in cybersecurity is also needed, with 60 per cent of Australians accessing myGov through their phones.

“Going digital is a critical part of delivering better services but it does create risk around identity management, identity theft (and) privacy,” he said.

“I feel pretty positive. That’s not to say we don’t have risk and things could happen, but it’s how you manage risk and how you respond to it.”

The audit recommends legislating myGov as a national service delivery infrastructure to create greater oversight and accountability as well as implementing a five year rolling plan updated annually.

The government will consider the audit’s recommendations.


Dominic Giannini
(Australian Associated Press)


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