Moving services online can generate significant convenience benefits for citizens and cost benefits for governments.
Allowing citizens to submit data online can help ensure better data quality, and online payment means governments can access funds more quickly and more efficiently. Citizens get the convenience of 24/7 availability and the ability to pay with a credit card. Even for citizens that face challenges accessing the internet there can be benefits to allowing online or app-based options for services – this can give governments the ability to allocate more expensive resources (typically people) to better serve citizens that may need more intensive assistance.
But providing the option to submit a form or make a payment online doesn’t always guarantee that citizens will exercise the option. Poorly designed websites and clunky online forms can discourage citizens from using these options. Looking critically at online service options and using data to enhance them can be the key to getting more people to use them – allowing governments to realize the benefits of these more efficient online options.