New research released today reveals an untapped demand among consumers for government to provide access to more services via mobiles.
The survey, undertaken by O2 to investigate consumer attitudes to mobile government services, showed that interacting with GPs via their mobiles is the service that people would most like to see, with almost one in three respondents claiming they would use this function.
One in four consumers were interested in receiving regular text alerts from their local council covering service news or changes, while 23% would pay for parking using their mobile. One in five respondents would like to renew their car tax via SMS, while the same number would like to receive text travel updates and alerts about changes to tax credits or benefits that directly affect them.
Even when it comes to communicating sensitive information, the survey identified surprising pockets of demand, with 22% of respondents willing to apply for or renew their passport via their mobile phone.
However, current service provision appears to be lagging behind consumer demand, with 75% of respondents claiming to be unaware of any mobile government initiatives in their area and 83% having never accessed any such service. Nearly half (45%) claimed to be confused and ill-informed as to what government mobile services are currently offered or planned in their area.
Even in those areas where mobile initiatives do exist, significant barriers continue to hamper their adoption – 53% of respondents claimed that concerns over cost would prevent them from accessing government services via their mobile, while half of those surveyed had security worries. And 42% of respondents had no confidence that government would be able to run satisfactory services using mobile technology.