More people doing tax, business online than offline

Irish people are doing more and more business online and want to be able to conduct more transactions with public bodies on various platforms, according to a new survey.

The third edition of The Three Connected Ireland Report is published today and shows people sorting out tax affairs either on mobile, app, or website, as opposed to offline, although there are some exceptions.

The quarterly research report shows that mobile technology is changing how people interact with each other, with businesses, and with Government, and is taken from a survey of 1,000 smartphone users, who were contacted by Amárach Research.

It sought opinions in three key areas: the connected business, the connected citizen, and the connected life, and found that 51% of those questioned have interacted with a government department in the last 12 months, a finding consistent across the various age groups, with a high of 61% in respondents aged 55 and over.

The most popular services being accessed online are car tax services (63% online, compared to 19% offline), revenue online (57% online, compared to 17% offline) and income tax services (46% online, compared to 26% offline).

Some services buck that trend, including the passport office (18% offline, versus 15% online), gardaí (23% offline, compared to 10% online), and the Department of Social Protection (34% offline, compared to 17% online).

More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) said they would be interested in a secure government app that gave citizens access to all their public services in one place, including PRSI entitlements, booking an NCT, motor tax renewal, and so on.

The survey also showed that 73% of respondents said the Government could make better use of mobile phones to provide services to citizens, a finding consistent across the last three such surveys.

It is not the only area where people expressed a desire for greater access to direct information, via an app or smartphone-friendly service.

When asked which mobile services they would value most, across a broad range of services, 77% of respondents said they were open to getting text-message or app alerts about local emergencies, such as flooding or fallen trees.

Three quarters (75%) said they would value a service that issues traffic alerts about specific locations. Security alerts were also seen as desirable, with 67% of respondents saying they would like a service that allowed them to send a photo of suspicious people or cars in the local area to authorities.

Three Ireland CEO Robert Finnegan said: “It’s interesting to see that Ireland’s digital evolution is continuing at pace, with access to data on smartphones becoming an increasingly integral part of everyday life.”


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