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Gender differences in accessing government services through mobile

By Rob Starr, Content Manager

Citizens are in favor of accessing government services through mobile, with 80 percent choosing at least one application from a list of seven. As well, half of millennials and 1 of 3 Baby Boomers said they would vote via mobile app. Kathy Conrad, Director of Digital Government at Accenture Federal Services, answered some questions about the latest Accenture survey: #AFSFedPulse: Would YOU Use a Mobile App for Government Services?


Generally, how do people feel about accessing government services through mobile?  

Our data indicates a trend toward greater adoption and receptiveness to mobile interactions. Millennials clearly lead the way, but there is growing adoption across generations. Consistently, about a third of government web traffic can be attributed to mobile devices — and a growing number of people use smart phones, exclusively, to access web services. This includes people living in rural areas that lack reliable broadband service.

What options for services were available on the survey and how did they fare?

Choices of potential services available to respondents included, in order of highest to lowest overall favorability:

  • notification of delays and wait times (55 percent)
  • voting capabilities (43 percent)
  • visa and/or passport application services (38 percent)
  • health insurance application and management services (36 percent)
  • tax payment services (34 percent)
  • services allowing for automated payments from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (30 percent)
  • business and/or student loan application services (22 percent)
  • the option to select none of the above (21 percent)

Were there generational differences in the responses?

Out of all respondents, 4 percent were born before 1946 (Silent Generation), 23 percent are Baby Boomers, 23 percent were Gen Xers and 51 percent are Millennials. In terms of interest in

kathy Conrad

Kathy Conrad

mobile government services, Millennials lead the pack, with 62 percent indicating that they’d like to be able to use mobile technology to receive notifications of delays and wait times, compared to Baby Boomers (39 percent). Additionally, half of Millennials and one out of three Boomers would like to vote via mobile technology. One of four Boomers is open to paying taxes through mobile, compared to one-third of Gen-Xers and 45 percent of Millennials.

Was there a significant gender gap?

Significantly more men (85 percent) than women (72 percent) say they’d use a mobile device to access government services. This gender gap held across service categories from voting to paying taxes: 49 percent of men said yes to voting through mobile, compared to only 37 percent of women. Meanwhile, 40 percent of men would pay taxes using their smart phone, while only 28 percent of women said they would use this service.

What are the other big takeaways?  

The results underscore increasing public expectations that government services will be as convenient and easy to use as those they experience every day.  We refer to this as liquid expectations – people of all generations have rapidly changing interest in and expectations for new ways of engaging with government and other service providers.

What future trends are developing?

Trends include increasing expectations and demand for omni-channel experiences, self-service  —including with mobile access — and expanding Internet of Things capabilities that will drive demand and opportunities for mobile data intake, consumption and access.


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