A new research study developed by Canadian payments and digital information exchange Interac has revealed the country is beginning embrace digital identity documentation – with caution.

As daily lives continue to modernise, 45% of respondents admitted to “improvising” by taking photos of their physical IDs in order to conveniently access their documents digitally – despite 59% acknowledging sharing such documents is risky behaviour.

86% of Canadians surveyed agreed that digital versions of identity cards were more convenient than the physical version in at least one case – with 60% reporting they find it difficult to keep track of all their physical IDs.

“Canadians told us they are ready for more convenient, digital options to manage their identity documents online and on their mobile devices,” noted Debbie Gamble, chief innovation labs and new ventures officer, Interac Corp. 

“They also indicated how important safeguarding their identity is, and that digital IDs must be secure and backed by trusted technology.”

Trust and Identity in a Digital World found eight in ten Canadians (83%) describe their identity as one of there “most valuable assets”.

Furthermore, 52% of those state it is more important to protect their identity online than their money.

Arguably the most worrying statistic comes with nearly eight in ten (77%) stating they don’t know enough about how to protect their identity online.

However 62% indicate knowing their digital ID is protected by the same standard of security used by banks or financial institutions would drive them to favour digital IDs over physical ones.

“Building digital ID platforms that are anchored in convenience, control over personal information, and security will be key to unlocking the full potential of Canada’s digital economy,” said Gamble.

“While most think of Interac as a payments company, the foundational technology behind our secure payments network, combined with the trust we have established with Canadians over our 35-year history, positions us well in the future to enable digital ID across a range of devices and platforms.”