ServiceWA app breaks free of logins after user complaints

The Western Australian government has overhauled its ServiceWA app to make it more “user friendly”, with the requirement that users login with myGovID to access a range of services removed after negative feedback.

The redesigned app, unveiled on Thursday, also offers a new personalised look, with users able to customise the home screen for easy access to government services that they frequently use, as well as added integrations.

But the wait for WA’s first digital credentials, which had been promised before the end of last year, continues, as other states race ahead in an attempt to catch up with New South Wales and South Australia.

ServiceWA App. Image: Gian De Poloni/ABC News

Since its launch as a replacement for the SafeWA QR code check-in app in January 2022, the government has iteratively added new features to ServiceWA, starting with FuelWatch, the state’s real-time fuel price comparison website, in June 2022.

But in order to use the services, users first had to create a myGovID to login to the app – a process described as “painful”, “absurd” and “so infuriating and annoying I wanted to scream” by users on the Apple App Store.

No other state governments require – or offer – myGovID as a login option, with New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia relying on emails and passwords, as well as two-factor authentication in some instances, for access to services that require an account.

While the ServiceWA update unveiled on Thursday removes the need to login, users will still need to set up a ServiceWA account to use some services, still requiring a myGovID, according to the app’s privacy policy.

Innovation and the Digital Economy minister Stephen Dawson said the government had decided to offer users the ability to access ServiceWA without needing to login with myGovID in response to community feedback,

“This refreshed and user friendly ServiceWA app is a reliable, convenient and secure way for the WA community to access safety warnings and important government information,” Mr Dawson said in a statement.

ServiceWA currently has a score of 2.3 out of 5 from 873 ratings on the Apple App Store, only marginally better than the federal government’s myGovID, which has a rating of 1.6 from more than 12,000 ratings.

The update comes as a six-month contract with Deloitte for a new ServiceWA business case wraps up. The business case was to review a range of “unified service delivery models” ahead of this year’s state Budget.

The government had previously flagged plans in its Digital Strategy Roadmap 2023 it would launch digital credentials for seniors cards and recreational boat and fishing licences before the end 2023, but this did not eventuate. The office of Mr Dawson has been contacted for comment.

The government awarded $3 million in contracts to local firms GenVis, which worked on SafeWA prior to ServiceWA’s takeover, and Adapptor last year for the work, including a digital wallet and a search capability for occupational licences.

Queensland became the third state to offer digital licences last year. Victoria is planning to rollout its digital drivers licence this year, having begun trials last year.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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