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Service BC goes digital with video identity verification

British Columbians now have more virtual options to set up their mobile BC Services Card.

These options make it easier to access online government services during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future.

“We’re using innovation, technology and mobile options to improve the way we deliver services and programs to British Columbians,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Our new Send Video feature within the mobile BC Services Card gives people the choices and tools they need to connect with government supports and services quickly, safely and securely.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people need online and telephone access to crucial government services. This is resulting in high call volumes to Service BC and an increased demand for alternative ways to verify a person’s identity in order to activate a mobile BC Services Card. To address this demand, the Province has launched Send Video, a remote identity-verification option for British Columbians.

People can use Send Video within the BC Services Card app from their iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet to send Service BC a photo and a short video of themselves at any time, day or night. A Service BC representative reviews and verifies the person’s identity and activates their mobile BC Services Card for online use within just a few hours. This service eliminates the need to visit a Service BC Centre for in-person identity verification. 

Seventeen government services are available online with plans underway to bring more on board. British Columbians, including health professionals, businesses, government employees and students can use their BC Services Card to access these services.

One of the most popular services is StudentAid BC. As students begin to apply for StudentAid for the fall semester, they will be able to take advantage of this new service to begin and track their applications. 

“With all the stress that COVID-19 has put on students, this new video service helping them verify their identity online makes it especially quick, easy and secure for them to apply for StudentAid BC,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, on behalf of Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “It’s a service that couldn’t have come fast enough, especially as students prepare to continue their education in the fall during these challenging times.”

The BC Services Card Verify by Video service, which launched in June 2019, allows people to use the service to launch a live video call with a Service BC representative within the BC Services Card mobile app. During the call, the representative verifies their identity and then activates their mobile BC Services Card. Send Video adds another identity verification option to the Verify by Video service.

British Columbia is the first jurisdiction in North America to use an identity-verification solution using video. These services are another step forward in government’s work to help British Columbians conveniently, safely and quickly access services online. They also support B.C.’s new digital framework, which aims to improve the experiences and interactions people have with government.

Quick Facts:

  • The BC Services Card, which launched in 2013, allows British Columbians to access government services, both online and in person, with confidence their privacy is respected and their data is secure.
  • To date, about 4.7 million British Columbians have a BC Services Card.
  • To be ready to access online services with a BC Services Card, a citizen must go through a verification step, where their identity is confirmed by a Service BC customer service representative. 
  • The BC Services Card mobile app was launched in 2018. To date, more than 125,000 mobile BC Services Cards have been activated for online access to government services.
  • More than 53,000 B.C. post-secondary students have already used the Verify by Video service to verify their identity and activate their mobile card to access StudentAid BC, since it launched in 2019.

Learn More:

The Verify by Video service is available through the BC Services Card mobile app. More information is available online:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/government-id/bc-services-card/log-in-with-card/setup/verify-by-video

Watch a video of the easy-to-use identity-verification options here:
https://youtu.be/lxN25INroXg 

For a list of online government services available with a BC Services Card, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/government-id/bc-services-card/log-in-with-card/available-online-services

For more information about the BC Services Card, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/government-id/bc-services-card

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