What is a “credential”?
“Credentials” in information systems are widely used to control an individual’s access to information or services. The combination of a card number or user name and a password is a widely-used example of a credential. The Government of Canada uses electronic credentials to allow users to communicate securely with online-enabled Government of Canada services.
What do you mean by authentication?
It is a secure means to recognize a user when accessing government services online. The user remains anonymous, and the authentication process just confirms that the credential is valid and is in the hands of the owner of the credential. Credential authentication does not reveal or confirm identity to the government website. It receives only a message confirming that your credential (username/password) was successfully validated by your bank or by the government.
Why is the Government of Canada offering users a choice of credentials?
By offering a choice of credentials, the Government of Canada is making its online services more convenient and easier to use. Many individuals already use their online banking credentials regularly. Being able to use these same credentials to access Government of Canada services online will simply mean one less User ID and password to remember.
Are the Commercial Credentials as secure as the Government Credential?
Whether one chooses to use the commercial credential service (SecureKey Concierge) or the government-issued credential service, be assured that your transaction will be safe and secure. The authentication process does not carry any personally identifiable information such as name, birth date etc. and relies on strong technology, built using industry best practices. The Government of Canada is leveraging these investments made by financial institutions for secure online environments.
Is any of my banking information shared if I use SecureKey Concierge?
When you use either your government credential or your online banking credential, none of the personally identifiable information related to your credential is communicated to the government service you are trying to access. For users of SecureKey Concierge, the identity of the financial institution will not be shared with the Government of Canada. Similarly, no information about the government service being accessed by the user will be shared with the user's bank.
I had to switch to a new credential not that long ago. Why are you changing to another credential now?
The GC has been using a phased approach to authentication services. GC Access Key was an interim step while the GC was putting in place new, cost-effective solutions which would provide improved user choice and convenience, securely.
What was missing from the old system?
The Government of Canada’s contract for Access Key is expiring at the end of 2012. The government is moving to adopt more cost effective solutions which rely on improved technologies and will offer more choice to users, securely.
Will I still be able to use my Access Key even if I decided to use my online banking credentials once?
Yes, but the Government of Canada service only knows you by one credential, the last credential you used. If you go to a service with a new credential, you may have to re-enroll. Remember that your Access Key will expire at the end of 2012.
What are the advantages of using my online banking credentials?
Your online banking credentials are familiar: you may already use them on a regular basis. They’re convenient: You don’t have to remember a different user ID and password. They’re safe: financial institutions are committed to security and privacy, in line with regulatory and industry best practices.
Why isn’t the financial institution I do business with on your list?
The 3 financial institutions (BMO Financial Group, TD Bank Group and Scotiabank) are the initial credential service providers however it is expected that other commercial credential providers will be added in future. Keep checking when you log on to access Government of Canada services.
I don’t bank with any of the financial institutions listed. What alternative do I have when I want to access government services online?
Individuals who do not have a credential with these financial institutions can continue to use other government-issued credentials, such as the government-issued credential service or, when accessing the Canada Revenue Agency’s online programs and services, - the Agency’s login service.
I bank with one of the financial institutions on your list, but I’m not registered to bank online. How do I access my Government of Canada account using SecureKey Concierge?
If you would like to use the SecureKey Concierge service, you must be registered with your financial institution for online banking access. Your bank will assist you in registering online.
Will the bank charge me for using my banking credential to access government services?
No, this is part of the service your bank offers its customers.
Can I still use my Access Key?
Your Access Key is still valid to use with some Government of Canada online services until December 31, 2012 when the contract for that service expires. The GC will be introducing a new government-issued credential called GCKey in the fall of 2012.