General Secure Key FAQs


1. Why is the Government of Canada offering users a choice of login credentials?

By offering a choice of login credentials, the government is making its online services more convenient for clients to access. Many individuals regularly use their online credentials for banking or paying bills, so being able to use the same credential to access government services online means one less username and password for clients to remember.

2. What is a "credential"?

"Credentials" are widely used to control an individual’s access to online information or services. Your online banking information (a bank card number or user name and password) is a common example of a credential.

The Government of Canada uses anonymous credentials to allow users to communicate securely with online Government of Canada services. An anonymous credential is one that does not contain any personally identifiable information.

3. What is a "credential service provider"?

Credential service providers (CSP) are government or non-government entities that issue and manage credentials (user names and passwords) assigned to their users. For example, financial institutions issue credentials to their customers so they can do their banking online.

The Government of Canada uses anonymous credentials to allow users to securely access online Government of Canada services. An anonymous credential is one that does not contain any personally identifiable information.

4. What is a "Government of Canada issued credential"?

Government of Canada-issued credentials are offered as another choice for users who cannot, or choose not to, use their bank credential. 

Government of Canada-issued credentials include the following:

  • CRA user ID and password (For use at the CRA only)
  • GCKey (For use at other government departments and agencies)

5. What is the "Sign-in Partner" login service?

The Sign-in Partner login service, called SecureKey Concierge, is a credential broker service that acts as a bridge between the Government of Canada and participating credential service providers (Sign-in Partners). This service allows you to login using your online banking information if you have an account with one of the participating Sign-In Partners. It is expected that other financial institutions will be added in the future. Keep checking when you login to access Government of Canada online services.

6. I had to switch to a new CRA user ID and password not that long ago. Why are you adding another credential now?

The Government of Canada is moving to adopt more cost‑effective solutions by leveraging investments made by financial institutions for secure online environments. The new technologies offer users more convenience and choice.

This is another option but does not need to replace the CRA user ID and password for those who prefer to use it.

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