Common payments platform moves into beta

GDS christens project ‘GOV.UK Pay’ and places early emphasis on credit and debit card payments

The effort to develop a common payments platform for government has taken on the name GOV.UK Pay and moved into its beta phase.

GOV.UK_payment_prototypeTill Wirth, the product manager for the platform in the Government Digital Service (GDS), says in a new blogpost that the prototype work, announced in July, has been completed and that the beta phase will involve taking real payments.

Government organisations taking part in the trial, which covers the use of credit and debit cards, include Companies House, the Environment Agency, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. The early emphasis will be on understanding what works for the public and civil servants administering the payments, while developers from the organisations and the GDS will begin working on technical integration.

Further on there are plans for GDS to work with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in looking into direct debit payments.

Best practice

The project is aimed at making it easier for people to pay government, in line with the best practice of some commercial organisations, and to make the process cheaper for the relevant authorities. An earlier report said the options could include services such as PayPoint, Payzone and the Post Office to support people who do not have a bank account.

The move provides further evidence of GDS ploughing on with the work to build common platforms for digital processes, despite reports of resistance to the process in parts of Whitehall.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0