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GDS adds new features to GOV.UK Pay


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Government Digital Service (GDS) has added a new feature to the GOV.UK Pay service to enable it to take repeated payments.

It has also made it possible for organisations to introduce webhooks to make it easier to get real time information on payments.

Senior content designed Alan Maddrell said in a blogpost that the new features have been developed with the Environment Agency, which is introducing recurring payments for rod fishing licences, and Kent County Council, which is using them to enable businesses to pay in instalments for a place on its fair trader directory.

The change for repeated payments comes in response to public sector bodies telling GDS that they need the feature for processes such as taking regular payments for licences and subscriptions.

This has prompted the development a function to create ‘agreements’ for payments to be taken on a schedule. GDS has published the relevant technical documentation.

Automatic information

Webhooks automatically send information when something happens, rather than requiring services to make API calls, and have a wide range of potential applications, such as integrating with existing enterprise resource planning software.

Maddrell said they also make it possible for an organisation that uses GOV.UK Pay a lot of services to keep track of all the payments through a single financial system.

GDS has also produced the supporting documentation for their use.

“We want to develop recurring payments and webhooks further, particularly to make it easier for services to set up recurring payments without using our API,” Maddrell said. “Later this year we will also be expanding beyond card payments, looking at future payment types like open banking.”

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