The Government Digital Service (GDS) has launched the beta phase of GOV.UK Pay, a prototype cross-government platform designed to improve the way government takes payments by making them more “convenient and efficient”.
Product manager for Payments Platform, Tim Wirth, explained in a new GDS blog post:
“We’ve previously blogged about the work we’re doing to make payments more convenient and efficient.
“During the alpha phase of our project we developed a prototype that helped us do user research and test our technical ideas.
“We’ve now started the beta phase where we’ll take real payments. We’ve also given our project a proper name: ‘GOV.UK Pay’.
The team has published the following YouTube video designed to introduce people to the platform and help them understand what it is all about.
The GDS has talked with many of its colleagues across government in a bid to discover how they currently take payments, and how the process could be improved.
The team behind GOV.UK Pay is now “starting to intensify that research and focus on taking credit and debit card payments for some online transactions” of their partners:
- Companies House
- Environment Agency
- Home Office
- Ministry of Justice
Wirth thanked all of the teams that have helped develop the beta phase, describing their contribution as “vital”. He added that the GDS will not launch anything until they are certain “user needs” and “highest security standards” can be met.
Over the next couple of weeks, the GDS will collaborate with the above partners to ensure that they understand the “needs of citizens using the payments service”, as well as the civil servants administering the payments.
“The developers in our team will also start pairing with our partner’s developers to focus on technical integration,” he added.
As well as carrying out the “development work”, the GDS is also preparing to start exploring the “user needs associated with Direct Debit payments”.
“DVLA has recently successfully implemented the Direct Debit payment method, and we’re excited to have them help us kick off the research. We plan to start the actual development work for a Direct Debit payment method early next year,” said Wirth.
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