UK government develops prototype payments platform

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The Government Digital Service (GDS) has developed a prototype payments platform that will improve the way British citizens pay for tax and other compulsory contributions.

This new technology is part of the Government as a Platform programme where GDS works with departments and agencies to improve digital services.

British taxpayers have previously complained about an inadequate user experience when having to pay government money.

During the alpha stage of the payments platform, GDS has worked with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in developing an easy-to-use payment page that fits within government guidelines.

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The GDS has also begun talking to leaders of selected services to begin using a beta version of the platform to take card payments.

The project has 4 goals:

1. Make it easier for citizens and businesses to pay government

With over 2m UK taxpayers not in possession of a bank account, the payments platform will provide alternative ways of paying for government bills, for example services like PayPoint, Payzone or the Post Office could provide citizens to pay for their contributions.

2. Make it faster for new government services to start taking payments

Using the platform would make it quicker and cheaper for the government to launch new services, since it avoids unnecessary repetition of the same procurement and integration work every time.

3. Make it cheaper for government services to reconcile payments, provide user support, and issue refunds

Providing one reporting interface that shows all payment types and providers could make the payment reconciliation process more efficient.

The new platform will enable government officials to provide detailed and timely transaction information which could keep citizens better informed about the status of their payments.

4. Increase innovation

The Payments Platform could help government take advantage of new innovation in the financial technology industry.

 

 

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