Public Services > Central Government

GDS develops payments platform prototype

David Bicknell Published 23 July 2015

Cross-government approach to payments is one of the first tangible results of Government as a Platform strategy


The Government Digital Service (GDS) has developed a prototype cross-government platform to improve the way the government takes payments from citizens.

The prototype, currently still an 'alpha' development, still requires feedback and more user research.

But it is one of the first tangible results of the government's Government as a Platform (GaaP) initiative which already has so far yielded an information assurance platform, Verify, and the GOV.UK publishing platform.

Details of the payments platform work have been detailed in a GDS blog post.

GDS says it has also developed an initial version of the back-end that civil servants will use to do reconciliation, provide user support and issue refunds. Exploring what support developers in government organisations need to integrate with the platform was another focus of the alpha development, GDS said.

According to the blog post, during the development's beta phase, GDS is planning to integrate with two or three government services and start taking card payments in a secure and reliable environment.

It then intends to focus on fine-tuning the API and the self-service components to make it as easy as possible for government services to adopt the platform. It also plans to add new payment types so that users can chose the most convenient way to pay.

GDS says it has already had discussions with the main government organisations that take payments, but it is keen to talk with other finance departments, product teams or call centres who would benefit from using the payments platform.

According to the post, the project has four goals: to make it easier for citizens and businesses to pay government; to make it faster for government services to start taking payments; to make it cheaper for government services to reconcile payments, provide user support, and issue refunds; and to increase innovation.

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