The government launched its online payments platform GOV.UK Pay for services with credit and debit cards in 2016, and so far, more than 2.9 million transactions have been made.
To make the system even easier to use, the Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, has announced that the government will now allow payments to be made with mobile phones through Apple Pay and Google Pay. He said:
We’re focused on making access to government services as easy as possible. And introducing mobile payment to GOV.UK Pay will also make transactions more secure.
This is another example of how we are working smarter as a government - improving services for people as well as reducing fraud and costs.
An initial trial of four government services being payable through Apple Pay and Google Pay has already been launched.
The services taking part in the initial trial are:
- the Global Entry Service – which enables UK citizens to get expedited entry to the United States
- online basic DBS checks - these are carried out before people are allowed to work in certain sectors
- the Registered Traveller Service – which makes it easier for frequent visitors from non-EU countries to enter the UK using modern E-Gates at the border
- the Electronic Visa Waiver Service – which allows people from four countries in the Middle East to travel more easily to the UK
Following the initial trial, it is planned to roll mobile payments across further central government services, and later this year make it available for local government, police and NHS organisations.
As well as being more convenient, these innovative payment types will also be more secure, since they allow the use of fingerprint and facial recognition technology through users’ phones.
Lead product manager for GOV.UK Pay, Till Wirth, said:
Allowing people to pay for government services through Apple Pay and Google Pay means they won’t have to enter their credit or debit card information when making payments. This innovation will increase the convenience and security of GOV.UK Pay for users and hopefully make their experience online a lot easier.