GOV.UK Pay as a viable alternative e-payment provider (Local Digital Exemplar Project) DISCOVERY

Project details:

Organisation North East Lincolnshire Council
Collaboration Level Open To Conversation
Budget £50K > £100k
Key Contact Dave Morton
Phase start 07 December 2018
Phase Estimated end 29 March 2019



This is a join project between North East Lincolnshire Council, GDS GOV.UK Pay team, Publica Group, Oxford City Council and Allerdale Council.


Local authorities should use GDS GaaP products; GOV.UK Pay has processed >£93m, yet Local Authority adoption is slow to adopt with concerns about if GOV.UK Pay can become their sole e-payment system.

The GOV.UK Pay contract model is financially beneficial for local authorities but their feeling is that challenges & integration costs with legacy finance systems are key adoption barriers. Currently integration is done by each local authority, and we’d like to explore how Local Authorities &GOV.UK Pay can make integration easier & reusable together.

New Blue Badge service uses GOV.UK Pay; over 100 local authorities will need to get GOV.UK Pay reporting into their systems so this is relevant & timely.

6 councils & the GDS GOV.UK Pay team will collaborate to understand:

  • benefits & savings of adopting GOV.UK Pay
  • obstacles to adoption & how we might overcome them
  • current & planned GOV.UK Pay features, how they may help local authorities
  • unmet needs around online payments or unusual local authorities payment models & appropriate changes to GOV.UK Pay that would help local authorities
  • obstacles to adoption and on-boarding
  • collective key local authority e-payment & income product features
  • user need & user stories in income management reconciliation
  • changes to processes, thinking or models in reconciliation, eg how much of this is need vs. habitual
  • changes by established system vendors & their interest in supporting the Local Digital Declaration #fixtheplumbing aiming to drive the potential cost efficiencies of adopting GOV.UK Pay pan government as our primary income collection facility

We polled Localgov Slack to gauge key system providers & identified collaborators that were using those key systems.

The current cost of the problem

Economies of scale for all 400+ UK council’s at a nominal £10,000 p.a. saving each for an e-payment provider mean that recurring annual savings could run to over £4m.

There are 207 local authorities who collectively administer 1 million blue badges per year. Only 12% offer online and where this is offered 69% pay online. This indicates that there is great potential for shift and savings for local authorities as well as an unmet user need.

Income generation and reconciliation done badly has costs in time and resources across all services.

Benefits for the sector

  • Adoption of a common platform for all of government
  • Work can be reused by all local authorities
  • Potential for lower transaction costs due to economies of scales across the public sector
  • Potential savings for local authorities moving from commercial established e-payment providers to the free to use GOV.UK Pay platform
  • Potential savings as local authorities to reduce time spent or stop doing some tasks all together
  • Potential savings as we can encourage channel shift from expensive payment methods like cash/cheque for ad hoc payments through payment links or better online payment platforms that people prefer to use
  • Opportunity to shape Pay’s roadmap as part of their continued improvements

Benefits for customers

  • Consistent experience for customers making government payments
  • GOV.UK Pay is fully accessible and extensively user-tested
  • GOV.UK is continually adding functionality based on user testing, so customers will get a better experience (e.g. Apple pay).

Benefits for system providers

  • Opportunity to help #fixtheplumbing by adapting their products to make use of a common service pattern for income management/reconciliation
  • Ensuring their product remains relevant for local authority customers




Status Updates