Scottish Government to explore construction of GOV.UK Pay alternative

Written by Sam Trendall on 3 December 2018 in News
News

Government to spend £300,000 building prototype of system that could handle both inbound and outbound payments

The Scottish Government is to develop a prototype of its own payment platform.

Over the course of a project that will last up to four months, the government wishes to “test if it's feasible to build a standardised payments solution capable of being linked to a diverse set of public sector organisations, and connecting to a range of existing commodity payments services”.

If it presses ahead with the creation of such a tool, it will need to be able to process more than 10 million transactions per year across a total of 140 separate agencies, the Scottish Government said.

It added that the existing GOV.UK Pay tool developed by the UK Government Digital Service is “very much part of our considerations”.


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“However, for this feasibility study we are focusing on a wider remit than what GOV.UK Pay currently covers – addressing both inbound and outbound payments.”

The Pay platform was only developed to receive payments or issue refunds.

The Sottish Government has issued a contract notice seeking a supplier to support to design and delivery of a prototype payment platform. The chosen company will also “provide recommendations and options – to support our business case – on how the service could be scaled and managed, to include technology options, costs, team structure, and service models”.

The government is looking to develop a tool that is “based on loosely coupled, component-based, secure and sustainable technology and existing commodity services”. 

The winning bidder will support a small existing team in Edinburgh that has already begun to undertake research. The supplier will be expected to be based on site with the team at least three days a week.

“While some material already exists – such as case studies and reports from other linked projects, desk research and stakeholder interviews – it is important to understand this project is designed to inform our future approach,” the Scottish Government said. “Work already underway includes activity to understand the existing landscape, user needs and business processes, and test a number of technological assumptions.”

Bids are open until 13 December, with work expected to start in early February and last three to four months. The project will be worth up to £300,000 to the winning bidder.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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