Credit: Jens B�ttner/DPA/PA Images
Citizens can now use Apple Pay and Google Pay to make payments for government services.
The GOV.UK Pay platform for accepting credit and debit card payments will now also allow users to pay using the respective digital-wallet services offered on Apple and Android mobile devices. The government said that this will not only make payments more convenient for users but, by enabling the use of fingerprint and facial-recognition technology, will also improve security.
Apple and Google pay will initially be available for use on a trial basis to pay for four government services: the Global Entry Service, which allows UK citizens speedier approval for entry into the US; basic online DBS checks; the Registered Traveller Service, which allows people from non-EU countries who regularly visit the UK to use e-gates to scan their passport; and the Electronic Visa Waiver Service, which permits citizens of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to travel to the UK more easily.
Following this small-scale pilot, in the coming months the government plans to roll out Apple Pay and Google Pay across more central government services. Later in the year, mobile payments will be accepted for citizen payments to local authorities, the police, and NHS organisations, the government hopes.
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.”
Since its launch it 2016, GOV.UK has been used by citizens to make almost three million payments, according to the government.
Minister for implementation Oliver Dowden 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."