Government to accept Apple Pay and Google Pay for online services

The government is going to accept the first payments for a limited number of government services online through Apple Pay and Google Pay

The government launched its online payments platform Gov.UK Pay for services with credit and debit cards in 2016, and so far, more than 2.9m transactions have been made.

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:

  • Global entry service – enables UK citizens to get expedited entry to the US;
  • online basic criminal record disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks - these are carried out before people are allowed to work in certain sectors;
  • Registered traveller service – makes it easier for frequent visitors from non-EU countries to enter the UK using e-gates at the air and seaport borders; and
  • Electronic visa waiver service – 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 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 will increase the convenience and security of Gov.UK Pay for users and hopefully make their experience online a lot easier.’

Sara White

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