SG payments team – Opportunities and update

October 12, 2020 by No Comments | Category Digital, Digital Scotland

Carron MacNab, Delivery Manager, Product and Commercial Division, shares some news about opportunities to join the Payments team. We’ve also got an update on how we’re finding ways to carry on engaging users and stakeholders during COVID-19 restrictions.

‘Payments’ is one of the core shared technology platforms outlined in Scotland’s Digital Strategy. It is also part of the Programme for Government commitment to develop common platforms and components that support cross-organisational working and enable resources to be directed to critical, front line delivery.
Our long-term vision is to deliver a public, sector-wide payments service that will operate at speed, securely and with the ability to scale quickly and efficiently.

Up until now, we have been a small team within the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate and have worked with suppliers to complement our internal capability and strengthen our knowledge and skillsets. We have also been supported by our public sector partner organisations, and have had valuable input from other stakeholders across government and externally.

What it’s like working on the Payments team

Alex is Product Owner and has been working on the Payments team since it first started in 2018:
‘It’s exciting. It feels like working for a public sector fintech, and although we take our time to do things well, it’s fast paced and there is always interesting work on the go. Whether designing a user-centred and accessible service, or working on technical aspects, such as defining a payment message for the Scottish public sector, the team doesn’t shy away from the latest trends in service design and technology.’

Fiona works in User Centred Design and has been working on the Payments team for just under a year:
‘In my role as a Service Designer, I get the opportunity to work with users to understand their needs, visions and values. This shapes the bigger picture of an end-to-end service design. It’s an exciting and important time to work in the Scottish Government. We are using new methods to help increase participation in the design of public services, which is a huge part of my job in the Payments team. It makes me proud to say we are working hard to put people at the heart of what we do. Even when working from home, during a pandemic, the team have made sure we look after one another and find new ways to engage with users.’

Join the team

In order to deliver a payments service across the public sector, we need to grow our current team. We currently have 2 Business Analyst roles live, but we’ll be advertising more posts over the coming months. Keep an eye out on the Digital Scots twitter account (@digitalscots) and the Work for Scotland website.

User engagement online

Continuing to engage and collaborate with our potential users has been a lot more complicated during the pandemic. Because of the restrictions around meeting people in their homes or an office, we’ve had to change lots of things about the way we work, including moving to remote user engagement.
We’ve also had to change how we engage with stakeholders and potential suppliers. In our pre-procurement phase, we had to present our project over Youtube rather than in more traditional ways – this took a huge amount of work and cutting more personable aspects was hard.

While moving to this type of remote engagement hasn’t always been easy, we have learned some things along the way:

  1. Time with users is always valuable. We try to remind ourselves regularly to make sure we make the most of any time that is kindly shared with us. We know that it’s important to book meetings well in advance, and to make sure invitees are updated regularly.
  2. Build relationships. Some of the key people you may want to collaborate and test with may not be the first people you speak to. Establishing a network of contacts and building relationships will help you reach them. This relationship building will always take longer than expected.
  3. Be patient. It’s important to accept that shifting to a digital workshop or an over-the-phone interview will affect timings, and from our experience things take a lot longer than they do in person. If you are planning a remote meeting that will last over an hour, it’s likely that it’s going to be hard to remain focused for that length of time. Make sure you plan for a break every 45 minutes and find a way to create variety in the types of tasks you’re asking people to do.
  4. Make it visual. Try using an online, virtual board such as Trello, Miro or Mural to help give a visual context for online meetings. This is a great way to give all those in the room a chance to input and helps facilitate and focus discussion. In more formal updates, we’ve found it useful to include a slide deck to add further detail.
  5. Share early. It’s important to give participants clear introductions prior to each session. This helps give people the context they’ll need to fully take part. Pair this with clear write ups and end of session surveys to make sure you give those who attend time to feedback and to share any insights that emerge.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about our project, or our advertised vacancies, you can contact us at

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