SG payments service – Launch of private beta

June 27, 2022 by No Comments | Category Digital Scotland, SG Payments

Blog by Lesley Allen, Service Owner, and Fiona Maclellan, Senior Service Designer, for the SG Payments Service.

On 22 June, the Scottish Government Payments Service officially moved into private beta. Independent Living Fund Scotland, our beta partner, cut the ribbon and successfully made the first of many weekly Bacs payments to Transition Fund recipients. We’re calling this release 1, with much more to come. Here we are with an update on our recent progress.

The launch of a Minimal Viable Service is a significant milestone for the Digital Directorate. It’s a key priority in the Digital Strategy to support transformation of existing public sector organisations by building a suite of common platforms and services.

Image: Extract from user manual, the landing page

Image: Extract from user manual, the landing page

The project began in Autumn 2018, when a small team started exploring the way we make and take payments in the Scottish public sector. We’ve still a small team, but we’ve come a long way since then and we’re so proud that this release brings us closer to achieving our vision.

The service provides state-of-the-art technology, designed and built with banking, accessibility and cyber security standards at its core. This delivers an efficient, cost-effective and responsive service which allows public sector organisations to rapidly on-board critical services. But we understand to make our service good, it’s not just about making payments, seamless on-boarding and effective support is also part of our wider service design.

Woman and man looking at computer

Image: User manual front cover, with release date 22 June 2022

Private beta is a launch mode that has allowed us to work with a limited number of early adopters to test and iterate our new service before making it available to the broader public sector. Here’s what our beta partner has to say:

“ILF Scotland makes financial payments to some of Scotland’s most disabled people to enable them to live their lives as independently as possible. For us, accuracy, reliability and security of this new payments platform were our top priority as the people we support depend on us to get it right”

“At every stage of development, working alongside [the team] has been a real pleasure and they have listened patiently to our needs, but also taken on board our suggestions and ideas…By going live this week, we have now operationalised a project that has been several years in the making, but are hugely confident that this marks a new beginning in how public services come together to develop high value services that can be shared by all.”

– Paul Hayllor – Director, Digital and Information Services

We’ve faced many challenges along the way, and been supported by many professional areas across government. Thanks goes to our colleagues in SG Cloud, Digital Accessibility and Usability Unit, Cyber Security, Digital Identity, Legal, Digital Assurance Office, and the Design System team to name a few!

Along with our technical delivery partner Scott Logic, we are a multi-disciplinary team with an agile and user-centred approach. This really is just the beginning, with lots of work still to do! We’re already building on our learning and reflecting on how our next steps can have the biggest impact.

So what’s next? Our focus in the next few months includes:

1. Building in additional features and functionality; included other payment methods
2. Working closely with our next beta partner Students Awards Agency Scotland to co-design around their organisations needs and plan for on-boarding
3. Develop the opportunities across our division for synergies in service delivery
4. Continued collaboration with the Design System team and our accessibility experts
5. Growing our pipeline of early adopters

Woman looking through binoculars

Image: Extract from user manual, join the co-design process

In our next blog we will talk about some of the lessons learned from delivering a Minimum Viable Service and our service principles which underpin everything we do.

If you think someone could benefit from talking to us, please share our email:

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