ScotPayments – £13.5 million milestone reached

December 18, 2023 by No Comments | Category Digital Scotland, ScotPayments

Blog by Megan Abbott, Lead Business Relationship Manager, ScotPayments.

A lot has happened in the year since we last posted an update.

Up until now our service has been referred to as the Scottish Government Payments Service or the payments programme. This was a working title and we all agreed that naming the service was a key step as our programme matured and important to its future success.

We took a User-Centred Design approach to naming the service and user research with a range of public sector organisations played a pivotal role in our final decision. Choosing the right name means that our users can;

1. find the service more easily when searching online

2. understand what the service does and easily decide whether to use it, and

3. align us with other government digital services.

Following an options appraisal, the Scottish Government Payment Service is now called ScotPayments.

Our Beta partner, Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland have now fully onboarded all of their outbound payments to ScotPayments. We process the payment of multiple grant funds, goods and services, and salaries and expenses.

Since launching the minimal viable service in June 2022, we’ve continued to take an agile approach to the development of the platform and adoption of payments, starting small and allowing the service to scale over time. As of December 2023, ScotPayments has now processed over 6000 payments to the value of £13.5 million which will increase at pace as we continue to scale our platform.

So what can ScotPayments do?
We like to describe ourselves as a payments service to encompass the end-to-end journey our users go through:

1. Onboarding – To ensure you are able to use our service, we will work with you to complete a feasibility checklist. The checklist covers topics like payment file upload, bank accounts, resources and so on. In line with advice from the National Cyber Security Centre, to use ScotPayments partner organisations will be required to have their own bank account. When moving from a shared bank account there are lead times, application forms and sign off routes that we can support with. We currently operate as an in-house bureau which allows us to make payments on behalf of our customers however we also have the ability to operate as a commercial bureau which would also allow us to make payments on behalf of local authorities or the NHS. As part of the onboarding process the ScotPayments team will also work with you to build a bespoke training package for staff members.

2. Processing payments – The ScotPayments platform is where operational finance staff make their Bacs payments to the people of Scotland in a safe, user-friendly and efficient way. Users can see AWACS and ARUCS reports (when payments have been returned, rejected or redirected) in live time. Our platform also allows users to handle batch approvals and payment returns along with providing customisable staff access like enquiry only users. Our Confirmation of Payee feature went live in November 2023 and allows users to check and verify bank details with the aim of reducing certain types of fraud as well as misdirected payments. Confirmation of Payee can be used as a standalone feature or alongside making outbound payments. Although it has only recently gone live, we are already seeing the benefits this brings to partner organisations.

3. Getting the help you need – Once you are set up and making payments, we have a dedicated service management team who are on hand to help with any queries or issues. We have a knowledge portal full of helpful information and currently use Jira Service Management to log, track and resolve any bugs or defects.

4. Improving the service – We have an option to offboard from the service if required and are constantly looking for ways to improve the service. We work with users to gather feedback and use this to make evidence based decisions to prioritise features and fixes in our product roadmap.

What is next for ScotPayments?
In September 2023 the First Minister published his first Programme for Government reiterating the commitment to the payments service and its importance to public service digital transformation. We are in the process of moving to the next phase of our Beta project and are looking for new organisations to join us as Beta partners to help us build on the current service.

Technical development of the platform and service will continue throughout 2024 as the programme continues to build functions and features in line with the technical and product roadmap. These include the scaling of the platform to ensure the service can handle the growth of payment volumes and values as new organisations join along with one off, faster, international and alternative payments being scoped for discovery.

If you’re a Scottish public sector organisation you can use ScotPayments to enable efficiencies and reduce misdirected payments.

To find out more, please visit or contact

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