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Pay HMRC - Live Assessment

This service will allow users to make payments to HMRC online via credit and/or debit card.

Department / Agency:
HM Revenue & Customs

Date of Assessment:
18 June 2015

Assessment stage:

Result of Assessment:

Lead Assessor:
J. Gould

Service Manager:
O. McGuire

Digital Leader:
M. Dearnley

Assessment Report

After completing our assessment we can confirm the HMRC Payment Service has shown sufficient evidence of meeting the Digital Service Standard and should go live on GOV.UK. The service can now remove any Beta branding.


The service was assessed against and has met all 18 points of the Digital by Default Service Standard. The assessment panel was impressed with the progress made by the digital service manager and team since the beta assessment and were satisfied by plans to maintain, support and improve the service in the future.

The use of regular user research (to iterate the service, improve the user experience and drive down a reduction in query phone calls), strong use of analytics, and having a well planned roadmap for the team’s resourcing were particularly impressive. The panel especially liked the fact that your research resulted in confusing reference numbers being removed from letters which demonstrates excellent wider service engagement.

At the same time, a good understanding of how this channel fits into the wider payments strategy for HMRC demonstrated a strong, pragmatic approach to creating a positive user experience. The platform has been designed with user privacy in mind and as such stores no personal details.


Point 3

The service manager should develop plans to build long term permanent staff capability in the team and reduce reliance on contractor staff.

Point 10

It was indicated that performance testing in anticipation of the January peak is on the roadmap for later this summer. The panel recommends that this work is prioritised as soon as practicable and should begin no later than September 2015.

Point 13

The service manager should continue to monitor requirements for dedicated content designer resource once the service is live, particularly when the team merges with the Your Tax Account team. We also recommend that the team works closely with the GDS content team to improve GOV.UK guidance for users, making the transition from website to service as seamless as possible.

Point 15

The service team expects to engage with the the digital services for business analytics team in the next four to six weeks with a view to deciding whether or not it will be necessaryto recruit dedicated analytics resource into the service team. The earlier this assessment of service team needs can be made the better.

Point 16

It is important that the team work to identify a cost per transactions measure as soon as possible. The panel would expect all future HMRC services coming to GDS for assessment to be able to demonstrate cost per transactions measures.

Point 17

The panel noted that the performance platform dashboard has been published since the service assessment and appreciate the speed at which this has been addressed.

Assisted Digital

As discussed at the beta assessment, HMRC provides many different online and offline ways for users to pay tax liabilities and each of the individual HMRC services which use this payment service are developing appropriate assisted digital support for their specific users. Therefore specific assisted digital support does not need to be provided for this service in line with GDS policy but this should be reviewed if the range of HMRC payment options is reduced.




The panel were impressed by the professionalism, knowledge and sense of ownership demonstrated by the service manager and team. It was particularly pleasing to to see evidence of a commitment to open sourcing from the team.


Digital Service Standard criteria

Criteria Passed Criteria Passed
1 Yes 2 Yes
3 Yes 4 Yes
5 Yes 6 Yes
7 Yes 8 Yes
9 Yes 10 Yes
11 Yes 12 Yes
13 Yes 14 Yes
15 Yes 16 Yes
17 Yes 18 Yes