IN A RARE show of being in touch with the 21st century, the UK government has started accepted Apple Pay and Google Pay to cover a number of its services.
The rollout, which currently centres around travel services, is likely to be rolled out to other departments in due course and will allow users to pay even more easily on mobile devices (though the services will work on desktop too).
First to be modernised are the Global Entry Service (allows quicker passage through US immigration for Brits), basic DBS checks (makes sure you haven't got a dodgy past if you apply for an applicable job), Registered Traveller Service (like GES but allows foreign nationals to get through immigration at UK airports and ports), and the Electronic Visa Waiver Service (allows passage to the Middle East without a full Visa).
Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation (we know, we can't believe it's a real thing either) said: "This is another example of how we are working smarter as a government - improving services for people as well as reducing fraud and costs."
Plans include rollout to local government, the police and the NHS.
Till Wirth (nominative determinism much?), the Lead Product Manager for GOV.UK Pay, 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 innovation will increase the convenience and security of GOV.UK Pay for users and hopefully make their experience online a lot easier."
The government says it is keen to introduce solutions like this, as it allows for enhanced security such as fingerprint, facial recognition and good ol' 2FA.
It's all a far cry from the situation less than a decade ago when many of its online services could only be accessed (at all) from out of date browsers like Internet Explorer 6 and Netscape. μ
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