HMRC awards £3m contract to upgrade web-services

The money will be spent minimising the margin for error and fraud in taxpayer payment transfers

HMRC has awarded the largest Government open banking contract in history to Ecospend, a financial data and payments platform.

The £3m contract will see HMRC’s web-services streamlined and automated, reducing errors, fraud, and improving user experience for UK taxpayers.

Currently, HMRC’s online services are not integrated with its bank transfer technology, meaning taxpayers have to manually set up a transfer that could lead to mistakes.

The open banking firm will provide an account-to-account software, allowing payments to be sent directly from a payer’s bank and therefore reducing possible margin for error and fraud.

Simon Lyons, head of ecosystem management at the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), said: “In this instance, the use of open banking technology will revolutionise the often time-consuming manual process of filling in tax returns and will dramatically streamline the processes through automation.

“This effort will also serve to deliver on ministers’ policy intentions to increase the overall capability of and competition in the UK’s banking and payment systems.”

Established in 2017, Ecospend now operates with a team of 50, and pitched its services for HMRC late last year.

Metin Erkman, founder and CEO at the firm, said: “Since founding Ecospend, we have spent the last three-years focused on building our underlying technology and API in-house. 

“Because of this, we’re now able to provide the best solutions, such as our account-to-account payment system for HMRC.”

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