The UK tax authority has put out a £3 million tender for the provision of an Open Banking-based Payment Initiation and Account Information Service.
Her majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has worked with the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) on the procurement exercise, which is seen as a significant boost to the wider uptake of Open Banking services in the UK.
HMRC says the aim of the project is to make it easy for taxpayers to submit payments direct from their bank accounts, rather than through debit or credit card.
"Currently, our bank transfer journey is non-automated which can result in a high volume of customer errors which are resource intensive to rectify," states the body. "By providing an innovative, well designed journey that can be populated with our numerous reference formats and HMRC bank accounts, with little effort from our customers, we believe we can encourage card payers to move to this more cost-effective method and subsequently reduce our payment associated costs significantly."
HMRC adds that Account Information Services will enable it to access customers' transactional data to deliver "enhanced and tailored financial services".
Bidders must be registered and authorised by Financial Conduct Authority and certified by and enrolled with the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE). The supplier will be expected to have connection to a high percentage of UK banks, at minimum the CMA9 - representing the UK's major banks and building societies.
Successful bidders will need to cope with the HMRC's peaks throughout the year and increased volumes during the contract period and implement delivery following Agile methods within six weeks of the award.
Up to ten bidders will be selected to proceed to the award stage. Applications for the contract, which will start in 2021 and run for two years, close on 7 September.