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Case Study - Gov.UK Pay

Gov.UK Pay

Government Digital Services Logo


The Government Digital Service team is responsible for the digital transformation of the UK Government. One of the services they provide is their Pay platform, which enables other departments to take and manage payments on a fully PCI and government standards compliant platform.


Previously, to release a change, they used to run end-to-end tests to verify the entire system. This meant spinning up their microservices architecture in a dockerized environment to run tests. They found that doing it this way was:

  • time-consuming
  • unsustainable
  • resource intensive
  • not giving them the benefits of moving to a microservice architecture as they were still testing as a distributed monolith


By switching to contract testing we now have confidence that any service we deploy will always be compatible with the things it needs to connect with

Now, they:

  • only use end-to-end tests for new functionality when it is unavoidable
  • are confident deployments will not introduce breaking changes between services
  • are in a position to replace expensive end-to-end testing with Pact testing where applicable

Further material