Cookies

GOV.UK Pay puts small files (known as ‘cookies’) on to your computer.

Cookies are used to:

  • secure your payment session
  • remember the notifications you’ve seen so we don’t show them again

Cookies are also used to remember any government users who’ve signed in to our payments admin tool.

You’ll normally see a message on the site before we store a cookie on your computer.

Find out how to manage cookies.

Card payment session

If you pay for a government service using a credit or debit card, GOV.UK Pay uses cookies to keep your payment session secure.

Name Purpose Expires
frontend_session_2 We use this to secure your payment session 3 hours
session We use this to secure your payment session 1 hour

Detection of fraud

In some limited circumstances, we may use Google reCAPTHCA to help us confirm legitimate use and protect GOV.UK Pay from fraud, spam and misuse. You’ll be required to check an ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox and possibly complete a picture challenge. Google’s reCAPTCHA technology, when used, will apply the following cookie:

Name Purpose Expires
_GRECAPTCHA GOV.UK Pay uses this, on rare occasions, to prevent fraudulent testing of card numbers. 6 months

Our introductory message

You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit GOV.UK Pay. We’ll store a cookie so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again.

Name Purpose Expires
seen_cookie_message Saves a message to let us know that you have seen our cookie message 1 month

GOV.UK Pay admin tool

Only government service owners can access the payments admin tool. It’s used to manage, and report on, payments.

Name Purpose Expires
session Remembers if you’ve signed in recently 3 hours
gateway_account Remembers the gateway account you last used, if you've signed in before 1 month
register_invite Remembers your registration progress if you’ve been invited 1 hour
govuk_pay_notifications Remember the notifications you’ve seen so we don’t show them again 6 months

Analytics cookies (optional)

With your permission, we use Google Analytics to collect data about how you use Pay. This information helps us to improve our service.

Google is not allowed to use or share our analytics data with anyone.

Google Analytics stores anonymised information about:

  • how you got to GOV.UK Pay
  • the pages you visit on Pay and how long you spend on them
  • any errors you see while using Pay
Google Analytics cookies
Name Purpose Expires
_ga Checks if you’ve visited Pay before. This helps us count how many people visit our site. 2 years
_gid Checks if you’ve visited Pay before. This helps us count how many people visit our site. 24 hours