RPA earmarks £7m for online payments

The Rural Payments Agency has earmarked £7m to develop its website to allow farmers to claim their single farm payment online.

In a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union earlier this month, the RPA said it wanted farmers, traders and agents to be able to manage their customer details, claim status and statements online.

Some farmers can already make their claims through farm software packages using the Data Exchange Service, but the agency wants more farmers to use the service this year.

It has advertised business worth between £4m and £7m for a service provider to develop its website so farmers not using the farm software can apply for payments online.

An RPA spokeswoman told GC News: “A new service will be available from 2010 onwards which will enable all our SPS customers and their assigned agents to submit their applications electronically.

“These improvements will provide our customers with a method of tracking the progress of their claim from receipt through to payment/completion.

“The advertisement is in response to the fact that we are seeking to continue to support and enhance the e-channel functionality going forward, and the contract with our current supplier came to an end in December 2009.”