CS: Hackney Council Residents Online Rent Account

Hackney Council

Residents Online Rent Account 

  • Users Logged In
  • Successful Payments
  • Returning Users
  • Returning Users Responsible of Payments


Hackney Council had previously launched its online Rent Account but it wasn’t achieving the digital uptake the local authority had expected. Not only was this impacting residents’ online experiences with the council, it also meant services weren’t able to enjoy the efficiency and budget benefits of digitising the process, so the council knew it needed to act.

OrangeMaple partnered with Hackney Council to develop a secure online rent account for customers and residents to use to check their rent balances and make payments. Importantly, we created a platform that local people trust.


Within just two weeks of the service going live:

– 1,156 users logged in

-1114 payments were successfully made

-Almost 40% of users were returning

-Returning users were responsible for 98% of the payment

‘It’s proving our hypothesis that managing money is the key driver for our customer base.’ said Emma Harley from Hackney Council.

Our approach

During the discovery phase we spent extensive time with customers and residents, understanding their needs, pain points and how they interacted with the service. We very quickly identified issues with the user journey that we were able to instantly fix, ahead of the new digital transaction platform.

Implementing improvements that provided value for the internal services early on in the process helped us establish trust with the teams and as a result we saw a positive shift in relation to digital uptake and our project.

We adopted a behaviours-driven approach to the development cycle to make sure we were aligning our solutions with customer and service needs. Starting with wireframes, we developed and iterated constantly, improving the usability and user journeys, and striving to make the process as simple and accessible as possible.

We passed a formal Local Government Digital Service Assessment at Alpha stage before moving to Private Beta. In Private Beta we tested the live environment with a small number of users initially. However, throughout the process to official go-live we continued testing with actual users, visiting the ‘shop floor’, refining and improving.

What we achieved was an effective council rents online platform that works for both the front and backend users. We learnt a lot throughout the process and loved the user-centred approach of our colleagues at Hackney Council.

“It’s proving our hypothesis that managing money is the key driver for our customer ”
– Emma Harley, Hackney council