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Digital accounts for vehicle testing customers – taking a user centred approach

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As we look to invite all Authorised Testing Facilities (ATF’s) and pre-funded account holders onto the new manage your vehicle testing (MYVT) service over the next few months, it feels like a good opportunity to look at the approach behind making MYVT the best it can be for customers.

What is user research?

User research is the study of people and how they use products or services. The aim is to understand people’s needs for a service or product, and any problems they may have in carrying out particular tasks. This helps create and inform solutions based on real feedback.

User research has played a key role throughout developing MYVT. The service empowers users to view their balance, top-up their account, download statements and track real-time testing – all at the click of a button.

The type of things we needed to find out from our users

To create a new, more efficient service we carried out research to help:

  • identify the different types of users who have pre-funded accounts
  • understand the users’ current processes of managing their pre-funded account
  • gain feedback on the new process of managing their pre-funded account through Manage your vehicle testing

Launching the service with early adopter ATFs

Once we were confident we’d gained enough insight into the customer and their processes, we launched the service with three early adopters.

We spent a lot of time listening to what our early adopters, like Sheila at Travel West Midlands, had to say about the service so we could make any improvements as we rolled it out further. Here, she shares some of the feedback she’s given us and her thoughts on the new service.

At Travel West Midlands, I deal with most of the engineering admin within my home depot. I'm also responsible for planning and booking all the annual MOT tests for the bus division and our access transport branch, which amounts to approximately 1600 tests per year. We have 3 test sites and MOT between 35 and 40 vehicles per week.

Improving payment methods

Before MYVT, previous account payments were done by either cheque or BACS payment. This method was very long winded as I had to get it authorised at different levels. It could take up to a month before the payment was made into the  prefunded accounts.

Since trialling MYVT midway through March 2022 I’ve been using it to check balances in the accounts on a weekly basis. Our accounts department use it to check statements and recharge various depots within our area for the costs associated with testing their vehicles.

Saving time and creating efficiencies

I’ve found it quicker to do tasks, and it’s reduced the need for other spreadsheets and logs. Information is there straight away, so it’s a lot quicker than waiting for statements and invoices to be sent.

I would definitely endorse the MYVT service and encourage others to use it as soon as they’re invited onto it.

Rolling out to everyone

The launch was a success and we have been onboarding other ATFs and pre-funded account holders since, making sure that we carry out regular research with these new users to continue to improve on the service.

The new service has been very well received. Users have mentioned the following benefits:

  • visibility of their account balance
  • the ability to view statements without a monthly wait for a postal statement
  • the ability to make instant payments into their pre-funded account

Listening to what users have to say

Speaking to users has allowed us to make incremental, yet crucial, changes to the service such as:

  • improving communication emails
  • making information on Manage your vehicle testing clearer
  • making visual changes to the website to make information easier to understand

We’re now focusing on getting any remaining ATFs and pre-funded account holders onto the service, and we’ll continue to gather feedback from users through research interviews and web analytics. It’s really important to get feedback, and we’d encourage anyone contacted for user research to speak with us.

Log onto MYVT and update your settings

If you have already been sent an email migrating you onto the MYVT service, please log in as soon as possible. You will need to claim your account by setting up a password.

Once you’ve done that you will instantly be able to add any team members who may also benefit from using the service, top up your pre-funded account or set up a Direct Debit if you want to use that functionality.

If you have any questions or need support, please email

You can also watch back our webinar on YouTube, where we run through how to use the new service.

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