He made his debut for Gillingham in a League Two match against Chester City on 25 October 2008, and signed a 18-month contract some three months later. He plays as a midfielder. He was voted Young Player of the Year for Gillingham at the end of the 2008–09 season. Payne's form created interest from then Championship side Reading however no offer was ever lodged. Payne then signed a two-year extension to keep him at the club until 2015.
In January 2013, Payne signed on loan for Peterborough United until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move. Payne had been due to sign for the Posh in the summer of 2012, however the deal fell through. He eventually joined the club the following summer.