Jo* visits one of her regular customers, Geoff, who’s often having trouble. Geoff always seems to be just about getting by, managing life, his family as a single parent and all its expenses on a pretty low and insecure budget. Jo tries to find the most efficient fix for getting Geoff through his latest boiler breakdown (there’s no way he can afford to replace the boiler which is what would really solve his heating problems) for the most rock bottom cost she can afford, and gives him as long as she can to pay.
Geoff sometimes asks if he can pay her by instalments, which she’s not against in principle, it’s just that that causes interruption to her working cash flow and creates additional admin that she needs to keep on top of. There are never enough hours in the day to keep track of these things, and Jo ends up feeling quite anxious.
Jo compiles her day’s invoices and emails them out…playing straight into the hands of invoice hackers and putting her modest and irregular income stream at risk. Invoice/authorised push payment fraud is increasing and at Ordo we’ve heard lots of anecdotal evidence that this is a constant problem that affects everyone, but it’s especially damaging if you don’t have much breathing space with your finances like Geoff and Jo.
Jo’s payments out: it’s been an uncharacteristically summery summer and, whilst wonderful, people’s plumbing hasn’t been under as much strain, so, personally, Jo’s in a bit of a trough in terms of her income. In turn this is making managing her personal finances high maintenance, stressful and draining (no pun intended).
In checking her credit card statement, Jo spots her van insurance has auto-renewed on her credit card. Aghast, she thinks: “shouldn’t they have asked consent or requested a payment rather than just take the money off my credit card!?” Also, because she didn’t shop around the premium is extortionate; the insurance company benefitting from inertia and people’s busyness and therefore business – if only she could get business that easily. She also notices on her credit card statement that the credit card company has charged her a fee for the privilege of having their business card – she must get around to working out if it’s worth her having it.
Jo’s sure this will put her at the very edge of what she can afford right now, if not tip her over it. Burying that thought, as she can’t muster the energy to gather all her financial paperwork and bookings diary to begin reconciling (the numerous payments referenced “plumber”), estimating what income she can expect to receive in the near future and what her short and medium term bills could be, she decides to put an end to this difficult rainy day and gets distracted by her personal emails.
She reads a message from her friend, Fred, who’s a nurse: “Jo, I’m embarrassed to chase, but I really need that money for drinks last week please, I can’t believe you’ve left it this long, you know I don’t earn that much and I’ve got bills to pay. Please transfer the money asap, account details below. And please check when you put in my account number, remember what happened last time”. Jo had forgotten, what with her van insurance, Geoff’s ad hoc payment plan, the large direct debit due soon that’s at the back of her mind (it’s ok for her energy supplier to get its bill paid monthly, but she’s not paid monthly; she’ll cancel that DD), and generally trying to keep her own head above water.
What a day, groundhog day: so many payments to worry about and keep track of, all to just keep afloat; surely just seeing what you’ve got coming in and what’s due to go out in one place with some kind of mechanism to help you manage when you pay what isn’t too much to ask for?
We’ve heard these problems and we’ve built Ordo to solve them. Ordo is simple, swift and secure – for payer and biller. It uses end-to-end encrypted messages, pre-populates and hides account details so you don’t share them, pre-populates account and reference details so they can’t be changed (to “plumber” or “gas bill” which is less helpful if you’re a plumber or a gas company) which prevents fraud and helps reconciliation. It’s clear, fair and helpful for everyone and everyone can trust it. Now that deserves a cup of tea.
*’Josephine’ and this case study are an amalgamation of complaints and complications we’ve heard from real live people.