Nationwide has delved into its £50 million venture fund to invest in bill payment startup Ordo.
Set up by former members of the Faster Payments scheme, Ordo offers protection from invoice and payments fraud by allowing businesses to send payment requests directly to their customers via the Ordo app. The customer is immediately notified they’ve received a smart request which they can view, and make an account-to-account payment in real-time.
Ordo has applied for funding from Pool D of the Alternative Remedies Package Capability and Innovation Fund, which aims to improve the financial products and services available to UK SMEs.
Nationwide likewise has applied for up to £50 million from the Royal Bank of Scotland bailout fund as it prepares to enter the SME business banking market.
The building society has made a number of strategic investments from its venture fund as part of its preparations for business banking. Last month it took a £15 million stake in 10x Future Technologies, the fintech startup founded by former Barclays boss Antony Jenkins.
Tony Prestedge, deputy chief executive at Nationwide Building Society, says: “Ordo helps businesses gets invoices paid while at the same time allowing consumers to maintain control of how and when they pay their bill. This seemed a natural fit for Nationwide as a brand who helps its members manage their money and who itself later this year is entering the business banking market to offer an alternative for small and medium size businesses to the big banks.”