Are electronic options to split payments catching on or are we stuck with bank transfers?
Whether you're a bunch of close-knit friends, work colleagues, or part of a formal dinner party, splitting the bill can remain an arduous task. The same is said for most payments that need to be split, whether it is a gift bought between a couple of mates, or a group travelling to a mutual destination and sharing different expenses.
There are finally a couple of electronic options for splitting payments, online and through the use of apps. The use of mobile devices to process payments has seen growth percentages of over 60% since 2013 according to the World Payments Report. There is no doubt that the continuous growth in electronic payments from holistic banking systems (which are good) to apps and web apps will see an even bigger boom than before.
Electronic options to split bills
- Electronic transfers
Electronic payments made from desktops through banking channels might be on the decrease, but are still an option for many due to their existing usage to most people within their bank accounts. This platform isn't the most accessible at all times but offers a robust platform - and banking apps are fortunately making the processes easier.
- Use Paypal
Paypal is a great service for sending and receiving payments in your country and across borders, between friends, clients and family. It is important to first check currency support and conversion fees for exchanging currency from one currency to another currency before depending on it for day to day electronic payment splitting. In 2015, Paypal also launched a service called Paypal.me, for person-to-person payments. They have upped their game with their mobile app and now offer a better interface for handling transactions with friends. It does, of course, require everyone to have an account with Paypal to handle the money.
- Easily split flat share costs with FlatMate and split travel costs TravelMate
MateApps GbR has developed these two apps to make it easier for friends and family to split house and travel costs. FlatMate will give you the option to also list your shopping items between friends and offers powerful reporting. TravelMate will help you keep track of your daily budget and list your memos for things to remember.
- Split sharehouse expenses with the easyshare app
This app organises all the awkward sharehouse expenses, so you don't have to. Simply sign up to the app and invite your roommates, enter in how much of the rent each roommate pays and the app will ensure your rent is always paid on time. This way, you won't need to chase anyone for their share of the rent or bills, the app will collect everyone's share and pay the total for you.
- Roommate App
This web-based app allows you to create a website for a home that is shared between friends or family and expenses can be shared and allocated to whoever is responsible. Payments will still need to be made through third-party platforms like banks or Paypal.
- Shortreckonings website
This web-based system will help you structure all the payment splitting between friends, family and associates through the help of an excel sheet inspired platform. You can work offline and also connect to social platforms like Facebook.
|ANZ App||This app is a service offered by ANZ bank in Australia and helps you to send payments to friends and also keep track of money that is owed to you.||iOS 7.0 or later||Download|
|Splitwise||This mobile app is designed for keeping track of split bills, costs, and who owes what. It offers an immensely powerful function in tracking all the data for the day when the electronically split payments need to be made. The necessary payments will still need to be made through Paypal though, using the Paypal API to incorporate it into the Splitwise platform.||iOS 8.0 or later||Download|
|FlatMate||FlatMate will give you the option to also list your shopping items between friends and offers powerful reporting.||iOS 8.0 or later||Download|
|Splittr||Splittr - Travel cost splitting made easySplittr is built with excel spreadsheet inspired functionality and aims to make travelling expenses easier between friends and family.||iOS 9.0 or later||Download|
|Split share group expenses manager||Split share group expenses manager – track, record, divide, sharing cost made easy|
This app gives users a clean interface with simple functionality to take the hassle out of splitting costs when travelling. It can work with multiple trips at once and shares summaries with everyone involved.
|iOS 6.0 or later||Download|
|Circle Pay App||Circle has created a powerful app that allows you to engage visually with the people you want to pay and share expenses with. You can send your own currency and the platform is compatible with thousands of digital wallets and online shopping sites that accept digital currency, like Bitcoin, around the globe.||iOS 8.1 or later||Download|
|Spotme Payments||This app is similar to the Roommate App and is targeted at the university market.||iOS 4.3 or later||Download|
|Billr||allows you to send the copies of the split bill to email or phone number.||iOS 4.3 or later||Download|
Restaurants and outing bills
The following apps are groomed to help with splitting those awkward restaurant bills. Most do not offer the option to process the payment from the app, though.
- Billpin - this app will help you to send notifications to friends that are splitting payments with you
- Bill_Splitter - with this app you can specify tax, tips and the amount of people for splitting the bill.
- BillSplit - is an extremely clean and easy to use to bill splitting app.
- Spotme Payments - has a unique feature that allows you to create custom groups for those regular outings between different social groups.
- Bank of Me - sorts debts between friends and has the ability to balance the amounts against each other so that you can avoid unnecessary payments.
- Plates - a product from company, Splitwise, mentioned above. Plates offers specifically bill splitting for its users.
Bitcoin and digital currency
Bitcoin has taken the world by storm and there is a lot of speculation on where it will go in the future. The reality is that other forms of digital currency will also emerge and evolve and digital currency takes global payments to a scary and powerful place. If you and your friends are clued up on using it, it is an extremely versatile way of splitting payments.