Web 2.0's Lesser-Known Revolution: Bill Splitting
In the Internet revolution that we are in, it is becoming more common to see many different Internet applications applied to real world, every day problems. With the newfound power of the social network, it has become increasingly easier to instantly be in contact with many friends, family-members, co-workers, and acquaintances at any moment. One of the more understated applications of Web 2.0 is bill management.
“Trying to collect money is just awkward,” said Omar Karim, Vice-President of Business Development at PayDivvy. Effectively, the social aspect of many of these websites provides a new medium of a necessary task.
The basic solutions these web apps provide are simple: imagine going to dinner with a group of friends, and one person pays the bill. Instead of having to collect that money later, and asking the group to pay up, these sites aggregate those bills and create a more effective way to get the money back. Each site has a slightly different approach to how this is handled and all provide their own unique features.
Four websites I took a look at were PayDivvy.com, WePay.com, BillMonk.com, and SplitMyBill.ie.
WePay is intended more towards groups who need to collect money beforehand, like clubs with membership dues. The site allows linking to bank accounts, allowing users to pay from their bank account or credit card directly to the site, creating less of a hassle of having to deal with cash payments.
SplitMyBill.ie started out as a side project by Peter Connor, and has grown rapidly since then. It contains some of the basic features of a typical bill management site, but there are plans in step to enhance the design and functionality, according to Connor.
BillMonk has similar features as SplitMyBill.ie, with an enhanced user interface and Facebook integration, allowing for a more seamless social interaction. Furthermore, they provide phone interaction with the app, allowing for more mobile interactions.
PayDivvy allows users to bring in service provider bills, such as utilities or rent, and let groups pay into the utility separately, effectively reducing the total transactions among individuals. It is built on the social aspect of bill management and bill collection.
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