‘Pay by bank’ from Splitwise

Oliver Lane

Founder, Product Lead

‘Pay by bank’ from Splitwise

Splitwise is a budgeting and cost-sharing app tailored for individuals and groups who want to streamline their expenses and share costs effortlessly. The app focuses on making it easy for users to manage shared expenses, track spending, and ensure fair splits with friends, family, or housemates, eliminating the awkwardness of IOUs and the hassle of manual calculations.

Splitwise was founded in 2011 with the mission to reduce the stress and friction associated with shared expenses. Initially bootstrapped by its founders, the company quickly gained traction and attracted its first angel and institutional investments in 2013. In its journey, Splitwise has successfully closed several funding rounds, raising over $20m. The app has garnered the support of prominent investors, including notable tech figures such as Y Combinator, Greylock Partners, and First Round Capital.

The app offers a freemium model, where users can access basic features for free or upgrade to Splitwise Pro for enhanced functionality, including currency conversion, receipt scanning, and advanced reporting.

With a growing user base and a commitment to simplifying cost-sharing, Splitwise continues to innovate, ensuring that managing shared expenses is as straightforward and equitable as possible.

Splitwise Facts

Splitwise boasts over 10 million active users worldwide, reflecting its widespread adoption and popularity.

Splitwise offers a comprehensive suite of features, including expense tracking, group expense management, bill splitting, and debt settling, making it a versatile tool for managing shared costs.

The platform’s premium offering, Splitwise Pro, includes advanced functionalities such as receipt scanning, itemized bill splitting, and currency conversion, catering to users with more complex needs.

Splitwise’s penetration into various markets, including the UK, has been driven by its ability to simplify the often complicated process of shared expenses, appealing to a diverse user base ranging from students and roommates to families and travel groups.

The app fosters high user engagement, with many users relying on it daily to manage and settle expenses, underscoring its value as an essential financial tool.

'Pay by bank' set up and first use

Key Takeaways

Pay by bank:

Splitwise has introduced an Early Access feature called ‘Pay by Bank’ in partnership with open banking provider Tink. This feature allows users to link their Splitwise account with their bank, enabling them to make payments directly within the app.

By leveraging open banking technology from Tink, Splitwise can enhance its product offerings with minimal upfront effort and cost, primarily focused on integrating an API.

The ‘Pay by Bank’ feature addresses a common pain point: previously, users had to ‘Settle up’ outside the platform and then manually record the transaction in the app. This cumbersome process often led to frustration and reduced app engagement. With the new integrated payment service, Splitwise significantly improves user experience, creating a more seamless and engaging environment.

User Experience:

The integration with Tink to link a bank is exceptionally smooth, especially with digital-first banks like Revolut.

The journey begins by transparently showing users which information the Tink service will access, alleviating any concerns about data exposure. Users then embark on a sleek and intuitive process, selecting their banking provider, accepting the link from their banking app, and returning to Splitwise within seconds.

Once a bank account is linked, a new button appears in the ‘Settle up’ journey, allowing users to pay their family and friends with ‘Pay by Bank.’ The payment process itself is streamlined and efficient, enabling users to complete transactions with just two taps.

What next? 

While Splitwise’s ‘Pay by Bank’ feature successfully addresses a core user need by facilitating seamless payments across different banking platforms, it raises an intriguing question about the future of niche FinTech apps. As digital banking apps like Revolut and Starling rapidly expand their feature sets, aiming to encompass all aspects of personal finance, will specialised apps like Splitwise remain relevant?

The current digital banking ecosystem still lacks the ability to complete seamless payments between different banking apps directly. Splitwise has cleverly positioned itself as a crucial intermediary, enabling users to easily pay friends across various platforms. However, the sustainability of this niche remains uncertain as the landscape of digital banking continues to evolve.

Will Splitwise’s innovative features continue to carve out a necessary space in our financial lives, or will the giants of digital banking eventually render such apps obsolete? The future holds many possibilities, and only time will tell how this dynamic sector will unfold.

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