Innovation That Matters

Helping friends keep track

Work & Lifestyle

BillMonk is an online and mobile application that helps friends to keep track of how much money and which items they owe each other. Developed and privately owned by two engineers, BillMonk was launched in January 2006. The online service makes it easy to divide shared expenses such as rent or restaurant bills. A user simply reports who paid for the bill on whose behalf, and BillMonk figures out who needs to pay how much back. BillMonk also allows users to create personal lending libraries for books, DVDs and other items. Friends can see what’s available for borrowing, and owners can keep track of who’s currently in possession of their goods. BillMonk is a useful tool for roommates, college students, and other groups of people that split bills. Ensuring fairness, it helps friends avoid having to nag to get their money back, or risk losing their money or stuff. In addition to the online interface, BillMonk also offers an SMS service that members can use to record shared bills and loans the moment they happen, via phone text messaging. If you’re interested in social money tools, be sure to check out ChipIn, which we recently covered and which also tackles group expenses. While BillMonk tracks IOUs after money has been spent, Chipin is focused on collecting money in advance. Business 2.0 estimates the social money market―informal debts between friends―at USD 103 billion (July 2006 issue). The thought of taking even a tiny cut of that stash should appeal to tech-savvy entrepreneurs. Time to jump aboard the social money train! 😉



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