We all know what it’s like to split a bill – from rent for groceries, dinner with your friends, to living expenses. Your mind quickly goes to payments for services like an Apple Music family plan, Spotify, or even Netflix. Bill splitting is more common than people like to make it known.
And with good reason. The conversations that accompany a split payment can range from simple to downright awkward, and often end on the latter end of the spectrum. Issues arise, such as where the accumulated funds will be held or keeping proper records of the amount owed to each person. Maybe someone (even you) might not be able to handle such payments at that time.
Imagine the frustration that comes one night when your bank’s network is down and the host has to wait for transfers to arrive before paying. Or worse, sorting through the entire bill and not being reimbursed on time, if at all.
The truth is that despite the methods people use to offset these challenges, Nigeria’s payment ecosystem has yet to represent a convenient and transparent experience in splitting payments.
The hidden side of payments
Everyone has to pay something at some point, but the dynamic changes when a group of people come together to manage a payment. Since the dawn of the crowdfunding movements, factors such as trust and personal financial responsibility have been considered before deciding to engage in a split payment with one or more other people.
These considerations led to the birth of **SplitCasha fintech startup whose vision is to create a world of simple and secure shared payments for everyone.
Co-founded by Bolu Okunaiya, Olumide “Lumbex” Akinnodi, and Chijioke “CJ” Mac-Eze, the idea of SplitCash had been floating around in their minds for a long time. “[It was] different things are happening, mostly people forgetting to pay their bills,” Bolu said.
“We already built something similar to this, where you could just request money from another user.
“It didn’t really work because if you take a Bolt with 5 guys, you have to send 5 money requests and you have to follow them all.”
In addition to the issue of convenient collection of discounts, splitting a payment carries the awkwardness of hiring a friend for his share of the bill. SplitCash arrives at the intersection between finances and friendships, promoting financial responsibility and removing money-related awkwardness between friends.
A new way to solve old problems
The app recreates real bill splitting scenarios; like uneven payments, someone’s coverage, and a way to save finance for crowdfunding.
A Split is a shared payment made between two or more people. Once the verification of email, phone number and BVN is complete, you can search for your friends via their username or “Split Tag” – they can easily be found once their phone number is registered is saved on your phone.
Splits can be created equally and unequally; by adjustment, the exact amount and by percentages.
Your money is kept in a wallet which can be funded either by transfer or by bank card.
Even without the app on your phone, you can still split payments with your friends on a mini web version of the app. Through a uniquely generated link, you can join splits, as well as check the progress of ongoing splits up to the point of payment.
The most important thing to emphasize is the agnostic position of the company vis-à-vis the bank. Olumide speaks passionately about this saying: “SplitCash is not intended to replace your current payment platforms. The problem we want to solve is the problem of shared payments.
“So whatever payment platform you are currently using, keep using it. But when you need to manage a split payment, consider SplitCash.
Pursue a cultural reset
One of the main goals highlighted by the co-founders is to change the way the public thinks about and deals with shared payments. Olumide had an interesting response when asked about the difficulties in setting up the app so far.
“That’s what we’ve been doing, we’ve been building for a while now.
“His [about] getting more users, building a system they would like to use and the social aspect of it; put the idea of Split in their head.
Head of design, Mac-Eze believes that a cultural reset and product functionality go hand in hand. “Connecting the vision was the easy part because we all want to eradicate some bill splitting habits.
“We want to create a movement and immerse ourselves in a new culture, and we also want to be different from other payment products. That’s why we chose avant-garde energy for our brand’s visual identity.
Big impact calls for strategic innovations. Future releases will help promote joint spending, collective financial responsibility, and transparent and simple conversations about finances among friends – one division at a time.
We all know that the person with the card usually bears the brunt of the payment. With the Split Card, the responsibility for payment remains with the group. All split features can be accessed through this card, which cannot access any funds until a split has been approved and linked to it.
The “Circles” feature will allow friends who frequently share bills to do so with just one click. A user can be part of several circles at the same time.
Suppose you have a friend who is your +1 for a function. There will be a feature to cover for this friend which will be shown on the payment page of the app.
Probably the coolest feature of all is the “Splitverse” feature, which Olumide describes as “taking[ing] the experience of paying for things away from people you know.
“For example, I might want to take an online course that costs $40, but I might not want to pay for it all. If I can just find someone who wants to take the same course, we can get the same value for less,” says Olumide.
With so much in store, Bolu has high hopes for the value SplitCash will bring – to Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, to users, and ultimately, to the world. “We’re trying to revolutionize split payments, and I see us doing it. I see us hitting a billion dollar valuation, breaking the norm.