Announcing a Splitwise+Paytm Integration for Android

Good news for our Indian users – Splitwise has integrated with Paytm! Now you can repay any friend on Splitwise in seconds, using your Paytm account.

To access the integration, open a group or friendship where you owe money, tap “Settle Up”, then tap Pay with Paytm:

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“Pay with Paytm” appears if you owe an Indian Rupee balance and have the Paytm app installed. Initiate Paytm payments from within Splitwise to have them be automatically recorded.

After you tap “Pay with Paytm”, Splitwise will prompt you to confirm the recipient’s phone number and the payment amount. Hitting “Next” will launch the Paytm app to complete the transaction.

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You only have to confirm a phone number once for a given friend, and can use your phone contacts if you’ve given Splitwise permission to access them. To edit a friend’s Paytm phone number in the future, tap on the phone number on the confirmation screen (pictured right).

Once the payment is complete, you’ll be pushed back into the Splitwise app. Your Paytm payment will automatically be added to Splitwise and your balance will be updated.

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You can tap on the payment to see your confirmation number and other details.

A few things to note about using the Splitwise Paytm integration:

  • You need to have the Paytm app installed on your phone. If you do not have the Paytm app, you won’t see “Pay with Paytm” when you tap “Settle Up”.
  • You can only settle an Indian Rupee balance (INR). If you go to settle a non-INR balance, you won’t see “Pay with Paytm”.
  • Only Android users using Splitwise 4.1.9 and above will be able to send Paytm payments using this integration for now.

Users on iPhone and web will be able to receive and view Paytm payments, but not send them. With Paytm’s help, we hope to bring the integration to iPhone and other platforms when we’re able.

We’re thrilled to be launching our first payment integration outside the US, and we hope Paytm support makes Splitwise even better for our users in India. To share feedback or ask questions about the integration, please send an email to support@splitwise.com – we’d love to hear from you.

Introducing Passcode Lock for iPhone

Splitwise for iPhone v 3.3.4 allows users to protect their Splitwise data by adding a 4-digit passcode lock to the app.

To add a passcode, simply navigate to the ‘Settings’ screen (from the grey root menu) and tap ‘Passcode’.

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The passcode will be stored locally on your device, meaning A) We’ll never receive or store it on our servers and B) You’ll have to re-enable passcode lock if you ever log out of the app and then log back in, or delete the app and then re-install it. This is because logging out / deleting the app ‘trashes’ info the app has just stored locally (same reason you shouldn’t log out if you’ve been using offline mode and have un-synched bills).

The lock will activate if you leave the Splitwise app for > 120 seconds. We chose this time frame because we figured people might routinely switch between Splitwise and a P2P app we don’t directly integrate with.

At Splitwise, we take user privacy very seriously and are excited to be offering this device-level protection. We hope to bring passcode lock to Android in the medium term future, too.

Coming to Splitwise for Android: Offline mode, multiple payers

When we released Splitwise for Android v3 last November the whole team let out a sigh of relief: We no longer had an Android app that sucked, but rather a native, sleek beast we could all be proud of.

Seems like all our Android users breathed a sigh of relief, too — our average rating in the Google Play store climbed by .3 in a matter of days, and we got tons of excited emails, Tweets and blog comments from our long-suffering Android folk.

Today we’re pumped to announce that we’ve kept our Android-awesomeness momentum going. We released multiple payers a couple days ago (version 3.2.4), and offline mode is being beta-tested right now by some very kind community members. We’ll release it to the masses once we’ve slain all the bugs.

Our hearts do a little dance every step our Android app takes towards feature parity with web and iPhone. As always, we’re so grateful to have you (yes, you) along for the journey.

Take the leap to learn how co-founder and lead mobile dev Marshall got offline mode for Android up and running. Spoiler alert: It was hard.


Co-founder and lead mobile dev Marshall was inspired by Dropbox’s “incredibly helpful” dev blog posts on their Carousel and photo-sharing infrastructure. Their put-it-in-the-queue model is the foundation of how our offline mode for Android works.

Previously, the app was designed to communicate with the server each and every time a you made or edited a bill. In the absence of an internet connection that communication would simply fail.

Now, the app keeps a log of all changes made, and tries to push them to the server in the order they were committed. When you don’t have a connection the app can simply skip over anything it can’t immediately execute, intellegently saving it for later. The best part is it can do all this in the background, meaning you can add a bill and then immediately do some other task, like checking a balance with a friend, without being subjected to an annoying saving toast and lost seconds. This means that even if you never use offline mode for Android, you’ll now enjoy a better, faster add bill experience.

Conversely, our offline mode for iPhone still tries to save the expense on the server. Once the request has failed, the app marks the expense to be saved later. This still makes you sit through the saving screen, waiting for 30 seconds until the request times out.

About this new iPhone/Android difference Marshall was happy to note “this is the first case of our Android app having something significantly more awesome than iPhone”. We know it’s long over-due!

Marshall also lauds Path and the Robolectric testing platform as critical resources during this development cycle.

Improvments to Splitwise Notifications

Recent activity feed, on web.
Recent activity feed, on web.

The team is happy announce the release of a broad set of improvements to how Splitwise notifications are generated and presented. Usability and ease-of-knowing-what’s-up are going to skyrocket thanks to an improved ‘Recent activity’ feed (now on mobile, too) and more sophisticated push notifications.

All 3 of our devs — Ryan, Marshall and Caleb — have been hard at work on this effort since December, when we introduced expense comments for the web and decided to really commit to building out notifications. Marshall and Caleb have focused on Android and iPhone respectively, with Ryan taking care of back end stuff, the web experience and overall look of the new features.

We made these changes to eliminate all possible sources of confusion when viewing Splitwise, because confusion causes uncertainty and stress! We’re waiting eagerly for your feedback on the changes, at feedback@splitwise.com.

Take the leap to see a more in-depth explanation of the changes.

Continue reading Improvments to Splitwise Notifications

Plates Listed as #1 Best New App in Apple App Store

Plates
Our dinner bill app Plates featured in the App Store!

Late last night, the team was delighted to discover that our dinner bill app Plates has been listed as the #1 Best New App in the Utilities section of the Apple App Store.

We released version 1 of Plates in July 2013 to great critical and popular success; both BusinessInsider and MSN Money covered the tool, and user reviews in the App Store have been overwhelmingly positive (average rating 4.5).

This latest recognition from Apple feels amazing, and confirms our belief that we’ve made a world class app to help friends avoid awkward conversations about money after enjoying a meal together (yuck). We’re tremendously proud of our intern Liz Neu, who built Plates with limited assistance from Caleb and Ryan and has been steadily shipping updates to the app while finishing up her final year of undergrad. Most recently, Liz optimized Plates for iPad (it’s currently listed as the #2 Best New Utility App for iPad as well).

We’re incredibly grateful to all the Splitwise users who have given Plates a whirl. We look forward to providing you with ever more, ever better solutions to all of life’s splitting problems.

Introducing Expense Comments on the Web

Splitwise wants to totally take the stress out of sharing expenses and creating IOUs with friends. A huge part of that is facilitating communication around who owes who, and for what. We’re always looking for new ways to help you and your friends get (and stay!) on the same page.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce the release of expense comments for the web. This new feature will let group members and friends have conversations within the web app around individual expenses. We plan to bring expense comments to our iPhone and Android apps in the New Year, so you can sort stuff out on-the-go, too.

An expense with comments added to it.
An expense with comments added to it.

To add a comment to an expense, click on the expense name in any expense list. In the expanded view you’ll now see a ‘Notes and Comments’ box with a ‘Post’ button beneath. Simply add your questions and thoughts to the box, hit ‘Post’, and await your buddy’s response! We’ve added an email notification setting for this feature; you can choose to get an email every time someone adds a comment to an expense you’re on, or you can opt-out. The default setting has you opted-out. Head to your account settings page (‘Your Account’) to toggle.

We’ve been wanting to build out a commenting feature for quite some time, and our support requests indicated lots of users wanted it, too. We hope to make it even more rich moving forward, while preserving the simplicity Splitwise is known for. We’d love to eventually introduce a full-blown messaging feature, so you can send messages in Splitwise not attached to any expense.

As always, we’re thrilled to be steadily improving Splitwise, and so grateful that you’re here for the journey. Happy holidays!

Improvements to Delete Friend Functionality

Late last week, Ryan made a much-needed improvement to Splitwise’s delete friend functionality. Now, you can delete any friend as long as they’re not in a group with you.

Previously, Splitwise blocked you from deleting friends if you had ever added an expense outside of a group with them AND another friend. This was happening because deleting friends deleted all expense records between you two, and Splitwise wanted to block multi-party records from being deleted in case one of the parties on the expense wasn’t all settled up yet. Ryan built a work-around that will enable you to delete the friends you want, without obliterating a piece of someone else’s balance puzzle.