Wednesday, December 26, 2012

iOS app progress

Hello all!

It's been a while since our last update! We have been working on backend performance changes and our mobile platforms.

Site Maintenance now
We're currently doing some maintenance on the site, and it may be down for a couple hours.

iOS app preview
Anyway, we wanted to show you some progress on our iOS app, so here are some screenshots. It should be available as soon as the App store approves the app. The first version is minimal and doesn't have certain features, but you would be able to add and view bills on the go at least! Here are some screenshots:

Merry Chirstmas and happy new year!
-Billsup team

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Introducing Middleman Debt Transfer

We're excited to introduce a new feature today: we call it the "Middleman debt transfer". It's a simple way to settle up debts with people you don't see very often.

Let me show you how it works by an example:

Let's say Tom, Mary, and Peter goes out on a trip. Peter is Mary's friend, and Tom and Peter don't see each other very often.

After the trip, Peter ended up owing Tom $20.00. However, Peter doesn't see Tom much, so it's hard for them to settle their debts in person. 

However, they both see Mary very often. In real life, Peter would pay Tom back through Mary.  In other words, Peter would pay Mary $20, then Mary would pay Tom $20. Hence, Mary is acting as the "middleman" (or in this case the "middle woman"): she's not really gaining or losing money, but rather passing the money along.

With middleman debt transfer, the concept is similar. We let you transfer your debts so that you can settle through another person (middleman). To use this feature, go to the transfer debts page and select a "middleman" debt transfer. Simply pick:

  • a friend (that you don't see very often)
  • a middleman (a friend that you would see more often or sooner)
  • That's it!
The current debt balances will be adjusted so that your debt with that friend you don't see very often can be settled. Meanwhile, no one loses money.

Cool? Enjoy!
Billsup team

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Server upgrade & your help

Some of you might have been affected by the recent downtime.

First off, sorry for the unexpected outage. This is a rare event. It has been our commitment and is still our commitment to provide you with the best bill-sharing service possible. It was a stressful 24-hour event for us trying to get the service back up for you.

What happened

Our old hosting provider (Arvixe) was having some hardware issues and was unable to rectify the problem in good time. Hence, we had to expedit one of our ongoing projects to move to a more salable solution, which is AWS - this solution costs more, but should yield a more pleasant experience as our user base grows (it just means it'll cost us more in terms of operations).

Update: Site should be fully functional at this point :) thanks~!

What to do next time

Here are some tips as to what you can do if the server ever goes down (which shouldn't be normal)

Our commitment

We really value you, and appreciate your patience with Billsup. We won't just abandon our users. On the web, servers go down once in a while, even to the best of us: what makes Billsup different is that we would do what we can to keep it running. We don't want a similar situation like Billmonk.

How you can help

Bear with us as we continue to upgrade our servers to handle the heavier loads. If you want to support us financially, you can do so here. Any contributions:

  • Will help us improve our service: better/faster servers that don't crash. Running algorithms like shuffling debts require powerful servers (and lots of math).
  • Will go towards the operational costs and keep Billsup going before we implement a sustainable revenue model.
  • Will help support the developers: your contributions will help us spend more time on Billsup instead of our normal jobs.
  • Will help us feel appreciated. Perhaps it's a way of saying thanks, especially if you like our features

Thanks again for being with us,
-Billsup team

Monday, October 8, 2012

Android App Update

We've just pushed an update to our Android app!

The changes include maintenance required for integration with the frequent updates on the website's end, as well as new features.


  • Friends' pictures are loaded and shown (from the device's contacts)
  • Press and hold a Friend to quickly add bills with that friend
  • Quick buttons within a friend's details page to add bills with that friend


  • Bills show dollar amounts in the bills list for quick viewing
  • Add participants via email (no longer restricted to contacts)
  • Ability to pick desired email if a contact has multiple emails
  • Ability to delete bills via context menu within a bill


  • Add bills quickly using the + icon on the action bar
  • Updated sync algorithm to maintain support with the website updates
  • New version is supported minimal ads, hopefully they would not be obstructive
  • Multiple-email profiles are not fully supported
More information on Google Play! Let us know what you think at Give us a positive review on Google Play if you like it :)

Update on other mobile platforms

We're still working on iOS and Windows Phone apps. It's been quite challenging with the frequent website updates, along with our ambition to support offline adding/editing for the mobile apps. We'll keep you updated.

Billsup Team

Monday, October 1, 2012

Import your data to Billsup!

We've just pushed out our data importer to help you transfer your friends and debts to Billsup!

ex-Billmonk users

If you're coming from Billmonk, you can import your past transactions as well as your friends and balances right over to us! All you need to do is download 2 files from Billmonk ( and (, and upload them to our system. It's pretty easy, and we let you verify your debts before importing them so that no money is lost.

Other systems

It's also easy to switch even if you're coming from elsewhere. Simply enter your friends' emails and any debts you'd want to transfer, and you're set! We will send the invites and set up debts for you.

In the "balance to transfer" column, we will add new debts. In the example above, we would create a debt where John owes you USD $50.00. You can verify and modify these debts under transactions after an import. (Be careful not to transfer your balance multiple times for the same friend, otherwise you may get extra debts since we create new debts during import)


There are couple things to note if you're importing your Billmonk transactions:
  • Imported transactions are not be editable (why try to change the past?)
  • Imported transactions are only visible to you and any participants who have chosen to import from Billmonk.
  • Imported transactions do not affect your debt balances with friends (they are meant to serve as records only).
  • Debt Shuffles are not imported since imported transactions do not affect debt balances (see above). If you choose to import friends and debts, we let you verify your debts before importing them so that no money is lost.

Try it out and let us know how it works out for you! Thank you to those who've made Billsup their new homes for splitting bills. Whether you are sharing expenses with friends, managing IOUs within a club, tracking bills in your shared apartment - we've got you covered!

-Billsup team

Friday, September 21, 2012

Debt Transfer: Don't include me!

Hey all,

Have you tried debt transfer yet? It's a cool feature that minimizes the number of payments to settle up with your friends (read more about it here). Here are some tips & new additions:

Tips when creating debt transfers

  • Make sure it's beneficial to everyone involved and not just you: sometimes there're huge benefits to creating a debt transfer, minimizing payments from 20 to 5. Sometimes, there is benefit to you but little benefit to the group
  • Make sure everyone evolved knows each other: the debts are transferred around everyone involved. If you pick people who don't know each other, they may end up having to settle up with each other (possible blind date idea? well we're not a dating service).


Not so good:

Getting out of debt transfers

Some of you wanted to know how you can "get out" of a bad debt transfer. We've just added some features that allow you to do that:

  • Everyone in the debt transfer now has the ability to delete it, just click on the debt transfer and click Delete. Use this carefully because it affects everyone in the group.
  • You can opt out of all debt transfers in the settings page. We don't recommend this because debt transfers can be useful at times, and you can always delete a debt transfer you don't like! However, by request, here it is :)

Why would debt transfer create debts with people I'm even with?

That's because debt transfer moves debts around people involved in it to minimize payments for the entire group.

Here's a simple example, let's say:

  • You owe Alan $50.00
  • Alan owes Bonnie $50.00

If you perform a payment-minimization debt transfer between you, Alan, and Bonnie, the optimized result would be:

  • You owe Bonnie $50.00
  • You and Alan are even
Notice that you did not previously have a debt with Bonnie, but now you do. That's the whole idea of debt transfer, it moves debts around :)

-Billsup team

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shared Groups and labels

Hey all, lots of changes to groups, which we hope would improve your experience managing your various bills among different groups.

Not forced to create groups

We know that you do not always pay bills in groups, or in the same groups. While upgrading the groups experience, we made sure that we continue NOT to force you to create groups. We want groups to help and not hinder your bill sharing experience.

After this upgrade, you would still add your friends and see your total debt with an individual friend - this has not changed.

For existing groups

Groups are now shared and visible to all of its members: so when one person creates a group, everyone in that group would be able to see or make changes to that group, and also see its related bills. When someone is added to a group, they also get a nice email notifying them that they were added.

If you go to your my groups page, you would see your groups as well as your friends' groups (that involves you). We tried to make this upgraded experience as seamless as possible, but since this is a new behavior, there may be a few overlaps between the groups that you created and those that are created by your friends. If this is the case, group creators can click on a group and choose "delete group" to clean up any duplicates.

Group details page

The group details page also had a few additions: all members are now able to edit a group: like adding new members, or modifying the existing members.

There is also a preference setting called "show this group in the list...". If this checkbox is checked, this group would be available for you to pick when you are adding a participant to a shared bill. Currently, this preference is unchecked for all existing groups created by your friends so that those who don't care so much about groups would not be affected by this upgrade.


We've pushed out a first release of "labels". You can now label your bills to help you organize your various expenditures.

How to label:
  • When you add a group to a shared bill, the bill would be automatically labelled with that group.
  • OR you can add or delete labels in the labels dropdown button on the top right of each transaction.

What labels provide:
  • Quick sharing: A bill that is labelled to a group would be visible to that group (and its members). For example, if I want to share my gas bill with my "ski trip 2012" group, I can add the label that transaction with "ski trip 2012"
  • Quick organization: ability to filter, and find bills by labels quickly.  Currently, labels is only available for groups, and you can see the bills labelled with your group in your group details page.

Wow that's a long post - props to those who endured the whole way. Hope that helps,
-Billsup team

Upgraded UI

New-ish UI , and hopefully easier to use and more optimal for wider screens

Let us know if you like/dislike it :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Edit bills together

Hello, this week we've added some features that would give you more control as you share your bills with your friends.

Let your friends update your bills

Sometimes we make mistakes (in bill adding or in life), but good thing we have friends who've got our backs!   Here is the settings section that you would see when you create a bill:

  • you can now allow the other participants edit the bill: anyone involved in a bill can change its details, such as update an item's amount, change the split amount, add another participant, or add some notes to a bill.
  • By default, we allow your friends to see the bill through a special link (from "Show Link") without logging in. This makes it easy for them to see the bill or share it with others. If you want more security, you can enable "Participants must log in to view" so that your friends would have to log in before seeing the bill.

Notify your friends

When you save a transaction, you now have the option to notify your friends (or not), and add a comment with the notification.

  • Save and notify: saves the bill and sends a notification email to your friends regarding this update: this is useful in letting your friends know what you've changed.
  • Save but Don't notify: saves the bill but would NOT send a notification email to your friends. This could be useful for quick updates, but use this option carefully.

Turn off notifications

We've also added an option to turn off your email notifications. This is NOT recommended, as you'll miss out on important updates and such! However, we feel that you should have the option to receive emails or not.
You can find these settings in your profile: by clicking on your name next to "logout".

Go ahead! Collaborate with your friends!
Billsup team

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Transactions page updated

The transactions page now shows the total amount of the bills!

As well, you can do a "quick view" of a transaction without navigating into its detailed page. When you click on a transaction, you can quickly see its impact on you, as well as other participants that are involved.
As before, you can still click on the title of the transaction to directly view or edit the bill/debt/payment/transfer.

That's it for now - hope that helps, enjoy!
Billsup team

Friday, August 31, 2012

You've got a friend in Billsup

As most of you may have noticed, this week has been a crazy week here at Billsup: it may just be an all-time highest number of feature updates in a week for a long while. We started the week off with Summary with Charts, then it was shared bill updates with taxes & tips, and now we've made enhancement to Friends.

As a side note, I just wanted to mention our commitment to you, our users: we plan to keep this site alive and running as smoothly and consistently as we possibly can. As the number of users increase, we will be upgrading servers, adding features, and listening to your feedback. If the site goes down or an error occurs, it's likely that we're actually upgrading our servers or services. Thanks again for your patience and adopting Billsup so early in the game.

Pick your friends from a list!

As you play around with the updated site, you'd find that adding friends/items on bills has been improved: you can now just pick your friend from a list when you add bills/debts/payments :) simply click on the down arrow to select one of your friends.

Let us know if that works well for you. It may take some time for your friend list to get populated, if you find friends missing in your list, simply navigate to your "My friends" page and it should update automatically.

See details of your friend

In case you didn't notice, you can click on a friend's name (under participants) to see your relation with that friend in any bill. Simply click on the friend's name in a shared bill, debt, or payment and you would be able to see your detailed relation with your friend.

Help spread the word

You can now add/invite your friends using our invite page! Enter comma-separated emails and we'll send them a nice invitation email.

Send us bug reports if you find anything strange.

Thanks guys! What a great way to end the month of August! Happy friday and enjoy the updates! 
Billsup team

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

taxes & tips, summary, and easier split

It's pretty common for different people to order different things at restaurants: some get drinks, some get deserts, and some get bigger entries (or even two!). As many of you know, our shared bills already support multiple items. If only Mary and John had drinks, you may specify each item and their share so only they should pay for it.

Taxes and Tips

Many of you like the fact that we support itemized bills, and some have requested the support for "taxes and tips".  If you're in a country where taxes or tips are necessary, this new feature would split the taxes and tips amounts proportionally to each person's share on the rest of the bill.

To use this new feature, click on the "add taxes and tips" when editing a shared bill.

Once you enter the taxes and tips amounts, each person's share would be automatically calculated for you.
The back-end calculations are not too simple, and although you shouldn't run into issues, let us know if you think you've found a bug.

Bill Summary

Many a-times you may want to know each person's share or what impact a bill has on each person. We're happy to announce the "bill summary" feature that displays the summary of each person for shared bills.

You would be able to view the share of each person, how much they paid, and how much net effect of the bill on each person.
This summary panel is located at the bottom of each shared bill. As well, "settle details" have been moved to this section as well.

Splitting costs

We've also made it easier to specify the share of each person, with fewer clicks and more options. When you change the "split" within a shared bill, you would now see something like this:

You can select who's involved with the check boxes on the left (as before). We have changed the options for splitting to include Even x 2 and Even x 3, for those who may be paying for others. What that basically means is that a person specified to split "evenly x 2" would share twice as much as a person specified to split "evenly". You can see this in the example above where Mary's share is twice as much as Tom's.

We have also taken out "custom percentage" to simplify the plans we have for this feature ahead. Custom amounts are still available, and the percentages are still there to help you see each person's share as a percentage.

As you can tell, we're working very hard to push out features to please you guys. Hopefully this has been helpful. Let us know if you run into issues.

Happy splitting!
-Billsup team

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summary with charts!

Today we're rolling out a well-requested feature of summarizing the total amount of debts between you and all your mates. In addition, we've added pretty charts for your visual pleasure.

You can see these new features in the "My friends" page. Hope you like it!

Other updates

  • We have finished upgrading our mail servers and notifications should be working again! Let us know if it's not working for you.
  • We've fixed a couple minor bugs in this release. Please report issues you find by contacting us.

-Billsup team

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Debt Transfer

We're excited to announce a feature we call "debt transfer". Some of you from Billmonk might know it as "debt shuffle" - basically we use an algorithm to reduce the number of payments you need to settle up with your friends. We make sure that you or your friends don't lose money in the process.


After many shared bills and debts between your friends, your debt relationship may look something like this:

In this example, these friends would require 18 payments to settle up with each other. With Billsup, we can figure out how to settle up these debts easily without anyone losing any money. Using "debt transfer" to shuffle money around, Billsup optimizes for the minimum number of transactions to settle up while keeping the payment amounts as low as possible, turning the above graph into something like this:

After the debt transfer, these friends only require 4 payments to settle up with each other! How cool is that!


To perform a debt transfer, you or your friends could go to your "My friends" page after logging in, and choose the "Transfer Debt" option on the top right, which would take you to the "transfer debts" page below.

Once there, select friends that know each other, and click on Analyze to see if a debt transfer can reduce the number of settlements required for your group! As well, you would be able to see how many more friends you would be even with if you choose to proceed. (If you choose friends that don't know each other, they may have to settle up with strangers, so be careful!) 

Once saved, each participant can view the debt transfer, which looks something like the screenshot below.

In detail, this page shows:

  • who was involved in the transfer
  • the effect of the transfer
    • e.g. here the number of payments required for the group has been reduced by 8!
  • at the top you can see how money flowed around to create this debt transfer for you. You can verify that the money transferred in and out from your account actually balances out:
    • i.e. sum of the money transferred from you  = sum of the money transferred to you

Try it out and let us know if how it works out for you.

What's next?

Do you guys need a Billmonk importer? Let us know. If you think you do, send us your billmonk xml files to and help us create an importer for you!

-Billsup team

Monday, August 13, 2012

Email notifications may be affected

Hey all,

Warm welcome to all our new users!

In fact, our email servers got a little overwhelmed by you guys these couple days that it is forcing us to move or upgrade. Today we were actually going to make some progress on a feature that starts with "de" and ends with "uffle", but instead we've been battling a "you've reached your mail sending limit" messages all day. So, we're exploring where to move, and trying to keep our mail servers alive. If you have ideas or connections, let us know.

Meanwhile, you may experience some delays (or lost) notification emails - sorry about that! For those who may be waiting on an activation link for the sign-up process, we do encourage you to use Google or Facebook login - it's easy and fast!

Having said this, your bill adding and tracking experience should not be affected. Do let us know if you find a problem - or the contact us form.

Thanks for your patience,
Billsup team

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy 1 month!

Can you believe it has only been one month since our public beta launch? That's right, we launched on July 10th, but it sure feels longer than that on our end (maybe we've been working too hard and need a vacation?).

Here is what we've been able to accomplish so far:

  • Debts with Friends
    • Debt Summary - easily see who owes how much on one screen
    • Basic Groups
  • Tracking bills
    • Record shared bills, debts, payments
    • Bill copying
    • Basic bill searching
    • Multiple currency support
  • Login using Facebook or Google
  • Mobile
Just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up and tried Billsup. You are the early adopters of our product, and we sure hope you like it. From here on, it's just going to get better. We're so excited for the many upcoming features and improvements planned, so stay with us! Feel free to send us feedback or suggestions, we do listen!

Here is how YOU can help:
Thanks again for supporting us,
Billsup Team

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bill search & Bill copying

You suggested, we're delivering :) You said:

  • "Search transactions -- can be useful."
  • "Search-able transactions, I cant find any right now."
  • "Copying transactions -- this is a simple but very useful feature for those recurring transactions"

Basic transaction searching

We have just pushed an update that supports basic searching for transactions (bills, payments, debts). The search box is available in your list of bills and also in the friends details page. Currently, you can search using the name (aka purpose) of the transaction. We will be adding more search options if more users request it :)

Bill copying

We understand that sometimes there are bills or debts that are similar or even identical. Well, we have just pushed out the option to copy a bill, debt, or a payment. Simply hit "Copy" button (next to Edit) to copy the details, modify it as you wish, and hit Save.

Keep those suggestions coming. We're looking through various feedback and there's tons to work on. We want to build a tool that YOU the users would find helpful. If you have feedback, feel free to contact us.

Billsup Team

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Adding Debts

Everyone might have come across countless situations where they might have loaned some money to their friends or acquaintances or in other cases received a loan from someone and simply forgot about it. Billsup can help you organize these loans/debts just like shared bills. Here’s how you can do it:
Click on New Debt menu item from the options bar after you have logged in:

You would end up in the page shown below:

Fill up the purpose, which by the way is optional, to indicate what this debt or loan is about then in the details section select the appropriate option for what happened, if you loaned to someone else you select “Someone owes me money” and if you owe someone else select “I owe someone money”, fill out the details of the person with whom you had the interaction, the amount with the correct currency, the date and any additional notes for example how you wish to settle the debt later. Click on save and this transaction would show up on the My Friends page.

So there you go you have one less item to track.
Billsup team.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Billsup goes mobile


We're happy to announce that our Android app has been released to the Google Play store

In this first version:

  • Add shared bills
  • Add debts
  • See how much your friends owe you
  • Record payments
  • Multi-currency support
  • Works online and offline
  • Syncs with

Keep in mind that this is only the first prototype version, and we're pushing hard to add new features and refine our current user interface. Feel free to send us any feedback on! If you like the app, we would appreciate if you can write a review for us on the Google Play store.

Other mobile platforms

While we are developing the app for other platforms, did you know that Billsup is now optimized for mobile devices? You can simply navigate to the site on your mobile device, and enjoy the rich features that Billsup provides.

Happy bill splitting on the go!
Billsup team

Monday, July 23, 2012

Multiple currency support

For those travelling on business or for vacation - you'd still want to keep track of those expenses. Did you know that Billsup supports many currencies?

100+ currencies

We support over 100 currencies, so no matter where you are - we've got your covered. Whether you used USD $ to pay for that new gadget, or INR ₹ to pay for dinner, you can set it individually for each bill, debt, or payment.

Billsup figures out the owing amount for everything and tallies it up for your different currencies, so you wouldn't have to do the math. On a recent trip with my friend John, I shared a bunch of expenses with him in China and in Europe.

Here's what it looks like on my "My friends" page (i.e. debt summary with John):

From Friends detail page (e.g. My Friends-> John):

Default currency

For the currency you use the most, set your default currency in your profile page (i.e. click your name next to "Log Out":

If you notice that a currency is missing or incorrect - let us know!

Happy travelling!
Billsup team

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shared bills explained - part 1

Today I'll be explaining one of our features - shared bills.

We share bills all the time - dining out with friends, splitting utility bills with housemates, or just sharing group expenses while on vacation. Billsup wants to help you with that, so that you can focus on what you love without worrying too much about debts and bills.

Shared bills are usually bills shared between more than 3 people. For bills involving just 2 people, a debt may be more suitable. We'll go over debt on a different post.

Simple example - road trip gas

This is the example taken from the tour, if you haven't taken it - do try it out!

So let's say Tom is on a road trip with John and Mary, and they decide to split the gas evenly throughout the trip. Normally, Tom would have to save all the receipts and figure out the settle-up details later. This can cause headaches with lost receipts, and also the math can be tricky - what if Tom paid for gas at the first leg, and John paid for the later legs?

Instead, Tom can easily enter each bill right away into Billsup and keep a trailing digital record of their expenses, and settle up with his friends later, so he can focus on having fun on his trip rather than about receipts and bills.

Here is what Tom needs to enter:
  • Participants (Tom, John, and Mary) - who is involved in this bill, including everyone sharing the expenses and the person(s) who paid
  • Bill details - here Tom can simply enter the total bill amount, which is $65.00 for this gas fillup
  • Who paid? - this is the person who paid for the bill. In this example, Tom paid for the bill, which will later be split between him, John, and Mary

The shared bill option can be used for meals, rent, utilities, flight tickets, hotels, or any other shared bills.

We'll be covering a more complex example next time - itemizing a shared bill! stay tuned!
Billsup team

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Friends

Warm welcome to our new users! It's just been a couple days since our public launch. We're still working overtime to respond to your feedback.

We just pushed out an update today! Your debt summary is now accessible via "My Friends" with new shortcut icons!
  • Quickly see how much you owe each other
  • Easily remind owing amount
  • Shortcut to record a payment to settle up

In addition to this, we've fixed a couple bugs regarding failed Google and Facebook login's. If you ever find an issue, let us know via our contact form and we'll be happy to fix it!

Billsup Team

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just launched

Today we celebrate a great milestone for Billsup - we have just released our first public beta for our website!

In this release, we're proud to announce:

  • Google and Facebook Login: You have the option to sign up for a Billsup account, or register quickly using Google or Facebook!
  • Debt Summary - quickly see who owes how much
  • Groups - quickly add multiple people to a shared bill
  • Three different transactions: Debts, Shared Bills, and Payments.
    • Debt - quick way to keep track of your IOUs
    • Shared bill - multiple people sharing a bill like Dinner, Rent, Trips
      • Forget about figuring out how to split the bill in a big group. Let one or two people pay, and let Billsup do the tracking
    • Payment - keep track when someone pays you back

And more!

Sign up for free on, or take a tour with Tom.

-The Billsup Team

Monday, July 9, 2012


Hello world!

The Billsup blog is live! Our team is currently reviewing feedback from our private web beta and getting ready to launch the site for public beta! Follow our progress on Facebook or Twitter!

The Billsup Team