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.


Example

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!


Usage

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 info@billsup.com and help us create an importer for you!

-Billsup team

15 comments:

  1. Debt shuffle is a good to have option. We gave it a shot. Its working fine! Thanks.

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  2. Thanks for adding this feature in short notice...

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    Replies
    1. no problem! In fact, we've been working on this feature for a while now - it's not easy to implement, but it was fun!

      Here at Billsup, we want to hear what users think and build features you want.

      Remember to tell your friends!

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  3. Billmonk impoter will be a great help. i have lots of data in billmont which is needed to be impoted. I have sent you an xml. let me l know once done.

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  4. Billmonk importer will be awesome

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  5. Another vote for a billmonk importer.

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  6. Yes, billmonk importer would be good and also like billmonk it would be good if we can keep track of items we lend or borrow like books (library feature of billmonk).

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  7. There is one feature that I think Debt Transfer lacks. If I want to Transfer debt from one person to another whom I know. I don't have option to do so. It chooses on its own.

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  8. Please make this optional as it is in billmonk... i am not a big fan of shuffles and hence i dont want people to include me in others debt games.... please please make this optional so that i can opt out of this

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  9. Please create an option in the user profile to disable debt transfers from involving that user. Your algorithm sometimes creates new debts with people I'm even with. I really don't want/like that!

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  10. how to delete a friend ?

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    Replies
    1. Click on the friend's name from the "my friends" page and the "remove friend" option should be available if there are no outstanding debts with that friend.

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  11. Can you make debt shuffle specific to the group rather than all the transactions. This would be helpful if some groups settled bills that are not recorded will not be added to the shuffler.

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