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