Venmo's Groups feature could spell trouble for bill-splitting apps

It aims to help you figure out who owes what and settle up in one app.


Starting today, Venmo is rolling out what it says is one of its most-requested features: the ability to manage and settle up shared expenses in groups. The aptly-named Groups feature seeks to make it easy for users to figure out how much money each person owes to someone else in the group, and then take care of the payments all in one app.

Venmo says it's easy for anyone in the group to add expenses and it will automatically figure out the amounts due. The feature is designed to be ongoing, so if you often go to dinner with the same bunch of friends or travel with your family every year, you'll be able to manage expenses within the same group for the long haul.

To create a group, go to the Me page, then the Groups tab. The feature will be enabled for some users in the latest version of the Venmo iOS and Android app. It will be available more broadly in the coming weeks.

Managing and settling up shared expenses in a single app could spell trouble for other services that only support the former. Casual users of apps like Splitwise (which has more in-depth features like receipt scanning for paid members) and even Facebook Messenger's bill-splitting tool may prefer to handle everything in Venmo instead.