PayPal-owned Venmo is rolling out a new feature starting today that will allow its users to track and manage multiple expenses among groups — like families or roommates’ household expenses, clubs or sports teams, community organizations and more. With Venmo Groups, users will be able to track, split, manage and settle up these ongoing expenses within the Venmo app.
The feature is meant to replace more manual methods of bookkeeping, like spreadsheets, or the use of other dedicated apps for individual clubs, activities, trips, or household bills, for example. Instead, the new feature will be able to automatically calculate the individual’s expenses due as a portion of the overall spend, helping users to settle their expenses in Venmo’s familiar interface.
The addition could potentially cannibalize the user base of single-purpose apps aimed at organizing group expenses, like Splitwise, ranging from those aimed at local clubs to those that help people split travel expenses on group trips or bills among roommates, among other things. It also builds on Venmo’s existing use case where friends split the bill when out drinking or dining by Venmo’ing each other the amount owed for a round or meal, which then led to the app being used for other forms of group expenses, at least unofficially, until now.
“We know managing ongoing expenses in a group can be challenging, in particular when each member covers different costs with different amounts at different times,” said Erika Sanchez, Venmo Vice President and General Manager, in a statement about the feature’s launch. “As one of our most requested features, Venmo Groups offers a seamless solution for users to better track and settle shared expenses in group settings,” she added.
In addition to the benefit of splitting expenses in an app many people already have installed and know how to use, the feature also allows everyone in the group to be in charge of expense management, instead of requiring one person to track everything. Once a Venmo Group is established, anyone in the group can add expenses, see the amounts due, and settle up.
The company expects the feature to be readily adopted by little league groups, neighborhood supper clubs, kickball teams, book clubs, and other small groups, which straddle the default “friends and family” mode and the client-vendor relationship that Venmo is also often used for today.
To access Groups, users will find the new feature via their “Me” page in the app. Under the new “Groups” tab they can create a group, add expenses and settle up.
The feature will begin to roll out to select users today through the Venmo app for iOS and Android and will reach the wider user base in the next couple of weeks.