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Tech insights: How Programmable Banking is making bill splitting easy
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How Programmable Banking is making bill splitting easy

30 May 2023, by Shannagh Hare

Frikkie Snyman believes bill splitting can never be too easy. This is the driving philosophy behind a simple website that facilitates peer-to-peer payments without the fuss of exchanging banking details. Check out his demo here.


Making bill splitting easy with Splirrit

As the world moves away from cash and even card, and people increasingly assert their financial independence in a highly inflationary environment, bill splitting is becoming more and more commonplace. This is being facilitated by the burgeoning range of payment apps used by tech-savvy consumers. The market is no joke:

Technavio estimates annual growth of 10.8% for the global bill splitting market to a whopping R6.8-billion in 2026, driven by the increased penetration of affordable smartphones, adoption of smartwatches, and popularity of apps like Venmo.

One such solution is Splirrit, which is being developed by Frikkie Snyman, a mobile platform engineer. Snyman has been a member of the Programmable Banking Community since 2021, and previously integrated Investec’s Programmable Banking functionality with the multiplatform personal budget program You Need a Budget. Essentially, Snyman wants to make bill splitting easier by taking EFTs out of the picture, using YOCO to collect payments and the nifty Investec Beneficiary Payments API to distribute them.

“Asking people to pay you back after you’ve gone out for coffee or dinner is already awkward,” says Snyman. “Then there’s the matter of dealing with a number of clunky, fragmented banking apps. I wanted to build a unified solution to address this fragmentation.”

He did so by building a straightforward, easy-to-use app in SvelteKit, and integrating it with YOCO and the Investec API.

How Splirrit works

When you sign up for Splirrit, you link your personal bank account to the website. “Once you generate payment links and start receiving payments from those links, the Investec API handles payments to the linked account,” says Snyman.

Splirrit.com presents the user with a simple dashboard, from which you can submit a pay request. You can specify how many people you’re asking for money, the payment amount, and what it’s for. There’s also the option to upload a supporting image, such as a receipt. Completing the request creates a link and a QR code for easy access, which you can send to your debtors. The website tracks payments for each request, showing you when the payback is expected.

The person on the other side of the transaction clicks the link or scans the QR code, which takes them to a page where they enter their card details and hit pay. “This interface represents the YOCO integration,” says Snyman.

Wayne Summers, head of open APIs at Investec, appreciates the sheer simplicity of the solution. “It was so easy and simple to use, which I think is really cool.”

Keeping Splirrit FICA compliant

There is, however, the matter of FICA to contend with. “In accordance with the law, after you sign up for the website, you can only receive money once successfully FICA’d,” says Snyman. That means requesting the necessary KYC documents. “Regardless of whether or not you hold money, as soon as you do business that is susceptible to the possibility of fraud, you’re required to have your users FICA approved. You can still use Splirrit, but payments can’t be received until the supporting documents have been received.”

Splirrit’s future plans

While Splirrit presently only exists in website form, Snyman has plans to develop an app, based on feedback from users. Beneficiaries need to be added manually at present, but Snyman has plans to automate this step.

“At the moment you can only pay with card, but in future I’m planning to turn Splirrit into somewhat of a payment provider itself so I don’t have to pay all those fees to YOCO,” says Snyman.

This will involve building a use case for small to medium enterprises, which could benefit from such a solution. The shift to work from home has created a headache for employees and accounts departments when it comes to, for example, handling telecoms costs exactly, as opposed to providing a set allowance.

Snyman will also be seeking funding to support further development.

If you are keen to test out Splirrit


Get Involved in the Programmable Banking Community

If you have questions or want to say hi to the Programmable Banking Community team, you can mail us [community-investec@offerzen.com], and we will get back to you.

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