Ever thought paying the bill was the worst part of your night out with friends ? Glassjar founders too, and they want to make it less painful thanks to an application. They chose the hard path to do so, launching in the US, where the market of peer to peer payment is extremely competitive.
In Europe and France especially, everyone knows Leetchi, who leads the way for collecting money between friends. But, in the United States, several companies are already struggling for their share of the market, as an article in Tech in Asia about Glassjar underlined : you have the choice between Venmo, GroupMe, Splittr, SpotMe, Lovely… and now Glassjar !
To differenciate, the start-up, originally from New Zealand, had to focus on their product and new features they could bring in the field. And part of the answer was… make payment between friends even more friendly. Some explanation in the following video :
They integrated Venmo API platform on their application for payment, adding an attractive user interface. One strenght of Glassjar is that only one member of the paying group needs to have the app installed, which removes some friction. But can a virtual roulette for finding next round’s buyer become a real business ? As they relocated in San Francisco, Glassjar wanted to appear on Product Hunt, the most respected online community in Silicon Valley for assessing technology products, apps and sevices.
The kiwi entrepreneurs did pretty well, even though Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt CEO posted a lukewarm advice : “I’m honestly skeptical that splitting bills with friends, is a big enough pain point for most people to dedicated app just for this, let alone frequently”.
However, there might be some space to make such collective payment between friends or relatives easier and way more entertaining. I think the “instant” factor, for instance, represents a major asset : how many deadlines I have seen postponed on Leetchi because, after all, the act of paying still looks a lot like a formality.
Maybe Glassjar’s key to success is to find other opportunities like bar crawling, where payment has to be done on the spot. And remember to bring some fun to it everytime, too.