Promissory ($1.99) by Super Computer Robot is a beautiful app that makes it easy to manage where your money is going between people. Basically, this great little app can help you get on track to become even more financially responsible. It's similar to Billr and the like, except it's not just about splitting checks.
I’m sure that we have all gone through times when we either loan someone money, borrow money ourselves, or go out with multiple people and divide a check up for a meal. If you don’t keep track of these things, it can easily be forgotten and you won’t end up with the right amounts, which can become a real problem. Fortunately, Promissory wants to help you keep track of all of these things, in an easy-to-understand way.
The first thing you have to do is to create an account. I know what you’re thinking: “Why do I need to make an account for an app that just keeps track of who owes whom?” The answer to that is syncing. When you create an account, all of your data will remain intact across multiple iPhones. Unfortunately, though, an account is not optional — you will have to sign up for the service to use the app, or use Facebook Connect. I think it would be great to see the developers make this optional in the future, and maybe even implement something like iCloud sync for moving data across iPhones.
Once you are in the app, there will be four sections: New Entry, Summary, History, and Account. From the Account screen, you are able to edit your profile (name, username, and email information), change your password or profile photo, and logout. The default view is Summary, which will hold a generic synopsis of how much you owe, how much you loaned to people, and any outstanding transactions. It is great to see what’s going on with your money at-a-glance.
When you want to make a new entry, you have several options: Split Bill, New Loan, New Debt, Pay Back, and Got Paid. No matter which choice you pick, you are able to enter to amount of money, and a description to go along with it.
Of course, you’ll have to add a person for the transaction as well. Just tap on the icon to add a person, and then search for them on Promissory, or just write them in yourself. When adding them manually, you can just enter in their name and email address, although all of these fields are optional. For me, I’ve only been entering first and last name. The contact will then be given a temporary “username” on the service so you can quickly add them in again later.
All of your transactions can be viewed with more detail from the Summary screen. Just give one a tap and you will see how much is owed, when it happened, and a description of the arrangement. If the amount has been paid, just tap on the “Square Up” or “Pay Friend Back” button. The history for every transaction will show the original transaction, as well as what your friend paid or you paid back. Change your mind? Any of these transactions can be deleted too. If you owe someone money, and then you spot them for something, that amount will reflect in your outstanding transactions. This is a nice feature that I’m sure many will appreciate having.
I’ve been using the app lately to keep track of what I owe, and for the most part, it works. I did encounter a weird glitch where only one person would show up for a Split Bill, when I actually had two people. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it is a tad annoying.
But overall, I’m rather enjoying the app. It’s definitely pretty, and I like being able to keep track of loaned money and debt to others. If you find yourself often in the same boat, then this $1.99 app can definitely help you out. I hope that the developers fix the bugs sooner than later, though.