This column is sponsored by Nokia Asha
Even been accused of being a bad debt-er? Chances are that you're just forgetful and constant reminders from those you're indebted to have earned you that name. Well, now there's an app that will help you with it. BillClip is today's App Friday. This iOS app will let you key in bills that you have pending and the app will take care of the rest.
But does this app have what it takes to make you pay your bills on time? Here's what we think -
What is it about?
BillClip is not an expense tracker. It is a bill reminder app; you key in your commitments against due dates and the app with remind you of it. BillClip does this in many useful ways. There's the conventional list, which can be sorted using various parameters. Then there's the calendar feature, which helps you sort commitments on date, on a calendar view. The ticker view is another variant of the calendar view where the dates appear on the top of part of the screen.
The bills itself can be categorized into one time or recurring bills. You can also have a record of direct debit payments you make every month and BillClip will remind you that the amount will be debited from your account. It's like BillClip has an alarm clock inside the app itself, with which you can even specify what time of which day you want to be reminded of a bill payment.
Another interesting feature is that BillClip syncs with iCloud in the backend, so you can access your billing information across devices using your user account.
A one stop bill "payment" app?
I don't know if this is on the roadmap of the app developers, but users like me, who transact a lot over the internet, find going on a desktop computer and going to a website to make a payment or a cash transfer quite a cumbersome process. As BillClip is now, I feel that it can very easily evolve into a Bill Payment app as well. A lot of the banking services are moving to mobile. Using the APIs from these banks will not only add a great utility an already useful app, but it will also add a big deal of credibility to the app.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but given how much banks use technology to differentiate from their competitors, BillClip can actually offer an interesting proposition to them.
Pros and Cons
BillClip is the quintessential iOS app. Simply designed, easy to understand and does what it says. We used the app for a bit and found nothing much that we could complain about with BillClip. Also, the reminders can be vastly customized, which is something I like about this app.
However, like many iOS apps, its also a paid app (Yup, I think it's an iOS thing). The $1 USD model hasn't payed rich dividends among the Indian audience and most of BillClip's revenues will come from abroad. Also, given it's feature list, there are many free alternatives to it, which users might turn to.
I think a paid app should justify it's price tag and honestly, I don't feel that has completely been done with BillClip. Don't get me wrong; I think it is a well made app, but is it enough for you to pay 55 Rs for it?
I think there needs to be more value that BillClip needs to give back. For example, people paying many bills would love it if the expenses could be exported into a spreadsheet, along with analytics. The bank tie up would really make this an interesting app which I would definitely buy.
Until then, if you're looking to buy an app, try BillClip and tell us what you think.
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