IOU

Thursday, December 6th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm | 4 Stars, Facebook, Money, Utility

Rating: ★★★★☆

*BANG BANG BANG BANG* and *KKKAAA-CHING* and take their money

Tired of your friends, roommates, co-workers and poker buddies borrowing money from you and not paying you back? $13 for lunch, $20 for dinner, $11 for a movie ticket. They promise to pay you back and even tell you a sad little tale of how they forgot their wallet at home, or were supposed to get paid yesterday but won’t until Monday. If they’re a good friend you probably don’t really mind. You also probably trust them a lot and know they’re good for it. You’ll get your money back for sure — right?

Unless they pay you back within a few days or you’ve loaned them enough cash to put a down payment on a car the chances are that you’re going to forget. If you don’t forget, they will. Or you both will. There’s even a possibility they’ll remember paying you back and you won’t remember that part. Uh-oh.

Before you lose your friends over some petty cash go add IOU to your Facebook profile. IOU by Sanjay Madan, another Harvard Alumni, will keep you from having to bust noses and break legs by keeping both you and your friends up to date on any outstanding financial transactions. Anytime you dole out some money log into Facebook and visit the IOU canvas page where you can enter the date, the amount, borrower’s name, and the reason. If you invite your friend IOU will create a link between both of you and will display to them the shared transaction so they know exactly how much they owe you and why. Once the debt is repaid you can simply clear out the transaction which removes it from both of your profiles.

IOU Ledger

Not only is IOU great for keeping track of the money you’re owed, but it can also help you keep track of the money you owe. If you’re frequently dipping your hands into your friend’s petty cash drawer this is a good way of making sure you maintain that relationship so when you’re down on your luck that register will still be open.

The Result

IOU is an incredibly useful app for Facebook. Not only will your wallet be happier, but IOU will help you keep those Facebook buddies by not letting the bitterness of debt and deceit come between you.

IOU Buddy

The app consists of only two pages, the ledger, and an invite page. It’s easy to use and beautifully designed. It also does not send out pesky and annoying notifications that make your friends secretly hate you. Those Harvard kids really know what they’re doing. For an extra bit of charm there’s also a little icon buddy in the top corner that randomly spits out satirical comments now and then. He’s not very functionally useful, but he takes take the edge off tracking finances a bit.

One thing noticeably lacking from IOU though is the ability to track payments. You can clear a debt in its entirety but there currently is no way to register or track partial payments. IOU is relatively new though and just starting to be published in the Application Directory so perhaps with a little bit of time we’ll see more functionality. Hopefully not at the cost of its simplicity though.

Now I can finally keep track of all those times Erik borrows lunch money.

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3 Responses to “IOU”

  1. Erik Osterman Says:

    Does it have any hooks with PayPal?

  2. Chad Boyda Says:

    No but I don’t think it needs PayPal. PayPal is great for settling merchant and online transactions, but for friends and family what’s the point? You see them everyday, why give a middle man like PayPal a piece of the action? Cash and checks are easier.

  3. Joel Thoms Says:

    Seems like this application only works for money. I’d like to put “you owe me my dvd”. I seem to loan a lot of dvd’s out that never find their way back home.

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