A Google patent filing wants to let you keep your friends. No, really, it does! The recent filing shows Google attempting to patent a method for splitting a bill or bar tab, then amortizing it amongst a group. While splitting a bill is nothing new, Google’s method for settling up may show something new for their troubled Wallet service.
If Google’s filing is approved, you’d have the ability to distribute a bill amongst friends. In a very linear way, Google is imagining you set up a group within this service, create a transaction for the group, then bill the members of the group as you see fit. While the filing is a bit vague on final details, it does show us that Google is still intent on mobile payment, and sees the need for an angle to make their system desirable.
Let’s say you are out with 3 friends, and the bar tab is $100 (tip included. Don’t be that guy). You are responsible for $30 of the tab, another friend $20, and the other two $25 each. You cover the tab, and the service automatically draws the funds owed to you from the accounts of your friends.
Conversely, it may simply bill them, and let them pay at their leisure. There is also a provision in the filing for objections to charges, with one person (you, in this case) serving as the group “administrator”, and able to make judgements as they see fit. A very niche issue, this sounds like a new Wallet feature, not a standalone app or service.
VIA: The Consumerist