21 November 2019

Hafiz Adewuyi

My favorite feature on Revolut: Request payment

Two Saturdays ago, I and three other fellow Digital Explorers took a Bolt cab together to a 'friend''s birthday party. I was the one who requested the ride, so at the end of the ride, a payment of €6.8 was deducted from my Revolut virtual card (which I now use for all online/in-app payments since I arrived in Lithuania). As we made our way towards the party house, I vocally broadcasted the total ride cost to the other explorers, as well as the per-head cost: €1.7.

Now, refunding me was pretty straightforward for everyone. Upon arrival in Lithuania, we had each opened a Revolut account. This was one of the few viable options for us, as we had found out (shortly before arrival) that to open an account with a Lithuanian bank with our class of visa, we would have to pay upwards of €100 to the bank (as account opening fee, not as account opening balance). On the other hand, it is completely free to open a fully-fledged European bank account with Revolut. Besides, Revolut lets you send money in a few simple steps to any other Revolut user anywhere in the world, as long as you have their phone number or there are somewhere nearby.

Because I really like money, know how easy it is for someone to forget a debt so insignificant and also, how wary I am of reaching out in person to remind someone to repay a debt (especially peanuts like €1.7), I became uneasy when 10 minutes into the event, not one of the explorers had sent me a refund.

By this time, every one else had settled either into playing the PES 2019 soccer game, being an enthusiastic spectator, doing jackshit on their phone or enjoying some of the treats at the birthday party. It was surely a bad time now to remind my micro-debtors to send my money (lest they forget all about it by the end of the day). At some point, I remembered the "Request payment" feature of Revolut which I had noticed many times before while using the "Send payment" feature.

Without further ado, I opened my Revolut app and sent e-invoices of €1.7 to each one of my three debtors, using a simple three-step process (Select contact => Enter amount => Request payment). There are two optional steps also (see picture below): you can add a description (narration) and a GIF!!!

Fancy how my mind won't let go of Bolt's old name: Taxify

The fact that you can add a GIF to a transaction is what I consider the icing on the cake of Revolut's peer-to-peer payment suite. In the case of requesting payment, for me, being able to add a GIF to a repayment request presents an unmatchable opportunity to introduce some humor, which mitigates the tension that can often surround financial exchanges such as the topic one.

While at it, I also requested payment from Abib* who had requested me to help buy him Aboniki balm and a tub of Vaseline petroleum jelly, shortly before leaving Lagos for Kaunas (he left Lagos for Kaunas a week before me). It was at least, 6 hours already since I had delivered the package to Abib and sent him the payment details (my Nigerian bank account) on WhatsApp, yet a quick check at the party revealed that the payment (however insignificant: ₦1100) was yet to be made. I kindly converted the payment to Euros at 400:1 and sent Abib a payment request on Revolut.

By the end of the day, I had received my 4 payments (3 from fellow Bolters, one from Abib), all without saying a single word to any of my debtors. Soft life 💯! There is no parallel universe but I would put a stake on the chance that at least, one of these 4 people would have needed me to remind them about their debt at least once within the next few days to not totally forget about it. I hope you see now, why I am stoked enough by this feature to spend 2 irredeemable hours of my mediocre life writing about it?

Interestingly, after the "Request payment" transactions had been finalized, Revolut automatically reminded me (through an in-app popup) of the "Split bill" feature - which would have significantly shortened the process of requesting refunds from my 3 co-Bolters. The Revolut "Split bill" feature allows me to select a single transaction from my Revolut debit history and split the amount between myself and any number of Revolut users in my address book.

Split a bill with other Revolut users

In recent days, I cannot help but think back home to Nigeria and how this kind of feature is long overdue, at least for the mobile banking app of many of the country's commercial banks. While I am not ignorant of the challenges to adoption that having 23 commercial banks with mobile apps which are for all practical purposes, isolated from one another, a "Request payment" feature would still be really handy for small groups which are by formulation, a cluster of a single bank's customers. Think a group of Access bank staff turned fine-dining/drinking buddies or a nuclear family that is loyal to GTBank.

Writing this story also reminds me of my not-so-long-ago days at Carbon when similar peer-to-peer payments were an almost daily occurrence between me and my colleagues. One of us would make a payment for some product or service on behalf of several others and we would simply have to settle him/her with a refund to his/her Carbon wallet.

Every so often, when I made a payment on behalf of Titi*, I usually would have to remind him in person at least, once and at the worst, up to two times, before I received a refund. In the period in-between two consecutive reminders, I would severally waive the instinct to remind Titi of his debt, telling myself: "Come on! You earn so much more than ₦700 - and probably Titi -, so you can easily waive this change. Abeg, let it go". Unarguably, my life would have been much easier back then if the Carbon app (which is a great app actually) had allowed me to request payment and/or split a bill, just like I can with Revolut. In addition, it would have spared me having to watch Titi vocally beat up himself for being so forgetful, whenever I reminded him of a debt, like 3 weeks after the fact.

* Name was changed for anonymity as I did not inform any of these persons before mentioning them in my story. IOW, be intentional in how you treat a writer, as you never know when you will end up as the subject of a story that the whole world can read. And they needn't be as discreet as I am being here 🦊.

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :