New mobile payments app Beem It has been quietly running a pilot of its service over the last few weeks, and is now ready to throw its doors open to the public.
Aimed at making “better money moments”, Beem’s focus is on removing complexity from payments and maybe even making it an enjoyable and fun experience.
Beem’s CEO Mark Wood says that he’s seen too many happy moments – dinners out and shared experiences marred by arguments over who’s paying what at the end, or (if you’re me) having to make a quick trip to the ATM to get money to pay someone back for dinner. He wants Beem It to make it easier and less awkward to settle debts between friends.
This might seem like a solution in search of a problem, but it’s not – Beem It cites research that shows Aussies are out of pocket to the tune of $6.2b to their mates. Maybe we forget, or the amount is too small to bother, or maybe we don’t want to jeopardize a friendship by asking for a debt to be paid back.
We first reported on the emergence of Beem last year – at the time it was thought to be a new mobile wallet app. In reality, Beem It (as its now known) isn’t a wallet at all – it uses Visa and Mastercard debit cards to send and receive payments using credit systems to take money and EFTPOS to send it.
It’s actually pretty simple: Let’s say Chris wants to send money to Dan; Beem It will take the money from Chris’ card as a credit card payment, and use EFTPOS to create a refund charge to put the money onto Dan’s card and thus straight into his account.
Money changes hands in real time, which is way faster than waiting for funds transfer between banks (which could take days and require you to pass BSB and account numbers back and forth). You can also use QR codes to make sending and receiving money even easier in person.
Beem It allows you to send money to and request money from your friends, whether they already have a Beem It account or not (they’ll need to sign up to send/receive money if they haven’t already done so, though).
It extends this concept to handling bill splitting as well, where the app’s realtime settlement aspect shines – everyone’s money can be shifted between accounts before you’ve even left the restaurant. Beem It has a great opportunity here with its friendly UI and realtime settlement capabilities – other bill splitting apps fall short of actually being able to send and receive money, leaving that up to the app users.
The app has a bright, fun, colourful and friendly user interface that lets you access its core features quickly and easily. Text is big and bold, and it’s clear they’ve paid a lot of attention to the core user experience. Right now, Beem It supports Visa and Mastercard debit cards, but the company says they’ll look at adding other payment methods in the future according to demand.
Three of our “big four” banks are invested equally in Beem It – Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank. Commonwealth Bank already has a page on its website to promote the app. You don’t need to be a customer of these banks for the app to work for you though.
Beem It is offering a $5 credit to users who complete the signup process before the end of August.