French startup Lydia now lets you share your Lydia Sub-accounts with other people. The company wants to make managing money easier when traveling with friends, sharing an apartment with someone, and more.
When Lydia introduced its premium offering in March 2018, the company completely rethought the way Lydia accounts worked. Users had a single Lydia account and were basically limited to sending, receiving and withdrawing money; it was all about peer-to-peer payments. Now you can create as many Lydia accounts as you want, move money, reserve money, and top up each account separately.
That was just the first step, as you can now share those accounts with other people. This way you don’t have to create a Splitwise group and keep track of who owes whom. Instead of getting their money back after a while, people log in and recharge the shared account directly. Anyone can spend that money safely.
As always, Lydia is all about getting money in the app and exiting the app in the most perfect way possible. When you create a shared account, each user can top up the account using other Lydia subaccounts, a traditional bank account that has already been connected to the app, or a debit card if it’s a small amount.
If your bank account is not supported by Lydia, you will also get an IBAN number for this particular subaccount. Therefore, you can also initiate a traditional bank transfer from your bank account.
Once the account is up and running, anyone can spend money. You can generate a virtual card, add it to Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay, and associate it with the shared account. If you’re on a ski trip and you’re shopping for raclette cheese for your group of friends, you can pay with your phone and charge the shared account.
If you are a premium user and you have a good Lydia plastic card, you can also use it in any card reader and associate transactions with your shared account. Some websites already allow you to pay with your Lydia account directly as well. You can select your subaccount when confirming the transaction on your phone.
You can imagine multiple different use cases for such a feature. This is a good way to share an account with your partner without switching to the same bank. This could be a way to pay your utility bills with your roommates.
“I use it with my son, for example. I created a shared account, set up a virtual card, and he added it to his Google Pay, “co-founder and CEO Cyril Chiche told me. Then he can send him money that he can use instantly whenever he needs it.
This feature will become more valuable over time, when you can pay with your Lydia account in more places. Mobile payment systems, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, are becoming more and more widespread. And Lydia has also been working with popular payment service providers to add support for more e-commerce websites.
It’s a radical way to share expenses with friends and family, but it could become the obvious way if Lydia becomes ubiquitous.