16 December 2020
Unlike existing apps that enable people to split one-off costs — a restaurant bill, for example — TabTab is fully automated and focused on subscriptions. After signing up, a user gives the app read-only access to their bank account, and the app searches for recurring payments that might be shareable subscriptions. The user selects which they want to share and invites roommates or family members. Once others have accepted an invite, money is automatically taken from their account by direct debit every time the main user pays for the subscription.
TabTab shows how much money is saved monthly, and takes a percentage of those savings. Users are prompted to check a service's terms and conditions before sharing logins, which is generally allowed within a household. The app was created by a Venezuelan student at Stanford in response to a problem he faced himself: roommates would leach off his Hulu or Wall Street Journal account, and he'd then have to chase them to split the costs.
TabTab tackles a trend trifecta: the increase in digital subscriptions, the growing number of people who live with roommates, and the financial impact of the pandemic, on top of existing burdens like high housing costs and student loans. It lifts a bit of that financial load in a frictionless way, and makes sharing the cost of subscriptions as easy as signing up for them in the first place.