Price: $0.99 Score: 7/10 By Jose Ralat Maldonado
For whom does that bag of change toll? For thee, deadbeat! And it’s held by Mr. Moneybags, an app that adds levity and motivation to what is otherwise a potential social quagmire—the monetary lending of and borrowing from kin and kith. The burden can strain even the oldest and dearest of relationships.
Imagine being in the hole to your life-long best friend for a measly $50 without the means—however unlikely—to fulfill your debt. Then you should beware of Mr. Moneybags by Bacon Bear Productions. You better think twice about donning your brand spanking new gold lamé Converse All-Stars for a night painting the town red—when you’re in the red. You might run into the buddy to whom you owe dough. And then comes the Shame!
The Shame is a valuable feature of Mr. Moneybags. If your “friend” hasn’t repaid the cost of the tickets for the classic rock band’s only reunion show in a reasonable amount of time, you can click the Shame button in the debt profile, which posts to the bum’s Facebook page. What’s more, you’re probably not the only one the freeloader is indebted to. That makes clicking the Shame button even more chilling (and hilariously sadistic). It’s a debtors prison of ones and zeros for all to see.
If you aren’t prepared to go as far as using the Shame option, an email reminder can be sent in either simple text or with the inclusion of a colorful CSV (comma-separated values) table, further exhibiting your thoughtful nature to the moocher. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like a technicolor IOU.
Mr. Moneybags is especially useful for vacations, when a rolling tally of who owes what to whom is complicated by currency exchanges and the hundreds of expenses incurred daily. A spring-break trip to Tijuana may be cheap thanks to the favorable dollar-to-peso exchange rate (approximately 1:12), but the endless stream of shots, cervezas, tacos as well as the hygienically dubious matching tattoos you and your traveling companions got in some back-alley parlor, not to mention the consequential trip to the hospital, add up. You can even consolidate the debts into Contexts, which outlines who owes you what in specific categories like “Tijuana.” As you might have guessed, the user is able to set preferred currencies for debts. Among those included are the aforementioned Mexican peso, the Thai baht, the Israeli sheqel and Kazakh tenge. Group trips is where Mr. Moneybags shines like a newly minted $100 bill, something rarely seen in circulation, something remarkable.
The porcine Monolopy Man on the app’s start-up screen leads the user to believe the app he/she has downloaded a facile means of acquiring a repayment. This is where Mr. Moneybags fails to deliver. Unfortunately, much like getting up the gumption to embarrass those who owe you moolah, the apps’ interface is deceptively difficult to use. On several occasions, I couldn’t save new debts, even though I had followed the directions to a T. When I attempted to Shame a friend on Facebook, I received a prompt stating said friend didn’t exist. That friend was my brother! (“That’s cold!” you might say. Indeed, I might be Mr. Moneybags‘ target audience.)
Aside from its initially shaky nature, Mr. Moneybags is a shrewd way to track and call in IOUs, balanced by the user’s ability to keep tabs on what he/she owes others. (You didn’t think this app was that greedy, did you?) It’s a useful tool in this recessionary climate. And for less than a dollar, a worthy investment.
Mr. Moneybags is compatible with iPhone and iPod touch and requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later.