Seeing the overwhelming response and positive feedback from users outside of the US last night (after being TechCrunched), we are bumping internationalization up on our major features list.
Though several users have requested the ability to simply change the currency symbol and date format, we want to give them much more (our initial reaction was to take the easy route, but on further thought we see many problems with that). Our plan is to have full currency support. Here are our initial thoughts on how this will work:
- When you log in, you will select a native locale. For now this will set your currency and date format. Language will come later.
- When you enter a bill, you can specify which currency it was paid in. By default it’s your native currency. E.g. I live in Manchester and my native currency is GB Pounds, but I paid in Euros for the hostel for me and my buddy in lovely Nice.
- All totals on the site will be displayed in your native currency. E.g. I need to pay back a total of 98 pounds. Marty owes me 23 pounds.
- The amount of each individual bill will be displayed in your native currency, but will also show the amount in the currency in which it was reported. E.g. Hostel in Nice 41 pounds (EUR 60)
- Currency conversions will occur based on the exchange rate on the date of the bill, not the date it was reported. The rate will be an average over that day. E.g. You reported the Hostel bill today, 4 days after paying for it. We will take the exchange rate from 4 days ago.
Our goal is to remove the burden of dealing with multiple currencies. In general, our guess is that users want to view where they stand in their native currency – but would like to drill down and see what currency any given bill was reported in. Do let us know if we’re off the mark here. We’re still thinking this through and would love some feedback.
[Note: updated 1/30] The currencies that we are initially planning to support? All of them. At least, all actual backed-by-banks currencies. Beer as unit of currency, while a dim possibility, is not our top priority. The rule is this: if you tell us that you want us to include your currency, then we’ll add it.