There are two kinds of people who use Airbnb. The types who plan, pick the place, and pony up the money up front to rent it. And everybody else who is planning to stay in said house or condo or yurt who now owes the first person some money. Today, Airbnb rolled out a new feature that eliminates this process. Now, users can split payments within the platform with groups of up to 16 people. When a person requests a booking, they’ll pay their portion and then the rest of the group will have 72 hours to pay theirs to complete the reservation.
Back in 2016, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky asked on Twitter what the company should launch in 2017. Split payments, Airbnb said in a blog post today announcing the rollout, was among the top responses. Airbnb also says 43 percent of group-trip travelers — the ones who put up the money to travel in the first place — have lost over $1,000 in money they were never repaid. Of course, using Airbnb’s system means you don’t get to subtly brag that you’re going on a very cool trip with a select group of friends by Venmo-ing seven people with a cryptic string of vacation emoji. But it also means you’re probably more likely to get paid.