A team of six Colorado State University alumni, an architect from Google and a global marketing solutions professional from Facebook are launching an app at CSU that will help students pay their bills and eventually establish credit at the same time.
Dan Holt, CEO of BillHero, said BillHero is an app designed to help students pay split bills easily and efficiently.
Unlike other competitors, BillHero works with every major known bill company within the United States and will allow users to pay rent, utilities and Comcast without having to write a check.
“You will never have to buy a checkbook again,” Holt said. “You will never have to buy envelopes or stamps — we will do the whole thing for you.”
Holt said the BillHero app will be available to the public Dec. 21. The BillHero team has been marketing exclusively to CSU and expects the first 1,000 users to be CSU students.
The BillHero team will have a booth set up on the plaza Jan. 19 and 20 to help promote the app to students. For downloading the app, the first 1,000 users will receive a $5 credit to their BillHero account. After paying their first bill, users will then receive an additional $5 credit for participating in a survey to help the BillHero team.
“We feel the students will be a great audience to give feedback because it is their product, too,” Holt said. “It’s not just something BillHero is building, it is something that CSU is building.”
Assistant director of entrepreneurship at CSU Jessica Rawley said the idea for BillHero originated out of the CSU Venture Accelerator Program with a student named Jordan Combs.
Rawley said Combs created an idea for an app called BillBuddy that would be used for tracking bills. As his mentor, Holt saw the promise in the idea and encouraged Combs to pursue it.
After graduating college, Combs wanted to go another direction with his career path and ultimately sold the idea to Holt, who then changed the premise of the app from a bill tracking app to a split bill-paying platform, Rawley said. Since then, Holt and the BillHero team have been working on the app to find the optimal security, usability and efficiency.
“Security is absolutely critical for us,” Holt said. “I’m actually certified information security professional — I’ve done this for a living.”
The BillHero team is also working with creditors to bring a feature to the app that helps users develop credit whenever they pay a bill.
“When I was in college, 90 percent of students used credit cards,” Holt said. “Only 30 percent of students today use a credit card.”
Developing credit has become much harder for college students, Holt said. Students have a hard time making major purchases straight out of college without having a four-year credit score. This is why the BillHero team is working to alleviate some of that struggle.
“What we’re going to do at BillHero is every single time you pay a bill, we are going to help you establish credit,” Holt said. “Right now, we are working on that with the credit agencies.”
Collegian Reporter Megan Braa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Megan_Braa.