Tech Talker: Tip Creep

Tech Talker: Tip Creep

(NBC News) With more of our transactions becoming as easy as a swipe or even a simple tap, the cold hard cash of a tip jar is giving way more and more to screens with pre-set tip options.

Those options frequently range from 15 to 20, even 25 percent.

“I love it, customers seem to love it too,” says barista Ian Killea.

A recent study by research firm Software Advice found that this digital tipping benefits more than just traditional waiters and waitresses.

“At the moment our tipping is on almost every single transaction, and the baristas certainly enjoy the fact that they feel appreciated more by the customers when they tip,” says coffee shop owner Geoff Broomhead.

The digital generosity is definitely noticed at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Salon 1226 as well.

“We have seen an increase in tipping for our stylists because of the ease of the tipping on Square,” notes stylist and owner Edward Brown.

But for some people, making the process easier could make gratuities gratuitous.

“Some customers might find they’re being asked to tip in a place where they wouldn’t normally do so,” explains NBC News senior tech writer Julianne Pepitone.

Patrons who want to customize an electronic tip amount generally can. They can also leave none at all.

Tip etiquette can vary in different parts of the country and on the quality of service. A good rule of thumb is 15 to 25 percent.

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