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DipJar – it's the electronic version of a tip jar

By

September 6, 2012

DipJar allows card-using customers at businesses such as coffee shops to leave tips with a...

DipJar allows card-using customers at businesses such as coffee shops to leave tips with a simple 'dip' of their card

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Back in 2008, entrepreneur Ryder Kessler became aware of the fact that when making small purchases using debit or credit cards, a lot of people didn’t bother fishing out cash to leave tips. He proceeded to develop a possible solution to that problem, which is now being tried out in a few New York City coffee shops. It’s called DipJar, and it’s a device that lets customers quickly and easily leave tips with a “dip” of their card.

The way DipJar works is pretty simple.

The business owner starts by selecting a preset tip amount, which is then displayed for customers on the jar-shaped device. When someone subsequently wishes to leave a tip, they just dip their card in and out of the card reader within. Every time they dip, a tip for the preset amount is withdrawn from their account – if they want to leave a two-dollar tip using a DipJar preset to one dollar, for example, they just dip their card twice.

The DipJar in use

Because the system keeps track of the times at which the tips are made, individual employees could later receive the tips specifically intended for them ... that is, if the business’ work schedule was cross-referenced against the tip record, and if there wasn’t just one DipJar for multiple pay stations.

Once the system gets beyond its current trial phase, DipJar Inc. plans on deducting a service fee from every tip processed by one of its devices. Plans call for that amount to not exceed 20 cents per one-dollar tip, and hopefully to even end up at 10 cents or less. Businesses using a DipJar would not have to purchase it, or pay any other fees.

In some businesses, of course, card-using customers can already just select the “Add tip?” option on the handset. For places where that isn’t possible, however, DipJar could help generate some extra revenue.

Source: DipJar via bon appetit

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
7 Comments

I am wary of such devices gaining popularity as the potential for them to be abused seems high. In the right hands, one of these could be replaced with a card reader that gave all of the needed information for a nefarious party to make subsequent purchases with that account or to create a duplicate card. Plus, the last sentence of the article doesn't make any sense: "For places where that isn't possible, however, DipJar could help generate some extra revenue." This device isn't meant to increase the revenue of a business, but rather to provide an alternative for tips to their employees other than cash.

Gene Jordan
6th September, 2012 @ 01:40 pm PDT

I wouldn't worry any more about this than with any other card reader. Already card readers in ordinary EFT systems have been replaced / intercepted by criminals.

The addition I'd make is to use near field communication so like visa "paywave" so you can use the fancy pants new smart cards.

I think this is a great idea. It would be easy for multiple people from the one party to tip without needing stone age "cash" which I think is on the way out.

Scion
6th September, 2012 @ 05:37 pm PDT

Seriously!? What utter rubbish. New York needs to take a hint from Japan—no tipping.

Fahrenheit 451
6th September, 2012 @ 05:54 pm PDT

I see no reason why throwing a quid in a jar needs replacing.

Micheal Daniels
7th September, 2012 @ 06:58 am PDT

Problem is that most cards these days have fraud protection, which includes disabling the card if its used 3 or more times in one day at the same location. If you pay for your meal with the card, and then try to Dip twice, your card will be disabled automatically... and that's a real pain when the bank disables your card!

David Richardson
7th September, 2012 @ 11:27 am PDT

I prefer to just give the waiter/waitress cash. They know who it comes from then and will usually have bigger smiles when they wait on you next time. They also take a bit better care of the tippers.

Sonya Jones
7th September, 2012 @ 11:23 pm PDT

Perhaps I'm a soulless bastard, but I don't believe in tip jars. You don't deserve a tip just because you are doing your job - that's what your wage is for. If you provide service which goes above and beyond, I will hand you a tip directly, not for you to share with your 10 other co-workers. I think we forget that a tip is a gratuity - it's something we do to say "thank you" for good service.

The worst is when there is a tip jar at the register for a place that is basically self serve. I'm sorry, but you don't get a tip for simply ringing up my order and taking my money.

Even with servers in restaurants, I think a good tip has become expected. I will not hesitate to leave you a bad tip if you provide bad service. Just enough so you know I haven't forgotten to leave a tip.

I have worked almost my entire career in the service industry. Whether it's as a front-end cashier, cook, or someone else on the staff. Even so, I have never felt like I was entitled to a tip just because I did my job correctly.

Justin Hamaker
26th January, 2013 @ 05:01 pm PST
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