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 Every time they dip, a tip for the preset amount is withdrawn from their account – if they want to leave a two-dollar tip using a DipJar preset to one dollar, for example, they just dip their card twice.

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