Mobile payment apps could lead to more tips


By including a tipping option, mobile payment apps could lead to waiters and waitresses receiving more tips.

For example, the recently launched Starbucks mobile app requires the customer to make a selection on tip amount. This is prompting customers to leave tips when they might not normally do so, reports TODAY.

Lori Waddell, a barista at Inman Park Coffee in Atlanta, tells TODAY that mobile tipping can make customers feel obligated.

"They kind of feel like they should," she said.

Jamie Saye, Waddell's manager, says that mobile payment apps like LevelUp are making a difference in tip amounts. Saye estimates that tips have increased 12 percent since Inman Park Coffee started accepting LevelUp.

"The tipping has become less of a math problem for customers to figure out. Customers are more likely to tip us slightly more because all of the calculations are figured out instantly," Saye tells TODAY.

The trend toward mobile payments is not just benefiting servers. Restaurants are processing about $23 billion annually in mobile payments, according to CIO Today. For Starbucks, mobile payment makes up about 10 percent of its transactions.

The 12 most popular restaurant mobile apps, based on customer ratings in Apple's App Store and Google Play stores, are Dominos, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Chipotle, Papa John's, Hardee's, Dunkin Donuts, Culver's, TGI Friday's, In-N-Out Burger, 7-Eleven, and Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

For more:
- check out the TODAY report
- read the CIO Today article

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