Cashless tip machine(l+r), Man smiling(c)


‘Credit card fees boutta go crazy’: Customer shows new ‘cashless’ way to leave a tip

‘RIP cash tips.’


Beau Paul


Is the tip jar about to go the way of the compact disc? The analog cash-only version of the tip jar we’re all used to seeing on countertops and bars now faces some digital competition, but a tip-weary public might not be ready for it.

Consumers got a glimpse of the “new digital way to tip” in a video by Saco, Maine-based travel agency Light Travels. The video, posted to the company’s TikTok account (@light_travels) on Sunday, has gathered over 896,300 views and counting.

“A new way of tipping right here,” Light Travel owner Wade Light can be heard saying as he closes up on a white plastic credit card scanner with a sticker identifying it as a “digital tip jar.” The unit bears the logo of Maine-based gelateria Gelato Fiasco.

The digital tip jar sits alongside a familiar “analog” style cash tip jar. A preset amount of $1 glows on the unit’s display.

“So I just put it in?” Light asks the person at the counter. After he is told yes, he slips his card into the scanner. The unit then chimes and flashes its lights, acknowledging the tip before returning to the $1 display.

“That’s dangerous,” Light states.

In an email to the Daily Dot, Mitch Newlin, the Retail Director of Gelato Fiasco, said the company uses a digital tip jar because “it creates a no pressure way for us to accept tips without making the customers feel guilty for not tipping.”

“It’s a win-win in that regard,” he continued. “We have worked hard to never add a flip screen in people’s faces, as we pay our staff living wages, and only want tips to be an added bonus for exceptional work that a customer feels deserves an extra tip.”

How does it work?

The device appears to be a DipJar, a digital tip jar that has been around for quite a while. According to a 2010 New Atlas article, entrepreneur Ryder Kessler came up with the concept all the way back in 2008 when he noticed “that when making small purchases using debit or credit cards, a lot of people didn’t bother fishing out cash to leave tips.”

The device uses “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 Every time they dip, a tip for the preset amount is withdrawn from their account.”

@light_travels The new digital way to tip! #tipping #digital ♬ original sound – Light Travels

Convenient or not, the video brought out plenty of viewers who wanted to comment on the device’s pros and cons—and to complain about tip fatigue.

Josh Rath (@mrrath) wrote, “That’s actually… cool. No pressure on the terminals, and I can run it separate to track it.”

But another viewer worried, “machines will soon only have $25 on it. $1 is just the beginning.”

“Hell nawww that looks like a skimmer. why isnt it tap?” another viewer added.

A large majority of the comments expressed frustration at the oversaturation of tipping for counter service.

“If I stand to order, I don’t tip,” wrote atluser (@atluser5).

Chris K (@warlockhaze420) commented, “What irritates me and makes me question why do people tip for people to do their job? Are they doing something exceptional for a tip or are they just doing their job?”

“I like the old way of tipping if the service is anything like McDonald’s they get nothing if they come to my table and bring the food they get a tip,” another viewer added.

Some viewers also had concerns regarding taxes and how the tip would be distributed back to the worker.

Antivillain (@antivillaininc) wrote, “Credit card fees boutta go crazy.”

Another viewer commented, “And then the company takes it. Cash only for tips y’all.”

“Bad way, now it has to be taxed,” a third wrote.

Another stated, “that 1 dollar tip is really like 50 cents after taxes. rip cash tips.”

Are cash tips better?

According to, when it comes to tips, most servers favor cash over credit card transactions. “Everyone from servers to bussers to hosts, has a very strong opinion on tipping: cash is king,” the site states.

However, the site also notes that if you “don’t have enough cash to leave for a decent tip, leaving a larger tip on your credit card bill is far better than leaving a smaller tip with bills,” even if the server has to pay a fee.

It was also noted that “some restaurants force their employees to pay credit card fees to receive their gratuities.”

According to New Atlas, “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.”

Therefore, it’s likely that servers would not see the full $1 amount of any tip that comes to them digitally. The Daily Dot has reached out to DipJar for a statement.

The Dot reached out to Light Travels via its website for further comment and received this statement from owner Wade Light:

“I’m thrilled to share that a video I shot about the increasing demand for tipping and the new digital methods of tipping has gone viral! The video resonated with many viewers, sparking a lively conversation about the evolving landscape of tipping culture in our society. Thank you to everyone who watched, shared, and contributed to the discussion!”

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