Tipping is now possible with the swipe of a credit card, thanks to a new machine called DipJar, which resembles a traditional tip jar.
DipJar co-founder and CEO Ryder Kessler was inspired while observing the crew of his coffee shop on a busy day in 2008. According to Kessler, his employees told him the benefit of receiving tips at the end of the day was challenged by many customers who pay with a card and not cash.
“I wondered why there wasn’t a tip jar for credit and debit cards. A way for customers paying for their morning latte with a credit card to leave a $1 tip just as easily as someone paying with cash,” Kessler said. “That’s when the initial idea for DipJar was born.”
In summer 2012, Kessler and his brother, Judd, designed the product and introduced it to a few New York City coffee shops. Before releasing the pilot DipJars, Kessler said they spoke to retailers about their ideas.
“It hasn’t been a very hard sell,” he said. “Retailers like the idea that their employees can take home more money at no cost to them.”
The DipJar is free to all retailers because the company makes its profit by taking a small service fee from the tips received. There are currently two Oren’s Daily Roast locations in Manhattan using DipJars.
“So far, DipJar is going over pretty well,” said Gabe Smentek, director of operations at Oren’s Daily Roast. “The majority of our full-time baristas earn an extra $10 every two weeks.”
Smentek said some customers are having trouble recognizing the DipJar amongst additional items on the counter. Others are unfamiliar with how it works.
“We are hopeful that with the press DipJar is getting, the customers will get over their fear of using it,” Smentek said.
Paul Higgins, an employee for the Think Coffee located on 14th Street, said DipJar is just adding an extra step to the process.
“Every time you do a transaction on a credit card, you have to pay,” Higgins said. “So if you’re going to pay for a tip and a transaction, they’re not going to want to do it. For that kind of thing you have to figure out a way to integrate it with a credit card company so it all comes in one transaction.”
For Gallatin sophomore Olivia Loving, using DipJar is too formal for tipping.
“Tipping is sort of like a thank you after the fact, but the machine makes it very deliberate,” Loving said.
“I think it’s a practical device since if you pay with cash, then you tip in cash. If you pay with card, then you tip with card,” LSP freshman Austin Redon said.
Kessler said he has received requests for the DipJar from retailers all across the country.
“The DipJar is our company’s first product, and it’s what we’re focused on. We’re taking lessons from the pilot and applying them to developing the next generation DipJar,” Kessler said.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 12 edition. Hanna Park is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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