Never Use Quarters Again: Digital Tip Jars Are Coming to Your Favorite Coffee Shop

By Mike Pomranz |

Big Cheese Photo LLC / Alamy

Anyone who has ever shrugged off tipping a barista by claiming not to have change is going to have to start looking for a new excuse. A start-up is going to make tipping as easy as dipping your credit card into a digital tip jar.

DipJar, a New York– and Boston-based company, has been testing its product of the same name in 20 New York locations over the past two years. Those tests have clearly been going well, because the company has received an additional $420,000 from investors. That means you’ll see DipJars in as many as 200 more locations.

The system is incredibly streamlined: Customers dip their cards in the jar-shaped device and tips are taken at $1 a pop. (According to DipJar’s website, it appears tips could be set for a different default amount, but regardless, tippers are given only one option.) In addition, DipJar handles splitting tips among the workers. For all this convenience, DipJar takes 8 cents of every dollar.

The concept seems to have a novelty appeal as much as a practical one. According to a barista in one of the test locations, “People marvel at the DipJar more than they use it.”

But is there anything more appropriate in 21st-century America than giving an 8 percent cut to a tech start-up in order to tip a barista at an independent coffee shop? Maybe if you live tweeted the whole transaction.

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