Paying by Plastic Changes Tipping Behavior, says Auriemma Consulting Group Survey of Consumers
December 16, 2015
(New York, NY): Tipping for service may be a cultural norm in the US, but prompts at point of sale can greatly affect who gets tipped and how much, according to new report by Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG). The firm’s latest Cardbeat ® survey of 800 US credit cardholders found that presenting consumers with the opportunity to add a tip when they pay by credit card can increase tipping behavior by almost a third.
When queried about their normal habits, the vast majority of consumers (93%) say they typically tip their servers in a restaurant, while 72% tip for food delivery and 69% tip their hair dresser or barber. Tips are far less prevalent when given in cash, however, with fewer than half of those surveyed saying they generally tip taxi drivers (46%), valet parking attendants (38%), or hotel room cleaners (39%). Asked what they’d do if they didn’t have cash handy, 41% of consumers say they’d skip leaving a gratuity altogether for courtesy services where they may otherwise tip. Given the option, nearly 9 in 10 (89%) cardholders say they would always tip on a card if they could, with 79% adding that they feel it’s an inconvenience when they’re unable to tip on their credit card.
As payment card acceptance becomes more widespread, however, so does the likelihood of tipping. A noteworthy 30% of cardholders say that tip suggestions that appear at point of sale make them more likely to tip. “These tip prompts are often used on mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems, such as those used by car services or taxis” said Jaclyn Holmes, the ACG senior manager who directed the study. “When the checkout screen asks if they want to tip 15%, 20%, or 25%, people are far more likely to leave any tip, although most opt for the lowest suggested amount.” At fast casual restaurants 81% of cardholders would leave a tip after passive merchant prompting through an mPOS system, representing a 31% increase in the number of cardholders who would leave a tip at a restaurant of that kind. “On a cumulative basis, such prompting could create a significant increase in payment card transaction volume,” Holmes noted. “Baristas and drivers may welcome these innovations, but so will the IRS, which can more easily document these sources of income.”
About Auriemma Consulting Group
ACG is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. Founded in 1984, ACG has grown from a one-man shop to a nearly 50-person firm with offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit ACG’s website at www.acg.net or contact Jaclyn Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.