Is cashless culture 'killing tips'?

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Service survey: research into tipping and card payments has found consumers habits have changed since the pandemic (image: Getty/RealPeopleGroup)
Service survey: research into tipping and card payments has found consumers habits have changed since the pandemic (image: Getty/RealPeopleGroup)

Related tags: Finance, Technology, Cash, tipping

More than a third of Brits won't tip when paying on a card because they are unsure if it will go to the right person, a new report has found.

Card payment expert takepayments Limited commissioned The 2021 Tipping Index​, which surveyed 2,085 consumers and found cash was the most popular payment method (91%) for tipping with almost two thirds (64%) of those who tip this way saying they felt more confident the tip would go directly to the person who served them.

However, with many businesses going cashless, the research also revealed fewer customers are opting to carry cash with a fifth (18%) saying so.

Furthermore, almost a quarter (23%) said they would only leave a tip if they had spare cash on them and a similar proportion (24%) said they would bring cash specifically to tip.

Reasons for not tipping

The research went on to reveal 7% of Brits will never tip while more than a third (36%) will always leave a tip, a further 60% said they would tip if impressed with the level of service.

Of the people who said they never tip, 34% claimed an extra cost wasn’t required if they have already paid for the service while 13% stated staff should be paid properly in the first place, so tips aren’t needed, with one in three respondents saying they couldn’t afford a tip.

The data polled consumers on how tipping habits had changed since the pandemic and found 14% stated they are now less likely to leave cash as a tip because of health or hygiene reasons.

Before the pandemic, waiters/waitresses were the most tipped profession and since the coronavirus crisis, waiting staff now receive a fifth more in tips.

Card payment misconception

Pre-2020, bar staff were the third most likely profession to be tipped however, now they have slipped into fifth most likely.

Sandra Rowley from takepayments Limited said: “While the sectors that commonly involve tipping can finally reopen, the professions that rely on tips to top up their income are unfortunately continuing to struggle due to the nation’s lack of knowledge around tips and card payments.

“There is a misconception around card payments and tipping, which needs to be highlighted as businesses are able to separate tips from the cost of services when taking card payments.

“The Government is set to announce a new proposal for a Tipping Bill next month (September), which will hopefully give the public more knowledge around workers rights and tips, as well as instil confidence around tipping on card.”

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