Services compose the fastest-growing employment sector in the U.S. Our economy relies on service employees… and they rely on your tips. So here are three handy ways to become a tip-top tipper. The List’s Jimmy Rhoades tells us What’s The Deal with tipping apps.
Look, a built-in calculator came on your phone, but tip calculating apps have enhanced features.
Tip N Split for Android lets you choose between different types of tipping – because traditional tips are different for waitstaff, delivery people, hotel maids and other services. It also lets you rate the quality of your service, and save those ratings for future reference.
Tip Calculator Free for iOS lets you calculate tip, split the bill among friends, and uses your location to automatically adjust to the local currency.
These apps don’t complete the process by actually transferring the money. Here are two that do.
The Thanks! app is built on an established and secure money transfer infrastructure: Venmo. But while Venmo is designed to transfer money among friends, Thanks! allows you to send tips to people you don’t know. In fact, they don’t even need to have the app themselves – a text or email can link to the money. And with their referral program, you’ll get a dollar back if they sign up for the service, too.
Finally, the Bravo Tip or Pay app is a new entry, which, according to CEO Maria Luna, was inspired by a personal experience she and her husband had. “We were hiking in southern Utah, and we didn’t have cash in our pockets to tip our tour guide. And we were in the middle of nowhere.”
To transfer with Bravo, you don’t have to exchange any personal information. And Maria says it’s the only tipping and payment app that helps you find other users using a “nearby” tab, “I find anybody that’s in proximity to me accepting tips or payments or donations with Bravo.”
You can use it for tipping the usual – say, waiters – but the app also helps you tip, say, the guy playing guitar at the restaurant. The musician displays a Bravo tent, and Maria says the transaction is simple, “So I find Jared and the Mill, I love their music, so I’m going to send them a five dollar tip, and that will go straight into their bank account. And at the end of the transaction I can send them a rating and a personal comment, like, ‘Bravo to you.’”
Whether it’s a valet, musician, waiter or maid, your smartphone can help you tip the right amount – whether you have cash on your or not!