Cash Tips Are a Thing of the Past, So Why Aren’t Hotels Modernizing Faster?

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What does your wallet look like these days? If it’s a physical billfold fully stocked with cash, you’d find yourself in the minority. If your “wallet” is more often just your smartphone, tucked into your purse or pocket with access to all your credit cards and digital payments, that would put you in the majority of people today. All of this has dramatically affected the traditional tipping model.

 A new study from Travis Credit Union found that only 10% of people carry cash for tipping. Millennials are the least likely to carry cash, with only 40% of respondents reporting cash in their wallets, and Baby Boomers averaged the least dollar amount kept on their person.

 Digital payments have become the new norm. That puts cash tips, particularly for hospitality service workers, in an ever more precarious spot. If people across generations are growing less likely to carry cash, then they’ll have a harder time leaving the customary cash tips that hardworking hotel employees deserve and often need to get by.

 Several factors are driving cash’s fall from grace. Technology has been rapidly advancing over the last decade, designed to make life easier, including new forms of digital interaction, data exchange, and payment transactions. The pandemic, of course, also played a major role. Cash felt dirty and unhygienic on new levels as it passed physically from hand to hand. As COVID fades and vaccinations increase, it would appear that new digital resources are here to stay. As our society veers closer to going fully digital, it’s likely that people will view cashless spending as the cleaner, healthier option over bills and coins.

 It’s clear the times are changing, so why aren’t we seeing hotels moving faster to modernize how tips are given and received? Steps need to be taken to move away from the reliance on physical tips for hospitality staff and make it easier both for guests to tip and for employees to receive those tips. People are looking for the ease and convenience of a digital solution, as well as a solution that is more hygienic than money.

 eTip is here to help. Our app-less, cashless platform built on personalized QR codes allows managers to easily set up “digital tip jars” that make tipping a breeze for guests (no cash or opening of a wallet required) and keeps hotel workers gratified and motivated.

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