How the Pandemic Changed Cash, and How Tech Can Save Tips

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The pandemic turned hospitality on its head in 2020, bringing cleanliness, hygiene, and touchless technology to the forefront. It also accelerated the trend of digital payments in today’s steadily cashless world. Americans’ use of cash had been gradually declining before the pandemic with the rise of mobile wallets and other digital options. According to the Federal Reserve’s annual look at payment habits, Americans used cash in just 26% of all payments in 2019, down from 40% in 2012.

The impacts of COVID drove this down even further. As the pandemic raged, people found themselves avoiding the use of cash in favor of cards or, even better, touchless opportunities for payment. In a 2020 study by PYMNTS and Visa, 80% of consumers said they had adapted to new digital experiences out of a perception that they could reduce COVID-19 exposure by doing so.

How is this affecting tipping culture? More than half of people surveyed said they no longer carry cash for tipping. While this is fine for waiters, beauticians, and other service workers who can have tips added after payment, hospitality workers remain tipped entirely based on the cash system. For these workers, no cash means no tip. This creates serious issues when a hotel guest doesn’t have the right change for tipping, let alone if they have cash on them at all. People can make an effort to have cash, but often don’t. Meanwhile, fewer hotel staff are doing harder work to align with COVID protocols as economies slowly but steadily reopen.

eTip was designed to address this longstanding issue, which is now more prevalent than ever post-pandemic. As society veers away from cash in the wake of COVID and hospitality workers put in more effort than ever, “digital tip jars” help guests give easily and safely while staff get recognized by management for the work they do. Hotels that use eTip see an increase of as much as 78% in tips for their workers and a direct correlation to retention, satisfaction, and cost improvements.

With hotels increasingly using technology for check-in, check-out, and mobile key cards, a simple, modern-day approach to tipping is the logical next step. That’s why I created eTip, and it’s going to revolutionize the hospitality industry.

Learn more about how eTip is changing the game and how you can be a part of what we’re doing.

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