Apple Pay exec: ‘We’re watching cryptocurrency,’ considering Apple Pay tipping features

Ahiza Garcia, CNN Business:

“We’re watching cryptocurrency,” Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, recently told CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans at a private event in San Francisco. “We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

Bailey touched on the trend as part of a discussion about the future of payment and the role of Apple Pay and Apple Card at CNN Business’ event series, The Table.

The company wouldn’t confirm how many people are currently using Apple Pay, but it processes nearly one billion transactions a month. Since the launch in 2014, acceptance of contactless payments in stores has increased from 3% to over 70% in the US, according to Bailey.

Apple Pay has had at least one unintended consequence. By enabling people to stop carrying cash, services like Apple Pay have made it harder and less convenient for users to tip. Some point-of-sale systems have good tipping functionality, but certainly not all. Apple is aware of the problem but doesn’t have an easy fix yet. “One of the key areas where [customers] would like us to do more is actually in tipping,” Bailey said.

MacDailyNews Take: We tip in cash, generally, anyway as servers seem to prefer it that way, for some unknown reason. 😉


  1. To me this seems to be a solution for a problem that has already been resolved.

    One option is to do what they do in Canada, for instance. The POS machines give the patron the option to tip a $ or % as part of putting through the credit card transaction.

    The other is to do what they do in parts of Europe, where you just tell the server how much you’d like them to take from your card and pay the bill plus tip in one go.

    Obligatory tipping messages don’t go down well in countries that lack a tipping culture. Uber’s attempt to introduce tipping in Australia went down like a lead balloon.

  2. Tipping is a stupid concept in modern society.

    There was a day when a customer who received stellar service could personally reward the individual(s) who excelled. That made sense.

    Then electronic payment systems and politics got involved. With electronic payments, the customer seldom if ever can select the staff who deserves the bonus. Management overwhelmingly doesn’t monitor who tips when or why, so they don’t use tips as an guide for improvement or staff training or anything like that.

    Then there is the modern culture that wouldn’t recognize good service if it was offered on a silver platter. Kids today think everything should be an instant cheap click, mechanically delivered with no human interaction. Cheaper faster more! So as family restaurants die off, modern chain restaurants pressure staff to turn tables as fast as possible rather than be great servers. Except in high end establishments, an individual server gets little reward for being anything but a robot. Tips are pooled! The lazy hostess at the front who screwed up the reservation and wasn’t particularly friendly complained to management that the waitstaff got all the rewards. Management decided they should take a cut too. They divvy up the tip total according to their personal biases, invisible to customers and often to staff. Bubble headed bimbo waitress Sally regularly gets the same or bigger tips than quiet efficient hardworking Danny because Danny didn’t wear short skirts. One mistake and another server could be “penalized” all his tips for the night. I have seen it firsthand.

    It really is time to stop electronic tipping and simply require that the local minimum wage be indexed to some nonpolitical cost of living measurement.

    Apple’s payment systems haven’t improved tipping at all, and they won’t. Apple isn’t interested in changing bizarre culture like this, they are just interested in making money. If you truly want to reward someone, give them kind words when you discreetly and directly slip them old fashioned folding cash.

    Better yet, donate to healthcare charities. You know that service and tourism industry staff seldom if ever get healthcare from their employers, right? The lowest paid among us pay some of the worst rates for health insurance on the open extortion market. That’s apparently the “pure” capitalist system that America wants. A minimum standard public option for basic preventive care and emergency coverage doesn’t exist because regional insurance companies and HMOs would lose their monopolies. In case you were wondering, an Apple watch won’t solve that either.

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