Pushy checkout screens are helping ‘tipflation’

Tip prompt screen at a Panera
Panera’s tip prompts are slightly better because you can choose a dollar amount, and there’s a disclosure that your tip “may” be distributed to eligible employees. | Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

Tipping is an age-old American debate. How much do you pay and when? Is it a choice or an obligation? Generally, tech has at least made it easier over the years. Smartphones made it a breeze for friends to whip out a calculator to figure out tip and split the bill. And now, checkout screens everywhere, from in-person stores to delivery apps, have added buttons designed to make it easier for you to tip.

That’s convenient, until it’s not. According to a new Pew Research Center report, tipping culture in America has seen a shift in recent years. Seventy-two percent of Americans say tipping is expected in more places than five years ago. Not all of that is tech-related, but it’s hard to deny the role checkout screens have in tipflation. Even…

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