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This article was published on May 14, 2012

    How 3 simple buttons raised tipping by $144 million in NYC cabs

    How 3 simple buttons raised tipping by $144 million in NYC cabs
    Harrison Weber
    Story by

    Harrison Weber

    Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

    If you’ve ever been to the city of New York during the past five years, you’ll know that cab drivers don’t always give off a warm and cuddly feeling. This was especially true for short trips, where I’d whip out my debit card and have to argue with the driver that I didn’t have any cash on me ’til he finally gave in.

    Lately, however, the attitude towards paying with cards seems to have shifted — just in time for our new in-cab iPads. So, what’s caused the change? Here’s what one Joshua Gross found:

    “During payment, the user is presented with three default buttons for tipping: 20%, 25%, and 30%. When cabs were cash only, the average tip was roughly 10%. After the introduction of this system, the tip percentage jumped to 22%. Those three buttons resulted in $144,146,165 of additional tips. Per year. Those are some very valuable buttons.”