ALEXANDRIA, VA.—Brian Walsh, Founder of TipYo, Inc., while operating a previous app-based business, traveled a lot. Given the trend toward cashless transactions, he sometimes found himself cashless when wanting to tip an employee. “I became increasingly frustrated,” said Walsh, who is all for making it as easy as possible for hotel employees to make as much as possible. An idea for an app to make it easy to tip hotel workers began percolating in his mind and last year he launched TipYo, Inc.
TipYo, a secure mobile tipping solution now available at hotels throughout the United States, has reimagined tipping in this time of social distancing with “touchless tipping.” “I have yet to run into any human being who could not relate to this problem,” Walsh says.
Hotel guests who wish to tip a hotel employee at a participating hotel simply download the app. The guest is asked to add a credit card number one time, their room number, who they would like to tip—the person’s first name and last initial—and how much. “For the guest we wanted the solution to be simple,” Walsh says.
Integrates with Hotel’s Payroll System
The system integrates with a hotel’s payroll system, making it easy to direct guests’ tips to specific employees while meeting IRS and regulatory requirements. “The tip goes right to their paycheck,” Walsh says.
To encourage guest participation, the hotel uses in-room tents, e-mails, room key envelopes and other methods to alert guests to the app.
TipYo was launched last November with the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash. an early customer. “Within a short period of time we saw more than a hundred guests download the app,” Walsh says.
Of course today contactless payments have become a hot topic with COVID-19. “We believe the virus has accelerated the need for our solution,” Walsh says. “Showing gratitude from six feet away is a new challenge for travelers.”
For hotel employees, Walsh says the app increases an employee’s take home pay. Users give an average tip of $6, with guests using the app multiple times per day.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.