Similarly, whereas handing over a tip with cash once meant physically feeling the money as it left your wallet, digital payment systems obfuscate the act of paying into something much less tangible. With digital payment systems, customers simply press a few buttons with their fingers and the funny money is gone -- just like in a casino.
Yeung, the Iowa State study author, calls for government action to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by these systems. He states "policy makers should further explore alternative payment interfaces that can balance the convenience of paying and its corresponding spending-regulatory effect." The issue Yeung raises with these systems is that they make people pay more without realizing it.
Certainly, digital payment systems aren't all bad. For one, they improve customers' experiences by making transactions easier and faster, eliminating the antiquated card-swiping and pen-signing systems still used by most retailers today. They also give bad tippers and non-tippers an extra nudge to tip properly. Clearly, service workers deserve to be tipped, and tipped well, for a job well done.