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June 25, 2024

2013, Plaza Launched a point-of-sale product It replaces cash registers by letting vendors enter orders into tablets and customers swipe their credit cards to add their signature and tip.square has explain Its products have resulted in substantial increases in tipping for many businesses. Its technology has since been widely copied by many brands, and traditional cash registers are rare.

Design experts say a key driver of the success of digital payment systems is that they leverage a design principle that influences consumer behavior: Default is the path of least resistance.

Payment technology allows merchants to display a set of default tip amounts—for example, buttons for 15%, 20%, and 30%, as well as buttons for “no tip” or “custom tip.” This setup makes it easier for us to choose a generous tip over a smaller tip or no tip at all.

Numerous studies have documented this behavior.Ted Selker, a product design veteran who has worked at IBM, Xerox PARC and elsewhere, led Past research on encouraging people to register to voteHe found that they were more likely to enroll if they pre-selected that option when filling out driver license and change of address applications. In other words, people are more likely to not opt ​​out than to opt in.

A Square spokeswoman said the company’s payments technology doesn’t allow merchants to pre-select tip amounts (except at restaurants where tips are automatically added for large groups, which is the industry standard). But in my experience, some copycats of Square allow merchants to do just that.

A broader problem remains: When businesses that don’t normally receive tips use technology to display tip screens, they ask consumers to opt out.

“It’s coercion,” Mr Selke said.

On the plus side, the tip screen isn’t considered deceptive, says Harry Brignull, a UK user experience consultant, because the “custom tip” and “no tip” buttons are sized to match the size of the tip. The buttons are much the same. If the opt-out button were extremely hard to find, it would be an abuse known as “dark mode.”



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