Self-checkout machines asking customers to tip

Leaving a tip in a restaurant or taxi is a part of life in many countries. Usually, we give a tip to a waiter or to a member of staff in a hotel. At other times, we put the tip in a jar next to the cash register. With modern technology, there is a new way to tip – self checkout machines. People are not so happy about them. The machines are asking for tips. They are in airports, stadiums, cookie shops, and cafes in the USA. Self-checkout machines mean there is no face-to-face contact between people. However, many of these machines are asking customers to leave a 20 per cent tip. Customers say they are not so happy about leaving a tip and giving extra money to a machine.

The Wall Street Journal reported that many people in the USA are becoming tired of tipping because of the self-checkout machines. Reporters wrote that many people are experiencing "tipping fatigue". Nearly 20 per cent of Americans are now leaving tips for things they never used to leave tips for. They are even tipping when buying a bottle of water. This was because there are more digital payment machines. A customer at an airport store said a prompt on a self-checkout machine was like "emotional blackmail". The payments company Square reported that the machines are increasing the number of tips. It said Americans are leaving 15 per cent more tips than before.