First tipping online service launched in Russia

November 18, 2016 Kira Egorova, RBTH
Plazius App is connected to 1,300 restaurants and cafes in Russia.
First online tips service launched in Russia
When paying guest can set the amount of a tip for the waiter - arbitrarily or as a percentage share of the check. Source: Valery Matytsin/TASS

Russia's Plazius App for making online payments has launched the first service for tipping in restaurants and cafés by means of a credit card. The press service of Russia's largest bank Sberbank, which owns the application, confirmed the information to RBTH.

The code in the check, which a visitor gets in a cafe or restaurant from a waiter, should be entered in Plazius application. When paying guest can set the amount of a tip for the waiter - arbitrarily or as a percentage share of the check. Today, Plazius is connected to the 1,300 cafes and restaurants located in all Russia's major cities, the Sberbank press service reports. However, the non-cash tip service running in test mode so far.

Today, non-cash tipping option is available in Moscow in two Кофе Хаус (Kofe Hauz) cafes, Цурцум (Tsurtsum) restaurant in the Vinzavod center for contemporary art, and two restaurants in the Sberbank's headquarters on Vavilov street. In addition, the online service is now being tested in Yekaterinburg in the Traveler's coffee point and Freelance cafe.

The most popular Plazius analogues in the US, such as Tippo applications or Bravo Tip or Pay, operate on a similar principle and allow to leave a tip not only in cafes and restaurants, but also in hotels and apartments. Although, according to Anna Morozova from the Sberbank's press service, the company have not copied foreign patterns and developed the Russian tipping service "from scratch". "Tax Code and consumer payment practics differ in the United States and Russia", - Morozova says.

According to the MasterCard survey, in Russia only 16% of the visitors of cafes, bars and restaurants practiced cashless paying in 2015. More often this method is used by the residents of St. Petersburg (28%) and Moscow (27%). In the US, this figure is much higher. 94% of Americans pay for expensive meals in restaurants with cashless payments, cheaper options like snacks and coffee are paid with online transactions in 70% of cases, says the report of the Toast company, that develops technology platforms for restaurants.

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