Digital tipping skyrockets as new payment platforms emerge

The massive transition to online operation has embraced businesses and their customers alike, inevitably also affecting tip payment at catering places, Artyom Deyev, head of analytics at AMarkets, told Invest Foresight.

This market is estimated at an average of RUR 100–125 bln ($1.4–1.65 bln) a year, which means Russians leave this much cash in restaurants, bars and cafes to reward their waiters for good service.

In 2019, while online payments were growing, including in catering, digital tips still accounted for a mere 10% of the total market. However, online tipping doubled in 2020 despite the pandemic, lockdowns, restrictions and dwindling demand.

“Digital tips are expected to reach 30% or about RUR 30 bln ($413 mio) by the end of this year,” Artyom Deyev predicts. “According to the business community’s forecasts, in 2023, digital tipping will amount to RUR 50–60 bln ($688-826 mio), reaching a half of the total gratuity in the public catering segment.”

The change will be driven by the development of contactless and cashless tipping solutions — equipment and software for making online tip payments, which are going to be available even in the smallest places, the expert emphasizes.

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