HB Exclusive: BWH Hotel Group launches digital tipping

BWH Hotel Group has selected eTip, a cashless tipping software provider, as an endorsed digital tipping solution.

“We are committed to providing the best possible experience for our guests and bringing value to BWH Hotel Group hoteliers and their associates,” said Michael Morton, VP, brand management, BWH Hotel Group. “We’re excited to offer eTip digital tipping solution as a convenient way our valued guests can show appreciation to our dedicated hotel associates.”

eTip doesn’t require a mobile app download or login credentials. All guests need to do is scan a QR code using the camera on their mobile phone, tap the banner that appears on their screen, and then securely tip using their preferred payment method. eTip also offers “tap to tip,” which gives users the ability to pay through an NFC-enabled QR-code. The feature is activated by a user tapping their smartphone on the QR code, automatically opening the profile of the associate or department the guest wishes to tip. Once the guest leaves a tip electronically, associates can receive the tip in their bank account in real-time through Visa Direct, eliminating the need to wait for a tip to be paid through the weekly or bi-weekly payroll process. eTip makes digital tipping easier and faster for guests and associates.

Morton told Hotel Business that the solution helps hotels deal with the labor shortage. “It is certainly no secret that we’re facing the same challenge trying to attract and retain employees,” he said. “If it were just isolated to hospitality or one part of hospitality, [like] housekeeping, there are different ways we could attack that. This is certainly not the silver bullet that is going to cure everything, but we just felt that there had to be a way that we could make it more appealing and attractive for a staff person to come and work at a hotel where you get a competitive income, but we have a proven record that you will enhance your income with tips.”

In the testing the company did, the increase in tips was roughly $7 per room, according to Morton.

The solution also helps those who no longer carry cash on them. Online and digital payments continue to rise to the point when it is now reported that only 16% of U.S. customers still carry cash. eTip addresses this lack-of-cash dilemma by digitally empowering guests to financially give to those who rely on tips while removing complexities and friction points found in traditional tipping models.

“We are seeing an increase in market demand for a fast, reliable and fully digitized tipping experience for hotel guests and employees in the hospitality industry,” said Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, SVP, Visa Direct. “eTip now offers a digital tipping solution, enabled by Visa Direct, to BWH Hotel Group, helping to modernize that process for their guests and employees.”

“Too many hardworking employees hang in the balance of today’s increasingly cashless society,” said Nicolas Cassis, CEO, eTip. “It’s time tipping caught up to the present day. We’re excited to partner with BWH Hotel Group to enable cashless tipping and ensure their guests always have the opportunity to tip. We’ve been piloting with BWH Hotel Group for some time, as they wanted to be very intentional in this offering. What we found through this pilot and our own research is that the average associate increased the size of their tip percentage by 60%, and their average number of tips increased by five times.”

One surprising aspect for Morton during the piloting of the digital tipping was that guests were more inclined to leave cash tips as well when they saw the signage. “It is almost a subliminal reminder,” he said. “The housekeepers and the hoteliers reported back to us that that they were seeing more people leave cash tips as well.”