how tiptotem works

the editor   |   monday, april 25, 2016

search the map

Tiptotem’s search map shows the location of individual tiptotem users and businesses where tiptotem users are receiving tips. Pop in a few targeted search terms like "beer" if you're trying to tip your bartender or "deer" if your bartender walks on all fours.

set up your profile

If you are using tiptotem to earn tips, make sure you set up your profile with everything you think people need to find you - i.e., a nice photo, a few keywords (tags), whatever name you are known by to your customers or fans, etc. When you're not at work and don't want to be found on the tiptotem map, you can hide your profile from the map – use the "hide" toggle in the side menu. Also, keep in mind that you can hide comments posted to your profile if you want (everyone has their own standards). That said, nothing you can do can change (for better or for worse) the ratings you receive through tips on tiptotem - that info is sacrosanct because it helps us sort out who the best tippers and tippees are in tiptotem!

link your profile to a business

If you are using tiptotem to earn tips, you should definitely link your profile to the business where you work. Linking your profile to a business helps other tiptotem users find you to send you tips (obviously). To be clear, if you link your profile to a business it does not mean that you have to share tips with other users that have linked their profile to the same business. If you want to set up automatic tip splitting with your colleagues, you need to set up a "collective" (scroll down the page to see what that is). You can unlink your profile from a business at any time. In fact, we recommend you unlink your profile from a business and also quit your job immediately if your boss tells you not to use tiptotem at work. Hey, it's your career, it's your paycheck, tell your boss to give you a raise or you will have to take things into your own hands.

set your minimum tip

If you are using tiptotem to earn tips, make sure you set your minimum tip - this is the minimum amount you're willing to receive in a tip in tiptotem. Basically, it's where you choose how much you think your average tip amount should be. You can use this to basically signal to bad tippers, in advance, that a poor tip is unacceptable.

connect your bank account to send and receive tips

You have to link your personal bank account to your tiptotem wallett in order to send or receive tips. Basically, you do this by entering your personal name and address info, etc., as well as your bank account login credentials, which we use to verify your ownership of the bank account. Once it is verified, you're all set to send and receive tips. You can unlink your bank account at any time.

How does the payment part of this work? Pretty simple. Tiptotem transfers payments directly from the sender's bank account to the receiver's bank account via an ACH debit / credit pair with our payment processor (Dwolla, Inc.) standing in the middle - we don't touch your money. The tips you send and receive within tiptotem do not require any additional action for disbursement into a recipient's bank account.

create a “collective” to receive tips as a group

Tiptotem users may create groups for receiving tips - we call these groups "collectives" because tips received by a collective are automatically split evenly among the group. At some point we might permit collectives to change their preferred tip distribution but for now we think the split evenly rule makes the most sense. The creator of a “collective” may add (by invitation) and remove members. Members of a collective will not be able to receive tips until they connect their bank account.

your wallett

The "wallett" in tiptotem is the place where you view your tipping history and where you can queue up payments before sending them. To send a tip you've queued up in your wallet you need to tap the green checkmark next to each tip. Why do we have this queueing function? Because we want to make sure you're ready to send a tip before you actually send it (security). Also, we think it's kind of neat because you can queue up lots of separate tips at once and send them whenever you feel like it. E.g., like you just had 10 beers at the bar and laid down a single virtual dollar for the bartender each time you had another pint - ten separate tips of $1 each with separate exclamations of gratitude attached, all digitally replicated for all our users to see.

Also, keep in mind that the queue will catch any tips that fail to process correctly (i.e., if the bank's wires are crossed or if your tippee hasn't connected a bank account yet).

write comments about other users and collectives

Whenever you send someone a tip you have the option to write up a comment that will post publicly for other folks to see - use this opportunity to say nice things about your waiter or bartender or the flutist you just listened to! If you want to leave them a note in secret you can mark the comment as “private” and it will not be posted publicly. We like it when people post comments publicly because that gives us great info to pass on to other tiptotem users - but secrets are rad too!

any questions not covered here? email us at