Touch Screen Tips for New York Cabbies


If you’re seeking evidence on how touch screen interfaces increase customer spend then look no further than this story about the world-famous New York City yellow taxi drivers using touch screens to increase customer tips by over $140 million dollars a year!

touch screen tips for New York cabbiesBack in 2007, it seems the cabbies were less than impressed by the city forcing them to take credit cards, but they have since found that the credit card readers they have had to install have increased average tips from 10% to 22%.

The trick, as you might expect, is in the user experience design of the credit card system and, in particular, the power of offering a default option on the touch screen user interface. A customer paying a fare by credit card is presented with touch buttons for adding a 20%, 25%, and 30% tip. It is possible to enter any tip amount they like, but it seems most people simply choose one of the default options – and since the average tip increased to 22%, that implies that most people hit the middle or lower option.

And with an estimated 13,267 cabs in the city, and the average NYC driver making $90,747 in revenue per year, that works out at an increase in annual tips of $144,146,165.

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