No cash to tip, new service does it with just a pic.

Picture this: You are out on the town with a special date, and everything is going just right . . . the conversation, drinks, restaurant, lighting and music couldn’t be any better. You’re pulling out all the stops to look your best. Your fresh new clothes, the watch, the shoes, the hair – everything is on point. You even valet the car like a gentlemen. Well played, sir.
The night rolls on, and it’s time to settle up with your waiter, bartender, and eventually valet driver. Then, you get a pit in your stomach. You have no cash. You think to yourself, “C’mon man, it’s 2015, who still uses cash these days?”
Enter Tip.ly. The smartphone app that is your saving grace in this situation. Let’s checkup with a Co-Founder of Tip.ly, and see if we can save the night.

1. Can you describe Tip.ly in one sentence?

Tip.ly is the first peer-to-peer mobile payment platform that does not require users to exchange personal information to complete a transaction.

*Author note: I was interested at this point. I’ve never been one for sharing personal information, or carrying cash. I then asked how does the money get to the right person, if no personal information is used? He answered, “with their face”.

2. Your technology seems intriguing…tell us more about the face recognition component.

“When building Tip.ly we wanted to make tipping people with your phone just like cash, which means it must be fast (under 5 seconds) and must be anonymous (no personal information exchanged) . . . Facial recognition solves all of these issues with elegance.  When giving money to a non-registered user the tipper simply takes a photo of the recipients face and indicates the value of the tip. This information is then saved to Tip.ly’s secure servers and the recipient has 14-days to claim their tip.”

*Author note: Seems doable. But still very new to exchange money with pictures . . .so we asked:

 3. So, if I’m looking extra ugly one day, would Tip.ly still recognize my face? What is your backup feature if the face recognition fails?

“During the account creation process they are prompted to take 2 selfies, which will be matched to the photo that was originally taken. If the photo does not auto-match it will be moved into our manual review workflow where a human reviews the photos to complete the match.”

*Author note: Furthermore, once both users are registered with Tip.ly, they are saved under ‘QuickTips’. This feature is basically like speed-dial for tipping. 

4. What is stopping Square Cash, Venmo, or PayPal from adding a tipping feature? If they do, how will you still compete?

“Theoretically they could all be used for tipping, however, in a fast-paced tipping situation it wouldn’t be secure or practical to exchange personal information like email address, phone number or account name to complete the transaction.”

*Author note: Tip.ly has pending patents on QuickTips and FaceTips technologies. And yes, QTips are still used for cleaning out your ears . . . not tipping.

5. What are some possible added features coming to Tip.ly

“We just released our tip pooling and sharing feature, which is very important for many service businesses that pool tips among employees on any given shift. This functionality also makes “Tip.ly for Giving” viable. Imaging “placing” money in the Salvation Army Red Bucket at the grocery store during the Holidays with your phone.”

6. What is your pocket configuration? Keys, cell phone, wallet . . . left or right pocket? 

“Haha . . . Great question since it’s been the same for over a decade.  Front left = phone; front right = keys; back right = wallet; back left = Tip.ly flyers since you never know who you might meet.”

The next time you are out on the town, remember that you are just one selfie away from sending or receiving a tip. What do you think? Is it safe to roam around with no cash at all? Chime in on Twitter @StarterNoise using the #FaceTips

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