August 1. It's probably not noted in your diary but the date, which marks the end of credit card signatures and the beginning of the PIN-only era, is a red-letter day for the hospitality industry. Widespread fears it will undermine Australia's already patchy tipping culture have led some restaurateurs and waiters to consider it the industry's answer to Y2K. But like the much-feared millennium bug, will it turn out to be a fizzer, or a devastating problem?
The hospitality industry is their own worst enemy when it comes to this and it'll behove them to perhaps change how they present the bill. The biggest issue at the moment is that right from the start of asking for the bill you're not given enough options to provide a tip. You should be presented with a bill (and pen, please) that has space for a tip and/or total to be written in. That way you're able to add something in without feeling pressurised and the waiters won’t feel awkward prompting for anything.
The next step would be to walk up to the till to pay or for the staff to bring over a cordless payment terminal to your table. Either way everyone knows where they stand as you’ve had your chance to put in a tip (or not) and the final amount is there.
As for cafés, well it really is a quick transaction and I assume that the reason they fear contactless payments is that you won’t be depositing the leftover change into the tip jar.