Incorporation of tips in pending US transactions

When you pay for a meal with any credit or debit card in the USA, the restaurant will charge your card once for the meal, and then process the tip later (sometimes days later!) by cancelling the first transaction and putting a new one through for the total including tip.

It would be really cool if we could record the expected tip amount when doing a transaction like this and incorporate it into the balance on the card, avoiding sudden jumps in the balance when the tips are processed. The tip entry method could even double as a tip calculator, as Mondo already knows you are in a restaurant and knows the amount you’ve spent!


I second this!

I just got back from the states and had this exact scenario a few times. I occasionally woke up with my balance being lower than expected because the charge had settled overnight with the tip included.

Also, after the charge has settled, I think it would be nice to have the tip amount displayed on the transaction.

I think the obvious solution is to remove tipping culture.

More sensibly and without my tongue in my cheek… why is the tip processed separately? As far as I know, if you add a tip to a meal in the UK it’s processed as one bill.

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I’m not sure why the amount including tip is processed later - perhaps to save time for the wait staff? They may submit the receipts with tip amounts later for someone to process in a batch.

The workflow would usually be that the server takes your card and enters a transaction with the non-tipped amount into a machine. This authorises a transaction and prints a receipt for you to sign, and optionally(*) to add a tip. So Mondo gets a first transaction for the non-tipped amount. You then hand write a tip and the total on the receipt and sign it.

I could imagine that in many establishments there are only a few members of staff who are allowed to update the transactions with the new amounts (with tip included). Bear in mind that the customer does not get a new printed receipt with the updated amount, so the bank is trusting the amount entered by the restaurant to be the same as what was hand written by the customer. (Errors in the original entry would presumably be caught by the customer as they sign the receipt). Also, if tips need to be totalled and allocated then it might be safer to restrict the number of people who are able to enter them. Once this is done Mondo will get an updated transaction.

It’s clear that there have to be two transactions, and I think that there are good reasons for the second one be done later.

We could all hope that the US adopts the European approach of bringing the card reading machine to the table and allowing the customer to enter the tip directly … resulting in a single transaction … but this seems to be very far away.