How to Build a Tipping App: Introduction and Overview

How to Build a Tipping App: Introduction and Overview

03 March 2023 • 15 min read

If you like to travel or occasionally visit a new restaurant, you must be familiar with the struggles of tipping. To make the customer experience more enjoyable, business owners in hospitality, tourism, and some other services are investing in digital tipping application development.

Tipping is usually an unwritten rule that guests and servers follow without saying so. In general, 43% of adults in the US leave tips for waiters ranging from 18% to 22% of the bill. Almost a third of Brits always tip their hairdresser or barber. Users of the Uber service, who leave a tip, add an average of $3.11, which is about 26% of the average fare.

Since most people pay with their cards these days, giving a tip often becomes awkward. Even if you happen to have cash in small denominations, knowing how much to tip in an international setting is still a challenge. Instead of worrying about carrying cash in local currency or racking brains about tipping culture in new places, clients today can just use tipping applications.

In this article, Softermii experts will walk you through the various tipping app features, technical aspects of app development, and approximate costs. Our team always takes a professional approach to build app ideas and has successfully launched multiple fintech apps.

Best Examples of Successful Digital Tipping Apps

Digital tipping app development

Tipping apps with all kinds of functions, from a calculator to a tourist guide on local traditions, are not a new idea. Similar apps and services have been available before. Here are a few examples of successful digital tipping apps currently on the market:


Venmo is a US mobile peer-to-peer payment service that helps friends split bills and transfer money quickly. It is relatively safe and was very popular in the US market for a while. The app, however, started to lose its advantage as more banks invested in the development of simple money transfer functionality.

Tipping app development

Gratitude Tipping

While creating Gratitude Tipping, developers clearly had in mind a perfect simple tipping companion for travelers. The app automatically finds your location and calculates a suggested tip size and local tax based on your bill. However, the usability of the app still requires perfection and updated maintenance.

How to build a tipping app

Tip Me

Tip Me quickly transformed from a tipping app into an instant money transfer service. It has a wide range of functions and can handle many simultaneous transactions. The project is ambitious but needs further development and funds for upscaling.

Developing a digital tipping app


When it comes to efficiency, GlobeTips took digital tipping to a new level. With an in-app bill scanning feature, the app instantly suggests the necessary tip size. However, it still lacks a secure payment function.

Tipping app features


Many creators are using Ko-fi, which is a white label online system allowing them to receive money from fans in the form of a small payment equal to the price of one coffee. Content makers and bloggers just need to create a link and share it anywhere on the web. (a small payment that is roughly equal to the price of a coffee).

As we can see, it is not hard to come up with an idea and create an app for tipping. Digital tips boost the income of service providers in different industries, from online influencers to restaurant delivery personnel.

Depending on the audience and the services you have in mind, the functionality of your app can also vary a lot.

Tipping application development

Key Features for Your Digital Tipping Application

Less than 17 percent of the UK population still uses cash, meaning that most of the population now relies on digital payments. Tipping application development can meet the demands of modern customers and offer a seamless user experience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that digital tipping apps can have:


If your company relies on many staff members, they would find this UI layout particularly convenient. This is where users can manage their accounts, view their transaction history, and see the tips they've received. A dashboard can also provide users with information on their daily earnings.

Bill and QR Codes Scanner

By using the camera scanning feature, the app can quickly read your restaurant bill or a receipt, eliminating the need for manual input. QR codes are also a quick and easy way for users to access a content creator's profile and tip them. With a faster process, customers are likely to have a better personal experience using the app.

Pooled and Individual Tips

Some digital tipping apps allow users to pool their tips with others to create larger tips for content creators. This can be a great way to encourage community building and support for content creators. Additionally, some apps allow for individual tips so users can tip the service provider directly.

Feedback and Reviews

Feedback and reviews can help you gather information on customer satisfaction and areas of improvement. After paying the bill and leaving tips, users can rate the service all in the same app.


A leaderboard is a fun and interactive way to encourage users to tip their favorite content creators. The leaderboard is a rating system based on the number of tips they've received and displays this information in a visually appealing way. This is a great way to encourage users to get more engaged in the tipping process.

Betting apps, which offer a game or match prediction options for sports fans, are often based on such functionality. It has proven to be very successful and also quite lucrative for platform owners.

Blockchain and encryption

With blockchain technology, transactions are processed and verified quickly and efficiently. This is particularly handy since reducing the time and costs associated with traditional payment methods is the essential feature of a tipping app.

These are just a few key functions you can include when developing a digital tipping app. By incorporating these functions, you can create a comprehensive and user-friendly app that provides a seamless tipping experience for users.

UI/UX Best Practices in Developing Tipping App

If you're interested in how to build a tipping app, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design should be the largest priority for such a project. A well-designed UI/UX can increase user engagement and encourage repeat usage.

Here are a few tips on improving your digital tipping app's UI/UX design.

Choose among 120 software specialists

Hire an offshore dedicated team or a few team members for your project. We guarantee 10% of deviation in deadlines and cost.

Find out more

Choose among 120 software specialists
Choose among 120 software specialists

Simplicity and usability

Users should be able to quickly and easily leave a tip without navigating through multiple screens or menus. Consider using straightforward language, clear fonts and neutral colors. Minimize the number of steps required to complete a transaction.


Adjust your app’s layout and functionality based on the device it is being used on. With most users accessing digital tipping apps on their smartphones (iPhone or Android) or tablets, it's important to ensure that your app is responsive.


A popular suggestion for digital tipping application development is adding a customization option for your app. This means that users should be able to customize the branding, color scheme, and display of certain functions based on their preferences and needs.

Smooth Transactions

Most importantly, ensure that payment and purchase are processed smoothly and efficiently. Consider implementing features such as automatic payment reminders and notifications to help streamline the payment process.

In conclusion, improving the UI/UX design of your digital tipping app is crucial for its success. These tips will provide a great starting point if you're looking to create an app for tipping.

Tech Stack for Digital Tipping App Development

Digital tipping application development

Before jumping into the development stage, it is worth looking into the tech stack needed to build a robust, scalable, and user-friendly digital tipping app. Here are some technologies you should consider using to develop an application for digital tipping.


  • Node.js: a popular open-source JavaScript runtime environment that can help build fast and scalable server-side applications.
  • Firebase: a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that provides a complete backend solution for web and mobile applications.
  • GraphQL: a query language for APIs that can help you build faster and more efficient APIs for your digital tipping app.


  • React Native: a popular open-source framework for building cross-platform mobile applications using JavaScript and React.
  • Flutter: a UI toolkit for building beautiful and fast mobile applications for iOS and Android.


  • MongoDB: a popular NoSQL database that can be used to store and manage large amounts of data.
  • Firebase Real-time Database: a cloud-hosted NoSQL database that provides real-time data synchronization and offline access.

The choice of a particular technology depends on the expertise of the developers' team. Regardless of the programming language and frameworks that they choose, the goal is to build an app that is up-to-date with the latest tech requirements.

Read Also: Key Tips to Successful Financial Literacy App Development

Tipping Application Development Challenges

Developing a digital tipping app can become difficult. Here are some of the key challenges engineers may face when building a tipping app:

Payment Processing

Ensuring secure and reliable payment processing is one of the biggest challenges in tipping app development. Therefore, developers need to create a secure and efficient payment gateway. When paying, users usually expect to see various payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, and other digital wallets.

Data Privacy and Security

Security considerations play a big role during payment processing and storing and managing sensitive user data. Thus, you should approach tipping app development by ensuring that user data is secure, encrypted, and protected against potential breaches or hacking attempts.

User Experience and Design

A tipping app needs an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Digital tipping is all about speed and convenience. Nobody wants to cause unnecessary irritation among clients. This can be a challenge for developers, especially when creating a user experience that meets the expectations of a diverse user base.

Scalability and Performance

When the number of users grows, this creates increased traffic. Thus, developers need to make sure that the app can handle it and still provide a seamless user experience. If you are working with an experienced team of app developers, they will suggest a suitable app architecture to support growth and increase sales.

Integration with External Services

If you want your digital tipping app to have direct integration with social media, live stream, and broadcast platforms or other services, this involves extra attention from developers. They would need to work on API integration and the app’s ability to handle larger amounts of data.

When building a digital tipping app, it's essential to be mindful of these challenges. By considering these challenges and developing a robust solution, you can create a successful and popular tipping app that is well-received by users.

Developing a successful tipping app requires a deep understanding of the technical, design, and business challenges involved. After building similar apps, such as Hollar or Dollar Shave Club, developers from Softermii know how to balance these challenges and provide a user-friendly, scalable, and secure platform that meets the needs of its users.

Create an app for tipping

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Tipping App

The cost of building a tipping app can vary depending on the features and functionalities that you choose to include. When creating a tipping app, engineers need to first consider the cost of technology, design and development time.

Note, that digital tipping application development can vary greatly depending on the features, functionalities, and technology used. Here is a general estimate of the cost and time involved in building a typical tipping app:

Web and Mobile Development

The basic stage of a tipping app development.

This is where the process of tech implementation happens: from the administrative panel and up to features and technologies you want to have in your application, like chatbot or push notifications.

The key thing is that the more complicated features you want to implement, the higher the development costs will be.

Additionally, you need to consider the platform for your app, iOS or Android. If you want to cover the needs of all clients, it’s better to create cross-platform apps that will be compatible with the major OS.

Web and mobile development price: can take up to 900 hours, costing approximately $27,000.

UX/UI Design

A unique UI/UX design will create responsive user interfaces and positive experiences by studying your target audience. Furthermore, an adaptive digital tipping app design will run smoothly on any device, especially if it is a cross-platform app.

UX/UI design price: up to 200 hours, costing $6,000.

Testing and Quality Assurance

It is crucial to test your product before releasing it to the public. At Softermii, manual and automated testing will ensure that performance is unimpaired and that all bugs are eliminated.

Furthermore, this will provide insights into the application’s usage, improving features and interfaces.

QA price: up to 200 hours, costing $6,000.

Project Management

A project manager will ensure that milestones are met and that the project’s scope remains as you want it to be. They will also perform risk analyses to identify potential security weaknesses and communicate with you on the tipping application development process.

Read also: Role of Project Management in Software Engineering

Project management typically costs 10% to 15% of the total budget. However, considering our current estimate, it will be approximately $5,500.

How much does it cost to create a digital tipping application? Look at the table below:

Real Estate App Development Cost



Web and mobile development


UX/UI design


Testing and quality assurance


Project management




Softermii Logo

A basic and simple solution can be priced from $25,000 to $45,000. However, more complex apps can cost upwards of $70,000.

The total cost of digital tipping mobile app development will vary depending on the project’s complexity.

The more complex app you want to create, the more talents and technologies you need. Yet, you may still get a price estimation of the custom tipping application before you start to work on it. Feel free to contact us, and we will provide you with an estimate of a tipping application development and explain what is included in the development cost.

Tipping Application Development: Key Takeaways

Tipping apps open new possibilities and revenue streams for your business. Hotels, restaurants and service providers of all kinds are now offering such apps to their clients.

Still, digital tipping app development is a complex process that requires careful planning, research, design, development, testing, and maintenance. The key to success is clearly defining the requirements and target audience and choosing the right technology and development partner.

The good news is that once you are guided by a team of experienced developers there is nothing to worry about. If you are looking to develop a digital tipping app or enhance your existing app with new features, our team at Softermii is here to help.

Our experts have extensive experience in tipping app development and can help you bring your vision to life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help with your digital tipping app development project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to create a digital tipping app?

Digital tipping app development can range from 8 to 16 weeks, depending on the project’s complexity. Ongoing maintenance is usually provided after the app’s launch.

Can I hire dedicated tipping app developers from Softermii?

Softermii has broad experience with e-commerce and digital payment apps. Contact our advisors, and we will offer you a detailed overview of our services and costs associated with the tipping app development.

Should I outsource tipping app development?

If you are unsure how to make an app for digital tipping or what technologies to use, outsourcing tipping app development to a qualified team of developers will guarantee you success.

Does the development lifecycle of a digital tipping app differ from the standard one?

The development of a tipping app is not very different from other mobile software. Make sure to specify what features you would like to see. It will affect the choice of tech stack needed for development.

How about to rate this article?


318 ratings • Avg 4.7 / 5

Written by:

Get valuable insights

Discover the benefits of digital disruption in your industry true

Data Analytics in Fintech: Unlocking Future Profits
Slava Vaniukov
Data Analytics in Fintech: Unlocking Future Profits

Slava Vaniukov, CEO and Co-Founder at Softermii

Data Analytics in Fintech: Unlocking Future Profits
Data Analytics in Fintech: Unlocking Future Profits
Blockchain in Fintech: Use Cases, Market Share
Blockchain in Fintech: Use Cases, Market Share
10 Best Online Payment Solutions You Need to Know in 2023
10 Best Online Payment Solutions You Need to Know in 2023
How to Build a DeFi Application: Step-by-Step Guide & Average Cost
How to Build a DeFi Application: Step-by-Step Guide & Average Cost

Don’t dream for success, contact us

Leave an inquiry or contact us via email and phone. We will contact you within 24 hours during work days.

+1 (424) 533-5520

  • Los Angeles, USA

    10828 Fruitland Dr. Studio City, CA 91604

  • Austin, USA

    701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701

  • Tel Aviv, IL

    31, Rothschild Blvd

  • Warsaw, PL

    Przeskok 2

  • London, UK

    6, The Marlins, Northwood

  • Munich, DE

    3, Stahlgruberring

  • Vienna, AT

    Palmersstraße 6-8, 2351 Wiener Neudorf

  • Kyiv, Ukraine

    154, Borshchagivska Street

Chat Now
ISTQB Microsoft expert aws certified PMP IBM practitioner IBM co-creator IBM team essentials

Our site uses cookies to provide you with the great user experience. By continuing, you accept our use of cookies.