Business

50 cents, $1 or $2? Starbucks adding digital tips

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Starbucks will soon let customers leave tips with its mobile payment app, which raises a question: How often do people tip baristas?

The coffee chain says the mobile-tipping option will be available on its updated app for iPhones starting March 19. The app has surged in popularity, with roughly one out of 10 purchases at Starbucks now made with a mobile device.

After paying with the app, customers will be able to leave a tip of 50 cents, $1, or $2 within two hours of the transaction at the 7,000 of the roughly 11,000 Starbucks in the United States that are company-owned.

But tipping can be a sensitive topic for customers, workers, and even Starbucks, which has faced lawsuits over how it divvies up tips.

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