Digital Money For Music: Tip Jar That Takes Plastic, Websites That Take Bitcoin
To paraphrase Amanda Palmer, people want to give you their money so make sure you can take it. DipJar is a tipjar that takes tips via credit cards. It's designed as a self-serve solution for coffee shops and similar settings and suggests one possible solution for street musicians in a cashless society. Accepting payment in digital currency such as Bitcoin is another issue facing musicians. Lots of retailers are coming on board and now there are tools for taking Bitcoin as direct payments on your site.
Tip Jars in a Cashless Society
Tips are one form of payment that aren't going away but, if you're playing on the street or in a club where they tip you at the stage, you're often now faced with the Cashless Society. More and more people aren't carrying cash and that frees them from the social obligation to tip. In a tip-based economy that's kind of scary.
DipJar is working on one solution though it's currently being designed for store settings. Click on the above thumbnail for a picture of the DipJar in action.
The basic idea is that the DipJar sits on the counter set to a predetermined amount. When customers "dip" their cards into the DipJar, they're not only charged but there's a little light show or something to draw attention to the moment.
If you're interested in the product at this stage, check out the FAQ for more details.
This gets closer to a solution for street musicians and the like but isn't there yet partly because it's not designed for that use. One of the big problems is finding a way to take credit cards that's self-serve. There are a lot of solutions for selling something but you have to stop and run the card.
It may be the case that solutions that allow people to simply donate via their cellphone using a shortcode or similar option displayed on a sign will be the ideal solution.
Taking Bitcoin on Your Site
Bitcoin, the digital/alternative/imaginary currency, is gradually becoming institutionalized as more and more ecommerce companies accept it, ATM's start to spread and serious investors get involved.
Stripe is testing Bitcoin acceptance. I'm not sure where they're at with that but that will solve the problem for a lot of people both on their websites and at shows.
A number of options are beginning to appear in the land of WordPress for taking Bitcoin for sales on your site.
One example would be Easy Digital Downloads a free WordPress plugin around which a thriving ecosystem has grown for third party add-ons and integrations into WordPress themes. It also comes from a trusted developer with a long history.
Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) keeps up to date with payment gateways and related developments and now has extensions for Bitcoin:
And, if you don't want to keep your money in Bitcoin, you can set things up to exchange Bitcoin for your preferred currency on an ongoing basis. But, whatever you do, take their money!
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.