I was walking in Vancouver when I found a street artist playing his guitar, after enjoying the performance, I found myself with no cash or coins to give as a tip, that made me think that as we become a cashless society, all those who depend from donations and tips will be negatively affected, and even if he had a Square POS terminal, he could not pause playing the music to enter the amount and complete a payment transaction, Then I realized that what he needed was a low cost solution that allows people to tap their cards and give a tip or donation. Similar situation is experienced by bartenders, coffee shops, liquor store clerks, yoga instructors, and basically small business and entrepreneurs. They can use the Square reader in a semi unattended mode such that when attending the customers, or even paying with a banking POS, they can use the Square reader as secondary payment terminal to accept tips.

What it does

The Android application allows the user to configure the amount, and once the application is started, it will continue in a loop requesting a payment for that amount. It is intended to have a sign that indicates the user what is the amount that will be charged. Once configured, the user can place the phone in a safe place and let the reader complete the transactions.

How I built it

Using Square POS library to integrate to my application.

Challenges I ran into

The Square reader will timeout and deactivate after about 30 to 35 seconds. A service in the background with a timer will interrupt the application, waking up the Square reader

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Figure out how to avoid the reader to go to sleep mode.

What I learned

  • Both the phone and square reader should be connected to power supply
  • Learn how to have a service in the background with a timer
  • Learn how to deactivate the screen saver on Android

What's next for Tap and Give

Add a web site, videos with instructions and affiliate program to promote. Add IOS support.

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