Tinkering Tikkie: The Relational Rules of Payment Request App Etiquette

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Tinkering Tikkie:

The Relational Rules of Payment Request App Etiquette

Benji van den Idsert

UvA ID: 11318384

benji.van.den.idsert@student.uva.nl

Research Master Social Sciences

Supervisor and First Reader: Prof. dr. Olav Velthuis Second Reader: Dr. Kobe de Keere

Graduate School of Social Sciences University of Amsterdam

9.731 words

Amsterdam, 17 June 2022

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Tinkering Tikkie: The Relational Rules of Payment Request App Etiquette

Benji van den Idsert

Abstract

As payment apps make it easy to transfer money between people, they are increasingly used to manage interpersonal finances. On the one hand, this may lead to increased rationalization, because money from a classical sociological perspective can corrupt qualitative relations. On the other hand, money may still be meaningfully incorporated by people as transactions are not always settled quid pro quo in the moment but via reciprocal gifting and treating. While current research on payment apps and new forms of money highlights the institutional consequences and new emerging payment experiences, there is still a lot unknown about the moral rules or cultural etiquette for using new forms of money.

This mixed methods study uses a Zelizerian relational approach to fill this gap and to better understand how payment apps are meaningfully used and relationally negotiated. By quantitatively surveying and qualitatively interviewing graduate and undergraduate university students in the Netherlands, both pragmatic usages and moral rules are investigated. Different levels of sociability are presented in the context of group interactions when payments take place. The sending of a Tikkie (payment request) seems to have connotations of the gift which makes it different from perfect rationalization.

Furthermore, splitting costs via a Tikkie on a romantic date signifies an unsuccessful date. This is because paying for someone else created a debt that needs to be settled in the future (another date) and it communicates that you are invested in this person as someone is literally ‘worth it’.

Keywords

Payment request etiquette, money, relational work, reciprocity, quid pro quo rationalization

Introduction

“Will you send me a Tikkie?”, has become a normal and frequent question you hear after having paid for someone else in the Netherlands. You and your best friend both had dinner and drinks, enjoyed a good conversation, and the waiter comes to the table for the bill to be paid. As you take the initiative to pay, the other one tells you to send them a Tikkie (payment request) for the made costs. Were you planning on treating your friend this time or are you going to send a request to pay for their share because they ordered cocktails and you didn’t?

Would your choice differ if it was your partner, mother or date, and why? The dilemma being sketched here reflects the rules that are in place for matching money with different social relationships (Zelizer 1994: 3). In the tradition of economic sociology I try to understand the shared conventions about the appropriateness of transactions when apps are being used for these exchanges. More specifically, this mixed-methods study investigates the changing cultural norms for using new payment request apps such as Tikkie in the Netherlands to manage socio-financial behavior.

When it comes to sociological accounts of money there are two key theoretical traditions. On the one hand we have classical sociologists such as Simmel, Weber and Marx who warned us for the deteriorating effects of money on social relations. In this tradition, the lacking quality of money is reflected in the objectivity of transactions (as being “free from subjective

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restrictions” Zelizer 1989:345) and the resulting blasé attitude of the people involved (Simmel 1900: 559). Framed differently, this means that money can have effects of diminished

reciprocity, over-rationalization and commodification of non-economic values. Contrary to these bleach accounts of monetization stands Viviana Zelizer’s work that shows how people always imbue money with meaning by creatively and practically incorporating it in their social lives. When talking about money in her sociological terms, we actually mean its

multiple forms or ‘multiple monies’, as there is not one kind of singular money that covers all cultural and meaningfully earmarked forms of money (Zelizer 1994). This is why money and monies are used interchangeably during this paper, as money from a Zelizerian point of view is plurality. This theoretical perspective highlights how money is socially differentiated and critiques both neoclassical economists’ accounts of money as a ‘neutral currency’ (by looking at rational atomistic individuals) as well as sociological classics that view money as

destructive and corrupting.

With the introduction of payment request apps to manage interpersonal transactions, it

remains open whether relations are becoming more ‘market-like’ and ‘shallow’. When people would increasingly send payment requests to friends and family (as a sign of calculation and rationalization), they could make social relations ‘colder’ and transactional in nature. Since treating or gifting can install (temporal) feelings of guilt and the need to reciprocate, getting rid of gift exchanges may impact the glue (social cohesion) that keeps social relations and society at large together (Mauss 1925). An opposite tendency could be that people still prefer to treat each other in a reciprocal manner, by engaging in more long term socio-economic commitments. More concretely, this means that reciprocity is enabled by treating someone in the hope that the other person will treat you in the near future. As gifting not only forms a moral basis for pre-capitalist but contemporary capitalist societies as well (Velthuis n.d.: 19) we should be able to pinpoint if and how reciprocity (the principle of give-and-take) is still an important mechanism for managing everyday finances in the Netherlands. To do this, I investigate the uses and rules of payment request apps such as Tikkie, because they are a potential replacement of economic traffic that used to be arranged through reciprocity, without the intervention of money.

Empirically, I look at how Dutch university students match the use of payment request apps with their different social relations when money mediation goes mobile. My research population consists of young adults in higher education in the Netherlands and more specifically undergraduate (bachelor) and graduate (master) students at the university of Amsterdam. While Zelizer’s recent work looks at the relational work of managing high levels of inequality by college students (Zelizer & Gaydosh 2019) I am not attempting to study the same cross-class dynamics. However, it is interesting to compare strategies of transactional management for this specific socio-economic age group, as I focus on a public research university instead of a private Ivy League institution. Though often struggling to make ends meet financially1, students in the Netherlands do seem to be involved in reciprocal gift behavior (Komter 1996). Since students take part in relatively unsettled and variable social

1 Which is partly due to increased student loan debts and the financialization of education (Lin & Neely 2020:150-152).

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networks, gifting and receiving is part of their social repertoire as a means of bridging about new social relations (and confirming existing ones).

Theoretically, the concept of relational work is needed as it describes the managing and balancing of economic and social needs by individuals (Zelizer 2000; 2012). This relational work includes the “active, creative and dynamic features of economic transactions” that give meaning to the exchange of money (Dodd 2014: 289), which is central to understanding the cultural rules for using payment request apps. When talking about ‘Tikkie’ in this paper it generally includes other payment request apps in the Dutch context as well (unless otherwise stated). This is because Tikkie has become a public symbol or collective noun for mobile payment requests in the Netherlands, which is included in the Dutch dictionary and widely recognized in public discourse (Van Dale n.d.). Therefore, other smartphone technologies to send payment requests to peers (e.g. as integrated in mobile banking apps) are also included in this mixed methods study for both the quantitative survey and when talking about Tikkie- culture with interview respondents.

The main research question is how payment apps are appropriately used for handling

everyday finances. This includes the situational etiquette rules gifting and treating each other, as well as splitting a bill and sending a Tikkie shared costs. In other words, how do Tikkie users match reciprocal/quid pro quo transactions and social ties in relational work when mobile payment request apps enter their offline lives? This question is answered twofold, by combining descriptive statistical insights from survey responses and the detailed meaning- making processes from interviews. By using descriptive statistics I can answer the ‘who, what and when’ questions of relational work and quantify these responses (Onwuegbuzie & Leech 2006). As contextual and processual information is not measured with the survey data, qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews helps me answer the second ‘how’ question of respondents’ experiential meaning-making processes. By combining methodologies into one study I can follow-up quantitative results with in-depth qualitative analysis by contacting respondents based on their initial survey participation. This can generally not be achieved when using secondary data because datasets include different individuals and are not externally traceable due to privacy regulations and ownership.

This paper contributes to both the central theoretical discussion within economic sociology about the nature of money, as well as presenting a mixed methods solution to measuring the cultural etiquettes for payment apps. Our knowledge about the social mediation of payment apps and the moral rules for their use needs to be deepened, as the role of technologies in relational work (Pardo-Guerra 2019) remains an underexplored topic (Bandelj 2022: 267). On a societal level, this study adds to our understanding of the consequences of increased use of fintech technologies for the handling of money for social relationships and the reciprocal binding of economic activity. More specifically, I show how mobile payment request apps are used to manage financial expenses for different social ties.

The article proceeds as follows: First, contextual information on Tikkie is given followed by a literature review. This review is threefold, discussing the classical money debate,

contemporary studies on payment apps and the relational approach that is used to fill the research gap that is identified. Afterwards, I present the methodological basis of the

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explanatory sequential mixed-methods research design for data collection and analysis. Both qualitative and quantitative findings are explained by highlighting the most important results.

To conclude, I reflect on research possibilities and shortcomings.

Contextual information on Tikkie as a payment app

The new market of mobile technologies to transfer and transact digital money is the fastest growing area in the FinTech industry (Park 2019: 1). Specifically in the Netherlands, the amount of cash payments decreased by 50 percent in the past 15 years (Zanen 2021) which are predominantly replaced by ‘contactless payments’ using debit cards, mobile phones, smartwatches or other wearables (DNB 2022). An increasing number of electronic payment options to facilitate transactions provide different services to context specific cultural needs and infrastructure adoption (Mützel 2021: 285). Country specific examples of mobile payment apps and digital wallets (i.e. platforms) include M-Pesa (which is owned by

Vodafone and started in Kenya), WeChat Pay in China (Hudik & Fang 2020; Wu & Ma 2017) and Venmo in the US (Acker & Murthy 2018, 2020; Zhang et al. 2017). All these

technological services have in common that you can directly transfer money from one person to another (digital peer-to-peer (P2P) payments), based on just a mobile phone number2. This is different from the more traditional bank account transfers, as digital phone-based apps make it quicker and easier to transfer money instantly3.

In the Netherlands, Tikkie is such a peer-to-peer or user-to-user payment service which is issued by the Dutch bank ABN-AMRO. Specifically, Tikkie is a ‘payment request app’ (as opposed to ‘payment sending apps’) with approximately 7 million users in the Netherlands4 and record numbers of transactions in 2021 despite several covid-19 lockdowns (ABN- AMRO 2021; RTL Nieuws / ANP 2021). Since the app launched in 2016 more than 100 million Tikkie’s have been paid, with a total amount of 4.2 billion euros5. On a daily basis, 200.000 Tikkie’s are paid with an average amount of around 30 euros (ABN AMRO 2019).

Smaller amounts are not uncommon, as 4.5 percent of the daily total (9.000) is less than 2 euros and more than 1 percent even less than 1 euro (Wouters 2020). Regarding timing, 30 percent of Tikkie’s is paid with 5 minutes after they are sent (ABN AMRO 2019) and 88 percent is paid within a day (Hugo 2019). Etymologically, the word ‘Tikkie’ in Dutch means a push or friendly reminder that you owe someone, which is equivalent to the English ‘Tag’

from the children’s game ‘playing tag’. Tikkie is mainly used by friends for joined activities, but other areas, such as fixed charges (e.g. rent, utilities, Netflix subscription) have gained popularity because of Tikkie’s prominence in social life.

2 The visible costs of these apps is normally not there for consumers (they are free of charge when downloaded), as you pay with the commensuration of your payment data.

3 Regarding the mediation of money on Tikkie, money is not held on the platform, as with other apps. A real time message says it is paid, but it actually takes more time to transfer the money between traditional bank accounts.

4 This is on a population of around 17.5 million people, which makes it the most used financial app in the Netherlands on both Android and Apple stores for.

5 This growth is also due to the fact that Tikkie introduced a commercial version of the app for businesses (approx. 20.000 commercial customers) as a safe and efficient alternative post-covid.

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Recently added features in the Tikkie environment include Tikkie Check (for scanning a QR code in bars and restaurants), Tikkie Terug (for cashback actions in the app), and Tikkie for commercial businesses (to communicate invoices to customers). For sending a Tikkie you only need a Dutch banking account and mobile phone number to link to your Tikkie app (ABN-AMRO 2022). The actual payment link can be shared through multiple digital channels such as WhatsApp, email or text message. In the case of Tikkie this generally happens on WhatsApp Messenger instead of on the app itself6.For paying a received Tikkie you need to click the payment link which will re-direct you to your regular banking app to pay. Regarding the creation of a Tikkie payment link, people can put in the amount (fixed or flexible), for how many people it is and what it is for specifically (as a digital earmark)7. These choices are an online translation of the offline environment where payments are negotiated in the

interactions around transactions (Ferreira & Perry 2019). When bills are split or when money is requested, social conventions are in place to regulate financial interactions. For Tikkie, this normative and moral component of asking money back is reflected in the marketing of the app as a way to ask money back from ‘family and friends’ (ABN-AMRO 2022). This suggests that it may be inappropriate to send Tikkie’s to others, but why is this the case? In order to understand how individuals manage ‘appropriate situations’ for the exchange of money with different relationships, we first have discuss what is already known about money and payment apps in sociological terms.

Literature review

The classical money debate: corrupting versus meaningful qualities of money

A long-standing debate in the sociology of money figures around the nature of money itself.

Where Karl Marx stated that money corrupts and separates people (1844: 163), modern day variants of this perspective still point to the morally corrupting effects of money. Similarly, Max Weber pointed to money’s rationalization in the context of modern states and taxation and argued that money is the most rational means for calculation in economic activity (Weber 1978: 86). The classical sociologist that most extensively explored the quantification of money was Georg Simmel. He pointed (among other crucial aspects) to the fact that when money enters social relations “it imposes evaluation and reduces the qualitative value to quantitative” (1900: 244). Money can do this, because as a social process it has an effect on our inner lives. In summary, we can state that by and large the ‘old sociology of money’ saw capitalistic societies as favoring anonymous and impersonal relationships with the spread of money. More specifically, monetization and commodification would be forces that break down affective relationships and altruism. Contrary to this bleach painting of money stands the cultural approach of Zelizer and her project of relational work (2012). For her,

monetization does not lead to less personal and colder relations because money is always

6 For Tikkie, you don’t need the app to pay a request. When clicking the link you can choose your own bank to pay, which is different from the platform based apps on which you can only exchange with others that are on the platform.

7 Users can also install a personal thank-you GIF which is shown to friends when a payment is completed (Tikkie 2020).

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subjected to morality, emotion and cultural constrains. In sum, social relations determine if and how money gets used and thus derives its meaning from its social foundation (Zelizer 2000). This makes the cultural analysis of earmarking money and ‘connected lives’ not only a critique of ‘corrupting, hostile worlds’ perspectives (Zelizer 2000; 2005), but also a critique of neoclassical depictions of homo economicus.

As for the debate, it is still unclear if the introduction of payment request apps (to transfer mobile and digital money) leads to an increased dominance of monetary rationalization in the form of quid pro quo (monetary equivalent) transactions. It may be that payment apps also enable a meaningful incorporation of money and that reciprocal gift exchange in the form of treating still prevails. To show what is needed to answer this question on money, I will first explain what we already know about payment apps.

Contemporary studies on money and payment apps

When it comes to contemporary studies in the sociology and anthropology of money, different studies have focused on divergent social aspects of money itself. Whether it is the meaningful multiplicity of money (Zelizer 1989; 1994), money as a record of past transactions and a social ‘memory-bank’ (Hart 2001; 2007) or the social significance of mobile money and payment interactions (Maurer 2012; 2015), they all have their analytical advantage. While some theorists argue that money (as a commodity form) is always virtual because it relies on social claims and obligations (e.g. Hart 1986; 2001; Ingham 1996; 2004; Dodd 1994; 2014) others stress monies material and semiotic dimensions (i.e. ‘practical materialism’ and ‘digital metallism’) in relation to trust and money’s exchange value (Maurer, Nelms & Swartz 2013).

Despite these insights, there is still a lot unknown about the social dimensions of payment apps and their pragmatic use for transactions. As payment is different from money, payment as “the act and infrastructure of value transfer” (Maurer 2012: 19) may still be undertheorized (Nelms et al. 2018: 17). The authors come to this specific conclusion by arguing that payment professionals are now reshaping the infrastructures that facilitate money transfers, which are essentially build on trust by consumers in transactions themselves and the technology that is used for it. Payment is no longer seen by the industry as a-personal, but as social payments that cater to actual people and their meaningful payment experiences (for similar findings see Mützel 2021, on the ‘personalization of payments’ and the ‘re-personalization of money’;

Tkacz 2019, on the payment experience of Apple Pay in relation to abstraction). We know from human-computer interaction (HCI) studies how specific payment systems, such as the Bristol Pound as a local currency program, are pragmatically used by people (Perry & Ferreira 2018). They show how interactional work or ‘moneywork’ revolves around long-term

(outside the actual ‘at-transaction’ itself) processes and locally organized transactions, which are “highly contingent on the settings within which they occur” (Perry & Ferreira 2018: 30).

These insights need to be taken into account when talking about the practical management of money, as people are increasingly using mobile media to track their expense histories and everyday financial activity (Lewis & Perry 2019).

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What technology of transfer is used to make payments matters, which can range from tokens, coins, paper, and cards, to electrical impulses and digital communication (Mützel 2021: 287).

As transactions are increasingly going mobile, the reciprocal quality of money may

reconfigure when payment apps are used. When talking about payments and gifting money, the moral component of reciprocity is central. Take for example a gift of money from a grandparent versus a spouse or partner: one may be perceived as warm and educational, whether exchanging money between partners is often perceived as a cold gift. Though

different types of social relations require different rules and conventions, money gifts may be acceptable to be exchanged between close friends and relatives (Zelizer 1994). Cultural context is always important, as in most Western societies money is usually not seen as an appropriate gift (Webley, Lea & Portalska 1983; Webley and Wilson 1989). In Simmel’s words, this is because gifting money “distances and estranges the gift from the giver”

(1900:360).

To make the gifting and receiving of money with payment apps less transactional and cold, earmarking and wrapping functions of payment apps seem to temper these connotations of inappropriateness and distinguish it from normal market exchange. An example is the sending of digital red packets (envelopes filled with money) as an online earmark via WeChat Pay (Wu & Ma, 2017; Hudik & Fang 2020). These gifts of money are based on the principle of relational ethics in Chinese culture (Yang 1994). In the case of WeChat, ethnographic

evidence shows that not only strong ties but also more distant relations are increasingly being commodified on the mobile communication platform (Zeng Skovhøj 2021: 528).

As payment apps are increasingly becoming social media (Swartz 2020), interaction takes place on these platforms in the form of sending money, emoticons, texts and gif’s as a reciprocated thankyou to the paying party. In the case of Tikkie, the hybrid use of the app does not enable direct money gifts on the platform, but it changes how money gifts are

exchanged through ‘treating’ patterns. The highly ambiguous act of gifting (Lainer-Vos 2013) makes it necessary to understand how and if people still select gifting as the medium of exchange.

With the introduction and adoption of payment apps such as Tikkie it has become easier to pay for your own share, but when is splitting seen as desirable and why? Rather than focusing on institutions or individuals, social relationships should be the primary focus of analysis (Bandelj 2020). What is lacking in the literature as discussed above is such a relational

analysis of the personification and decoration of payment requests that people morally engage in and relationally negotiate. To fill this gap, a Zelizerian relational approach is used to

pinpoint the situational norms for appropriate money usage with payment apps such as Tikkie.

Relational work: matching different social relations to the meaning of money As transactions are dependent on the relational work of the people involved, a relational approach to studying culture is used to investigate both the impact of payment request apps such as Tikkie on existing relationships, as well as the reversed movement of active relational work to shape the cultural meanings of money. A relational approach looks at the two-way

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process of how different types of social relations (e.g. family members, colleagues, best friends) shape money and the other way around (Zelizer 2012). This approach is both cultural (by looking at meaning making and symbols) and relational (as meanings are constructed between individuals in a relational process). Moreover, a relational analysis takes both economic and cultural factors into account (Zelizer 1988: 629). While meaning-making processes are central to relationality, the economy cannot be reduced to culture only.

Important aspects of relational work that need to be considered are that people are ‘practical negotiators’ (Zelizer 2012), the ambiguity of relational expectations (Bandelj 2012), past and future obligations between individuals (Zelizer 2000), reciprocity in expectations (Rossman 2014), and the role of emotions (Wherry, Seefeldt & Alvarez 2019). All these aspects matter, because when not properly matched regarding payment request etiquette, these practices can be perceived as antisocial or inappropriate transactional behavior. Subsequently, ‘bad matches’ between people and the use of money can damage social relations themselves (Zelizer 2012: 169).

The link between culture and economy has been studied by Zelizer in specific socio-historical contexts such as the development of life-insurance and changing value systems in the United States (1978; 1979) and the changing monetary and emotional valuation of children at the turn of the 20th century (1985). Her third monumental work on the cultural significance of money in The Social Meaning of Money (1994) is most applicable to the Tikkie context of this study.

In her book on money Zelizer shows that money is not neutral and a-social, but that it exists in culturally multiple forms or ‘multiple monies’. For instance, money as a source of parental allowance is spent and earmarked differently than monetary winnings from your crypto wallet or traditional investment portfolio. As Zelizer laid bare the social workings of analog money, I build on her perspective by looking at its contemporary digital form (see Zelizer 2016 on future avenues for the study of money). This is done by focusing on the social construction of money rules (i.e. the cultural etiquettes for requesting money) by university students in the Dutch context. To understand what legitimates the sending of a request and how the relational reception of such requests is negotiated between people, we have to look at the moral rules that govern the exchange of mobile money.

Data analysis and methodology

Empirically, this is a mixed methods study based on a quantitative main survey to measure the uses and rules of payment request apps such as Tikkie and follow-up qualitative in-depth interviews with students from the University of Amsterdam. As a mixed methods typology, this is an explanatory sequential design that consists of two main strands of data collection and analysis, being the quantitative survey and the qualitative interviews (Creswell & Plano Clark 2018). In the following sections, the quantitative and qualitative parts are discussed in terms of design, data collection and analysis. Afterwards, there is a short reflection on integration, theoretical rigor and the use of deviant cases.

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The quantitative survey

After a preparatory reading of online media documents on ‘Tikkie etiquettes’8, survey questions were constructed to measure university students usage and rules for payment apps such as Tikkie in a more structured way. The first part was on the frequency of requests (during the last six months), monetary amounts (smallest, usual and highest), types of people and purposes (at least once a week, at least once a month, at least once a quarter, at least once a year, never/not applicable), timing of the sending of a payment request (Immediately, Within a few hours, Within a few days or Within a few weeks after you paid the bill or a gift yourself) and how long people wait with sending reminders (At least a day, a few days, a week, a few weeks or ‘I don’t send reminders’). The second part consisted of vignette-like scenarios (with Likert-scale response categories) on the moral assessment of specific Tikkie- situations (the moral rules or cultural etiquette). Since there was an open expectation that foreign students use different apps and not (only) Tikkie, questions were tailored to include similar apps as well.

For sampling respondents, I relied primarily on my own social network for access, while trying to recruit students as widely as possible. As this was difficult to do in a representative way I ended up with a purposive sample (including both bachelor and master students of different cohorts, from the social and natural science departments and with various

nationalities). Alumni and active students of different educational tracks (within the Social Science and Natural Science department of the University of Amsterdam) distributed my survey in online WhatsApp groups for study cohorts (which are organized by year) and smaller study-related WhatsApp friend groups. Additionally, I posted the survey on a public Facebook group (for Dutch students doing research who are looking for respondents) and my personal LinkedIn page9. Before putting the survey online there were multiple try-outs for improvements and for reducing the time to fill in the survey to increase response numbers. A monetary incentive (randomly distributed gift cards) was also included in the target message.

The survey itself was filled in by respondents on their mobile phone, tablet or computer (self- administered online mode (CAWI)). After data collection (between 26 February and 6 April 2022) there was initially a total of 150 responses of which 94 remained (after deleting incomplete responses, people that started the survey but did not currently study at the UvA, people that never used payment apps (5) and one fake response after having an interview with that person). Of the final sample, 73,4% was female with an average age of 22 years

(sd=2.360, min=16, max=27).

Regarding the analysis and variable selection, demographics were kept to a minimum, with the assumption of general homogeneity in socio-economic characteristics of students as a sub-

8 Published in formal Dutch national newspapers, life-style magazines and popular online blogs.

9In an attempt to increase response rates, people with a well-founded basis and active familiarity in app-groups (cohort groups) were picked because of the assumption that the more social exposure the sender has, the higher the change of others answering the request.

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population10. Descriptive statistics were used to get an overview of the uses and rules of payment request apps such as Tikkie for graduate and undergraduate students, i.e. the amounts (monetary and frequency), purposes and types of social relationships that are

appropriate for sending and receiving payment requests (see Table 1). Because we are dealing with ordinal variables for both the scenarios (Likert scales) and amounts/frequency questions, the measure for central tendency must be the median. However, the average is also included because this is considered as common practice. This use of descriptive statistics is also called

‘thin description’ which describes the composition of important elements which are

significant “for understanding meso-level social phenomena” (Spillman 2014:190). On the basis of the descriptive survey results, interlocutors were selected for the qualitative part using their voluntarily given email addresses. Of the 94 survey respondents, 48 opted for a follow- up interview.

The qualitative interviews

Third, interviews were conducted to understand the meaning-making processes behind the relational work for payment request apps. The scenarios of the survey were used to structure individual stories about and experiences with using payment request apps. There was an explicit focus on difficult situations, awkward experiences and uncomfortable interactions as they elicited specific instances of relational work. During these interviews, the Tikkie app and similar payment request apps were part of the conversation. In this way payment history and past interactions could be checked to account for vague memory and to add details to

respondents’ stories. By asking respondents about their own experiences I am able to analytically understand their ‘connected lives’, while maintaining the understandings of economic actors themselves about the relationship between money and intimate social ties (Bandelj, Morgan & Sowers 2015: 123). These personal understandings are activated by having the apps present in the situation and by bringing up specific scenarios that can invoke relevant memories and attitudes. To increase variability and to verify my theoretical

interpretations (as a qualitative robustness check), all deviant and most different cases were contacted apart from people that were close to the average (of survey questions). This resulted in 12 interviews of which only 11 were useful, since I found out that one respondent was an imposter. The average length was 53 minutes, with a minimum of 43 and a maximum of 65 minutes. My interview sample was evenly distributed on both gender (female (5), non-binary (2), male (4)) and nationality (Dutch (6), non-Dutch (5)). The interviews were transcribed in verbatim to maintain contextual clues of the original interview setting. Regarding ethical safeguarding, data was kept anonymous, stored safely and will be deleted a few months after finishing this project.

For the analysis of the qualitative material I combined both interpretivist and pragmatist approaches. Concretely, this included the priming of respondent experiences about specific

10To check ad hoc if important factors were left out, interview data was checked for structuring variables (such as income, financial support and household composition). These mediating variables are discussed in the qualitative part of the results.

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scenarios and the tailoring of question wording to improve intersubjective reflection.

Structured analysis (coding of the material to iteratively come to broader categories) was done in Atlas.ti after the initial clustering of themes in Microsoft Word during the transcription process. During the entire research I reflected on choices and changes with the help of memo writing. This was an iterative process with constant comparison between data, emerging categories and expectations. While being open for new themes and explanations, the coding focus was on relational work and etiquette mechanisms. An open stance or inductive approach to the rich data was favored because it privileges empirical data over preexisting explanations and concepts (Mears 2017: 143). As an informed researcher, theoretically sensitive

expectations were part of my deductive practices while trying to treat observations with the same priority

Integration, theoretical rigor and deviant cases

For the quantitative part of this study, I got a descriptive overview of payment app use without making empirical inferences to the total population of UvA students. To better understand how Tikkie users actually come to their practices, the interviews enabled me to explain the layeredness of people’s experiences. By talking with respondents about there payment experiences, richness of data was gained that would have been impossible if I only had relied on the survey results. In the end, results from this mixed methods study were integrated in a corresponding way, which is reflected in the discussion of the results. Firstly, payment app use is descriptively presented, ending with the moral judgements about the scenarios. Secondly, the interview results are needed to explain the rules that constitute the verdict. In other words, I needed the interviews to make sense of how people actually negotiate their app use in different situations. Although these verbal accounts do not necessarily correspond to actual practices (see Jerolmack & Khan 2014 on the attitude- behavior consistency (ABC) problem), this is no mayor problem for this study. As I am interested in the moral aspects of etiquette rules, interviews enable me to outline the intricate reasonings and perspectives of my respondents. To ground the reflections in past experiences, respondents were referred to their app history during the survey and by having the app present during the interviews. By doing this I tried to enable respondents to check their past actions, especially when they doubted their memory of certain events. Although initially reluctant to this, most respondents got their phone to check past requests and messages in WhatsApp because they were not sure about certain answers themselves.

Theoretical rigor and generalizability was attempted to be gained with the use of abductive techniques and by testing these findings continuously with new data to generate theoretical findings that can be empirically tested again (Small 2009). Abductive analysis is “process of producing theoretical hunches for unexpected research findings and then developing these speculative theories with a systematic analysis of variation across a study” (Timmermans and Tavory 2012: 131). This meant both systematically checking etiquette rules with the survey results as well as alternative casing theoretically interesting respondents in the selection of interviews to refine and test my thematic interpretations and categorizations. Alternative casing was done because deviant and alternative cases are most fruitful in establishing a

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theoretical sensitive account of saturated findings. Both emic (insider-respondent) and etic (outsider-researcher) interpretations of social action are used for explaining the data. This approach is inherent to a relational work perspective, with more structural approaches

focusing predominantly on the outsider (etic) perspective (Stolz 2018). In the next sections, I discuss my most findings.

Research findings

Quantitative results: the usage of payment request apps

Let us first look at the descriptive results of the survey to answer the ‘who, what and when’

questions about payment apps. Regarding what apps are used, there are three clear favorites among the respondents (N=94). Tikkie is used most often (74,5% (70)), followed by regular banking apps (e.g. ING, Rabobank, ASN, SNS, Regiobank) (61,7% (58)) and

WieBetaaltWat/Splitser (39,4% (37)). In general regular banking apps are used for similar purposes as Tikkie. WieBetaaltWat/Splitser is used for keeping track of collective holiday and household expenses, which are then split after a certain period of time (end of holiday or end of the month). Apps that are used by less people are PayPal (6,4% (6)), Bunq (6,4% (6)), WeChat Pay (4,3% (4)), Splitwise (4,3% (4)), Venmo (3), Tricount (3) and Splid (2). Country specific apps that are only encountered once are KEKS Pay (Turkish), Swish (Sweden), Blik (Poland), MobilePay (Denmark and Finland), TWINT (Switzerland) and Cash App (US).

As for the frequency of payment apps such as Tikkie (see Table 1 for all descriptive statistics), on average people have sent between zero and ten requests during the last six months. This number is higher for received payment requests, which averages out between eleven and twenty Tikkie’s. The higher number of received (and paid) payment requests could be interpreted as resembling classic gift economies, as people seem to give more (money) than is received. For monetary amounts of both received and sent payment requests during the last six months, the smallest amount is less than 5 euros, the usual between 15 and 30 euros and the highest between 50 and 100 euros.

Regarding social relationship types, payment request apps are mainly used for friends (at least once a month by the majority of people). To all the other relationships, Tikkie’s are rarely used. at least 50 percent does not send Tikkie’s to them. As for purposes and situations, apps are mainly used for food and drinks (take-away, restaurant, bar). Other events that occur less often and are thus requested less often include tickets (for amusement, performances,

festivals, events), and travelling and accommodation (train, airline, car, hotel, Airbnb).

Although these events happen less, payment requests are always sent when money is advanced. Why this is the case is further explained in qualitative data discussion. A

categorical question that is not included in Table 1 refers to the actual creation of a payment request. The options for this are as follows: people use the default text options (as suggested by the app) (36.2%), they use emojis (19.1%), their own text (45.7%), and they send

additional massages (e.g. in WhatsApp) (33.0%). These practices enable people to personalize the payment link, that would be quite cold without contextually imbuing the payment request.

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13 Table 1: Descriptive statistics

Mean (SD) Median Min Max Payment app usage

Number of send requests 1.76 (0.971) 1.00 1 6

Number of received requests 1.99 (1.102) 2.00 1 6

Smallest amount 1.62 (0.765) 1.00 1 4

Usual amount 1.88 (0.750) 2.00 1 4

Highest amount 2.16 (1.041) 2.00 1 4

Payment app purposes

Food and drinks 2.40 (1.061) 2.00 1 5

Gifts 3.62 (1.146) 3.50 1 5

Groceries 3.23 (1.440) 3.00 1 5

Tickets 3.41 (1.111) 3.00 1 5

Travelling and accommodation 4.00 (0.973) 4.00 1 5

Work 4.39 (1.147) 5.00 1 5

Types of people

Family members 4.03 (1.168) 5.00 1 5

Friends 2.35 (0.991) 2.00 1 5

(Romantic) partners 3.90 (1.430) 5.00 1 5

Colleagues 4.37 (1.057) 5.00 1 5

Acquaintances 4.05 (1.101) 4.00 1 5

Dates 4.81 (0.514) 5.00 1 5

Timing of sending

Sending of the request 2.62 (0.805) 3.00 1 5

Sending a reminder 3.39 (1.238) 3.00 1 5

Payment app scenarios

Small amount with friends 3.19 (1.354) 3.00 1 5

QR-code with partner 4.39 (1.050) 5.00 1 5

Split bill with co-workers 2.26 (1.154) 2.00 1 5

Reminder to acquaintance 4.52 (0.684) 5.00 1 5

No Tikkie with best friend 4.83 (0.598) 5.00 1 5

Birthday payment request 3.24 (1.276) 3.50 1 5

Unannounced from niece 2.01 (1.011) 2.00 1 5

Note: Data from own survey on payment app use in the Netherlands, own calculations

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For the moral etiquette scenarios (see Table 2 for the full scenarios) we see three categories of situations and their appropriateness (see Table 1 for the results): First, we have those that are acceptable including scanning a QR-code with a partner, sending a reminder to an

acquaintance and using no Tikkie with a best friend. Second, we have Tikkie situations that are not acceptable at all, namely paying for co-workers and an unannounced request from a niece. Lastly, there are two ambiguous scenarios with very mixed reactions which are the small amount request and having to pay after going to someone’s birthday. In the following section, the qualitative results from the interviews are discussed in relation to the contextual clues for ‘good Tikkie matches’ and when relational work is required.

Table 2: Moral etiquette scenarios for payment app use Label Full scenario

Small amount with friends

Imagine that someone watched a movie with four friends last night and paid for some snacks (€10 in total). Today the person decides to send them all a payment request (such as Tikkie) of €2 per person.

QR-code with partner

Imagine someone being at a restaurant with their (romantic) partner and having a great time. On the table is a QR-code to scan, order and pay directly. Both of them scan the QR- code and pay separately.

Split bill with co-workers

Imagine that a group of co-workers went on a company trip, including food and drinks. To cut down costs one person decided to go modest on the drinks. Today this person receives a payment request (such as Tikkie), but the bill is split even between all group members.

Reminder to acquaintance

Imagine that someone sent a payment request (such as Tikkie) to an acquaintance last week and it is still not paid. The person decides to send a reminder.

No Tikkie with best friend

Imagine someone going to the cinema with their best friend. Since one of them paid everything last time, the other one pays everything this time.

Birthday payment request

Imagine someone inviting a big group of friends to celebrate their birthday at a bar. This person sends a payment request (such as Tikkie) in the WhatsApp group to ask money back.

Unannounced from niece

Imagine someone getting a ride home from their niece after a family reunion. After being dropped off this person receives an unannounced payment request (such as Tikkie) for the split gasoline costs of €10.

Qualitative results: Tikkie etiquette rules and relational work strategies

When people use payment request apps to manage their finances, some situations require relational work. For other instances, it is either perceived as always acceptable or never acceptable to send a payment request such as Tikkie. On the basis of interview data I discuss the most important etiquette rules for Tikkie’s as they are situationally shaped.

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In general, people view Tikkie as fair, equal, easy and efficient as money can be requested without having to exchange IBAN numbers or other ‘laborious’ practices. The downside of too many or inappropriate Tikkie’s is that they can overshadow ‘feelings of friendship’. As this is a delicate matter, prioritizing money does not mean over-rationalization but it can harm sociability. This tension between money and sociability is indicated in the following quote:

Respondent: And that whole balance of stuff I think is also interesting because sometimes we've done like dinners outside and then you take the receipt and there's some people who would only pay for what they ate. But if you eat like Indian food, you share everything, then you can't really do it so I was like 'Ooh split it by four' even if this person had an extra dessert or drink, doesn't matter. You ate together, you had fun, you split it, which is more of how I would see to do things. But I know people who would sit there calculating cents by cents to be like, Oh, but you ate the chicken thing and I'm vegetarian, so I'm not going to pay for that.

And that to me is a little intense because it also takes time and energy and and I think that can harm relationships and friendships. And it's like, I guess when you care about people, you care less about spending money on them. (R8)

In the rest of this paper I explain in detail the element of reciprocity in Tikkie’s and why this matters for ‘successful’ Tikkie interactions. There are different levels of sociability when it comes to payment requests. This is first illustrated with payment request strategies when being in bigger groups and second, for when being in a date scenario. In both cases, money is not just seen as rational as both sociability and worth are communicated via the sending of Tikkie’s.

Table 3: Qualitative etiquette rules for using payment apps such as Tikkie

Level of acceptability Etiquette rule

Never acceptable When having a successful date and want to see each other in the future, it is never acceptable to send a payment request afterwards.

It is never acceptable to ignore a received Tikkie by not paying it.

Acceptable with relational work Small amount Tikkie’s are only acceptable when their financial necessity are communicated (e.g.

being short on cash) through discursive work.

Sending a delayed Tikkie (a long time after the actual interaction) is only acceptable when discursively justified by referring to the event or by explaining why you still need the money.

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16 Always acceptable It is always acceptable to send a reminder for a

Tikkie that was agreed upon, because people forget to pay them.

You can always expect to receive a payment request when someone fronted money in a group, even if this was not explicitly communicated beforehand.

When relational work is required: reminders, awkwardness and small amount requests Reminding someone to pay you can be a tricky business and some practices are seen as more acceptable than others. In the case of actual reminders, there are two important distinctions between sender and receiver. Both creditor (the one that fronted money) and debtor (the one that owes money) are required to remind the other person. On the one hand, people forget to send Tikkie’s that were agreed upon and the debtor should remind the creditor to send one.

These reminders are most common, as being indebted to someone is normally accompanied with the obligated feeling to settle the debt. It also makes it more comfortable for the creditor to send a request, because then they are reminder that is legitimate and acceptable to send a Tikkie. On the other hand, it is totally acceptable for a creditor to send a reminder for a Tikkie that is not yet paid. As debtors also forget to pay Tikkie’s, a friendly reminder is not perceived as cold or transactional. There are still variations in how to perform the actual reminder. Some people prefer to not send the ‘official reminder’ through the Tikkie app on WhatsApp, as this too formal. Rather, they remind others in-person when meeting again to create the opportunity for reciprocity on the spot or to pay the Tikkie request on their phone. Other rely on the objective nature of Tikkie, because they can blame it on the app, as on respondent indicated:

Interviewer: do you send reminders?

Resprondent: ehh i think i have ehh yeah also i think the good thing about tikkie is because it expires it kind of like a .. is i'm just feel a bit awkward about sending a reminder because .. but because i know it's gonna expire i'm like 'heyy it's gonna expire' in this kind of like you blame it on the app rather than like they haven't paid yet [hm hm] ehm but i didn't have to do it very often only once or twice. (R2)

This example also shows that asking money back is not easy for everyone and can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. Some would never send Tikkie’s or reminders, because they feel that money should not be important and contaminates their friendships. This strong feeling is reflected in the almost painful and uncomfortable experience of asking money back.

When people that have this feeling force themselves to eventually send a payment request, they often feel guilty for doing so. This also has to do with the timing of sending a request, because this shouldn’t be in the moment itself or after a week. As timing can be ambiguous, late requests may cause awkward feelings as the following respondent highlighted:

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17 Respondent: I think the most ideal thing would be right then or right after [the event]. But to send it [..] maybe like two or three days is fine as well. But I think anything longer than that is like because, I mean, that person's it's gone and it's only they get like a random Tikkie request that they're trying to be like, 'Oh, what was that?' It's like, 'Oh, okay, that was that' and then it just feels weird cause it's like, what conversation do you have after that? Like 'done', it's like, 'haha thank you'. And then, you know, it's awkward. I would prefer not to. (R8)

There are multiple strategies of relational work in which awkward feelings are diminished when asking for money. These are what I call discursive or referential forms of relational work (because other discourses are introduced into a context that refer to something other than the payment of money itself). Discursive relational work is normally through WhatsApp texts apart from the actual payment link. As a Tikkie on its own can be perceived as too transactional, additional massages, emojis, memes or pictures are used to imbue the money request with meaning. Apart from attaching meaning to the request, attention to money itself is also part of discursive relational work. This is indicative of the following example, where awkwardness is diffused by putting the attention somewhere else:

Respondent: I yeah just sent the link through WhatsApp and a little silly message next to it i think.. and a picture too, because I am so used to the pictures because on Twint, you can always use the picture like in the app [hm hm] And I kind of use it to, I think, diffuse the awkwardness of requesting friends from you ehmm... money from your friends. So it would usually be like a silly picture of my face, too. Or even like something from the day from the event that the money related ehmm yeah to kind of diffuse the attention. (R3)

By referring to the event and adding a light, ‘silly picture’, the meaningful interaction is put center stage instead of the money that was spend. This becomes even more important for small amount requests. Although small amount Tikkie’s are often seen as unnecessary, they are not per definition unacceptable. To avoid uncomfortable situations, small amount requests need to be justified by the sender for the transaction to succeed morally i.e. be deemed

acceptable. In principle, people don’t like to receive a request for a few euros, but by bringing up the financial need for them they can be understood as plausible. Therefore, the etiquette rule is that you only send a small amount Tikkie when explicitly stating its financial reason. In this way, they become morally acceptable in light of fair resource redistribution and social sensibility. When small amount requests are send out of the blue, people assume that you are in financial trouble or simply ‘stingy’. As most Tikkie’s are send to peers who are also

students, a precarious financial situation is always seen as a possibility for irregular sending of payment requests. While being acceptable when legitimately framed, small amount payment requests are often still received with a slight feeling of disappointment or pitiful compassion.

This can be seen in comments like ‘they are probably short on cash’ and ‘why would they otherwise want those few euros back?’.

What makes situations of small payment requests so ambiguous is the fact that different interactional groups share different relational rules on how to deal with payment situations.

Idealized, we see ingroup and outgroup relational work when it comes to group identification and payment justification. For close friend groups, the sending and receiving of Tikkie’s is made acceptable by stating their common financial position to each other with comments such as ‘Look, we are all students’. For other groups, such as working friends or family, this is not

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the case, as they are expected to not send Tikkie’s that often because (in theory) they can afford it. Without knowing the actual balance sheet of outgroup non-students, a more affluent financial position is often presumed. Discursive relational work in the form of explicit

conversations about income and spendable status takes place between ingroup students, but not with outgroup ‘financially stable’ individuals. A situation that is indicative of the meaning that is attached to money and where the sending of a Tikkie is totally inappropriate is the date scenario.

The date scenario: why successful dates do not include Tikkie’s

When being on a date with a partner, paying separately in the moment with a QR code on the table is perceived as acceptable. Although it may be framed as “unromantic and uncool”, it could be a pragmatic option to order food and drinks. However, when it comes to dates the intervention of Tikkie or other apps to split expenses is perceived totally different. Especially sending a Tikkie is the ultimate sign that the people involved are not going to see each other again. There are several reasons for this. A first reason is that money does not sit well with romance and is perceived as unsociable to be put emphasis on. Second, when being on a first date, not using Tikkie means that a debt remains that can be likely settled with a future date.

This is explained by a respondent that “with dates in particular like there is kind of this idea like if you pay then like there is gonna be a next date and then they are gonna pay like you're gonna pay next time so then it also works in another level you know” (R2). By paying for someone, reciprocity is installed for another date to take place. It is a sign of a successful interaction in which money does fulfill a binding role in the creation and sustainment of relationships. The binding element of reciprocity as a positive expectation was expressed by another respondent as follows:

Respondent: But this idea that when you know it's reciprocal, you're more willing to do stuff because, you know, you get something back out of it, which would be.. whether that be in the means of the interaction that you had or when you know that you're gonna see this person again. It's less annoying or less in your head about money and whatever, because you know it's going to balance out eventually. (R8)

When talking about the dating process with their current girlfriend, reciprocity as a long-term mechanism came explicitly forward as well:

Respondent: I remember when I met my girlfriend just like one and a half years ago we paid like we paid everything even though the prices were different, we would pay, I would pay first thing and then she'd pay the second thing and I would pay the third thing.. so it's not .. it's people you're close with but also people that you want to kind of show your kind of nice side or like your relaxed, flexible side. (R1)

A third reason that money expresses how you think about a person is that you can show appreciation for someone. If one person pays a bill, this shows that (s)he is invested in the date. By not sending a Tikkie and paying for someone else you show that you value the other.

In other words, “it is just a sign of intimacy if you kind of share your kind of money and you

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kind of show that you care about someone ehm so especially during like dating ehm it's easier also to do it because you kind of prevent a lot of uncomfortableness” (R1). By taking the risk to not be paid back the exact amount of money, you express both trust and that someone is worth it.

Tikkie as a gift? The element of reciprocity in delayed payment requests

When being in a group (such as with co-workers) it is expected that the costs are split even between all group members. Paying for your own stuff is not seen as sociable, and protesting to a received Tikkie after the interaction is never acceptable. As this is probably a one-time thing, “It's not worth straining the relationship for that one time” (R8). The ultimate purpose is to maintain a sociable environment and to avoid awkward reactions. Regarding sociability, these seems to be a hierarchy ranging from least social to most social. First, paying for your own bill in the moment is considered as the least social and too pragmatic. Second, paying for everybody and then sending a Tikkie afterwards is intermediate social. The person who knows most of the others should front the money and send the Tikkie’s (because of minimum effort of getting phone numbers and maximum possibility for repayment). Even though this practice may seem to financially amount to the same as paying for your own bill, there is a relational difference. Third, paying for everybody without sending a Tikkie as a way of treating is the most social. This hierarchy of sociability indicates that sending a Tikkie still has some connotations of the gift, which makes it different from a perfect rationalization of social life. The fact that this gift element is present in payment requests is due to the following reasons. First, in fronting money and later requesting this amount via a Tikkie, there is the same dynamic of creating a debt. Second, while people know that ultimately debts are to be settled, there may be the (temporal) feeling that somebody is paying for the others. This is often perceived as a positive and sociable feeling. Third, there is some solidarity involved in the case that not everybody consumed the same amount, which means that some persons are de facto ‘subsidizing’, or simply giving to others. For people that routinely are in the position of receiving a Tikkie that is higher than their actual part, paying for yourself when leaving removes the need for receiving a Tikkie at all and it avoids awkward negotiations. To reiterate, this strategy to avoid gifting to other people is seen as less sociable.

Conclusion and discussion

When payment apps enter our social lives, do we observe a trend towards hyper-

rationalization and corruption of quality as Weber, Marx and Simmel pointed to? The answer is no, but incorporating proper requests can remain a difficult exercise. As we have seen, students match their social relations with finances in a workable manner by incorporating payment request apps in their cultural repertoire. However, these apps create more

opportunities for asking money back while people themselves would prefer to not use them all the time. That is why people feel so strongly about the appropriateness of payment app use, because money can become too dominant. Discursive relational work is used by Tikkie users to communicate successful usage of money, and while awkwardness and uncomfortable

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situations prevail, they rarely result in breaking down relationships. That is because people care about their friendships, and prioritizing money too often would hamper the experience of sociability. I have explained the different levels of sociability that are present when payment takes place in a group, which indicates that sending a Tikkie is not perfect rationalization of social ties. It has in fact connotations of the gift, and is different from settling costs quid pro quo in the moment. The least social is when someone pays their own bill in the moment, as the focus lies with the individual (instead of relationality). Fronting money for a group and then requesting this via a Tikkie is coined as intermediate social. The rare occasion that somebody pays for everyone without sending a payment request afterwards is considered to be the most social form.

Total reciprocity is only preferred when knowing the prolonged durability of the relationship.

That is why dates are never a proper situation for Tikkie’s, because they do not enable a relationship to form to begin with. I have explained how money and romance (intimacy) do not seem to be friends when it comes to splitting costs via a Tikkie, because this

communicates a lack of intimacy. While money definitely plays a role, it is the creation of a debt to be settled that enables a future interaction to take place. By paying for someone, people are literally expressing someone’s ‘worth’. Not in actual monetary amounts that should come from one side of the relation, but through the creation uncertainty in communicating future commitment.

As the descriptive results have shown, more money is repaid to others than gained through received Tikkie’s, which favors the thesis that gifting patterns are still present. More

importantly, Tikkie’s themselves contain reciprocal elements analyzed in detail. While most studies of payment apps have focused on the transactional nature of sending money digitally, Tikkie is used for requesting money. I argue that the requesting of money requires more relational work in its negotiation, as requesting money is often morally more difficult than gifting or sending money ‘voluntarily’. This aspect is not unique for Tikkie, because all Dutch banks use the ‘requesting’ function as well (after the success of Tikkie’s mobile payment requests) which are covert by this study. It is interesting to see whether this requesting element resembles similar dynamics that were found in the Dutch context. Additionally, Tikkie is less of a ‘social media payment platform’ such as Venmo and WeChat, which needs to be taken into account when furthering the discussion about digital payments sociologically.

As communication with Tikkie is hybrid (on WhatsApp and in real life), it takes place outside of the platform as well. Future research should look at the hybrid mediation of payments means for relational work and what cultural etiquettes are in place for the negotiation of specific forms of transactions.

With the extension of banking services onto smartphones, these are increased possibilities for tracking and tagging of our exchange trajectories (Tiessen 2015). As banking has become an ever extending activity that is done on a daily basis and routinely done in public on our

mobile phones, banking is not a rare private activity anymore. While research should focus on corporate surveillance and payment data usage, self-surveillance in the form of financial self- regulation should not be overlooked. As I encountered self-regulating practices in relation to payment apps during this research project, analyzing them in the future remains a possibility.

For relational work to stay as fresh and vibrant in its potential, other research should also look

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References

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