Nowadays, we don’t often carry much cash, relying on credit cards or even payments using a mobile phone. That can be tough on someone who makes a substantial part of their income from tips. MiPayWay, wants to change that.

The idea for the company occurred to Brian Bell, now CEO, when he took an airport shuttle and was unable to tip the driver because he lacked cash. He founded MiPayWay with Dick Butler, now president, to build a mobile app to create a way to tip using a mobile phone or device.

Users can tip, donate to charities, or make purchases using the app. To receive money, a person has to have a MiPayWay Beacon, which costs $29. It isn’t needed to send money. The Beacon is a 2 ounce Bluetooth low energy device measuring just under 2 inches by 2 inches that users hang on a key ring or elsewhere so it goes where they go. It allows the MiPayWay app to see the user.

It can be turned off and can’t be used to receive money if it’s lost.

Unlike many mobile payment systems, it doesn’t require social site knowledge of an individual or registration. “We’re trying to change all that,” Butler says. “People don’t have to give up personal information. It’s about security and remaining anonymous if you wish.”

The Wake Forest company is looking for $250,000 to $500,000 in seed money and recently presented at the CED’s Tech Venture Conference in Raleigh. It’s currently backed by investments by friends and family. “They’re buying into the idea, and that’s a humbling thing,” Butler said.

Butler tells WRAL TechWire it was a productive event. They not only met potential backers, they made connections in spaces they wanted introductions to and landed a couple of additional beta users as well.

The company’s first vertical target is hospitality with its maids, waiters and waitresses, door men, and assorted others who thrive on tips.

It also sees charities and non-profits as potential users because it makes donations easy. “It’s low cost and there’s no need for infrastructure,” Butler notes.

Another area of potential sales include micro-retailers and merchants, food trucks, farmer’s markets, events.

The company plans to go beta next quarter and Butler says it has tests lined up.