Commercial Laundry Equipment: Will You Go Coin or Coinless?

commercial laundry equipment
There are nearly 20,000 laundromats in the US, and all of them are linked by one thing: their vital need for good laundry equipment. Getting good commercial laundry equipment is crucial for laundromats, as well as hotels, apartment complexes, and other similar places. But times are changing, and while many machines are still coin-operated, many others are now electronically operated. Should you use coin or coinless machines for your business? Read our guide to find out!  

Two Types of Payments

  There are two primary commercial laundry equipment types: coin-operated and cashless machines. For a long time, coins were the standard payment method for washing machines and dryers. People saved their quarters for laundry day, and the jangling of coins was a familiar part of doing laundry for many people. But things have changed, and fewer folks carry coins around with them. Many laundromats still use coins to operate their equipment and usually provide a coin machine within the vicinity. However a growing trend of using electronic cards to do laundry is making things well- simpler. Many laundromats, dorms, and other places have moved to cashless options for their machines. There are a few reasons for this, and some people have found them more convenient. However, they’re not a favorite with everyone, so it’s wise to consider both options!  

Pros and Cons of Coin Machines

  One of the strongest benefits of coins is that coin machines are generally simpler and cheaper than cashless options. There’s less hassle with setting up an electronic payment system, and you don’t have to pay a company to install the system. Additionally, many people enjoy the simplicity of coin-operated machines. As a matter of fact, many people are unwilling or unable to use credit cards, so having cash options really helps them. Unfortunately, cash laundry machines are a ripe target for vandalism and theft. Thieves often try to break into the machines to steal the quarters, which can damage the machines and lose you money. It’s a good idea to have either cameras or people in the laundry room when people are using it, in order to prevent stealing. The recent national coin shortage has really hampered many people’s abilities to get and spend coins. This has been a major drawback both for people bringing in their own coins as well as businesses’ abilities to restock their quarter machines.  

Pros and Cons of Coinless Commercial Laundry Equipment

  There are a few types of coinless laundry machine systems that people use, but they generally have the same principle. People swipe some sort of electronic card (or use an app on their phone) and start doing laundry once the payment is complete. You have a few cashless commercial laundry solutions to choose from when purchasing coinless laundry equipment. Each one has its perks, but there are a few cons of coinless laundry equipment as well. Many universities, colleges, and apartment complexes use some sort of “customer card” that links with an account for people to put money on. They swipe the card, it depletes the funds, and they do their laundry. This kind of system is nice because it almost guarantees some level of loyalty once people start using your system, as they’ll want to continue using the card they have set up. Some other places simply have readers included on their machines for credit and debit cards. These are convenient for people who have such cards but are frustrating to folks who would rather just use cash. There isn’t anything to steal, so although these machines cost a little more, they tend to be great investments in the long run! One of the pros of coinless laundry equipment is that it hasn’t been hurt by the coin shortage. As a result, many laundromats are moving to accept cards or become card-only. There’s also the mobile option, which has become increasingly popular with the rise of smartphones. You can offer mobile pay options or partner with an app, but this has its own drawbacks as well. Not everyone will have or be willing to get the app, and not everyone will have enough data on their phones to use the app.  

Hybrid Models

  Because both cash and cashless commercial laundry equipment have their own benefits and drawbacks, some businesses are moving to adopt hybrid models. The general idea is, the more options people have for payment, the more likely they are to use your business! For example, you can make a mobile payment option for your coin-operated washers and dryers. This will let folks pay from their phones or with change. It isn’t very difficult to set up an account with one of the various mobile payment apps, and many of your customers will be grateful for the option. You can also install a change machine in your location that works with bills and cards. This way, you don’t have to upgrade your actual equipment, but it still lets people pay how they want. The change machine may be the best choice if you want to expand options for people. You still have the drawback of having to buy or exchange quarters, but you don’t terribly inconvenience people either way. If they want to spend their own quarters, they can, and if they want to use a card, they just have to swipe it to get some quarters from you! A final option is to set up a kiosk where people can swipe their cards or insert cash to use a particular loyalty card you have. This lets people pay how they want, but it also helps you! You will probably have fewer coins to worry about, and you’ll ensure that people stick around to use all the money they put on their cards.  

Learn More About Commercial Laundry Equipment

  Both coins and coinless commercial laundry equipment have their benefits and downsides, and they each have situations where they shine. No matter what type of setup you decide on, it’s important to get the best commercial laundry machines to improve your business. We absolutely love the Dexter Brand, and are ready to get your business set up with their high quality machines. If you’re still unsure what kind of machines or setup you should get, don’t worry! Feel free to contact us at Laundry South for help with your commercial laundry equipment needs, and we’ll do our best to get you taken care of!
Scroll to Top