Getting a solution on which road the “sale” is going (Part 2)


CHICAGO – For a long time, a customer in a self-service laundromat washed or dried their clothes by inserting a predetermined number of coins or tokens into a mechanism connected to a washer or dryer. This is still true today, but as technology has taken hold more and more, payment options are also available.

Coin payment is still the preferred method used in laundromats today, but the share of cashless (coinless?) Shops is growing year by year.

Depending on the system used, customers can transfer a dollar amount to a “store card” or “loyalty card” (using cash or a credit / debit card; systems vary) which is then used to start a machine, or can use a credit, debit card, or EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) to initiate one. Some systems allow stores to accept coins, credit cards, stores or loyalty cards or a combination.

And let’s not forget the newcomer: app-based payment platforms that allow customers to pay for wash cycles and drying time using their mobile devices.

Store owners are seeing the benefits of cashless payment systems, but they still believe in offering cash payment as well. But what about cashless pass coins as the preferred payment method used in laundromats? Do you think it will happen?

American currency interviewed experts from nine companies offering payment systems and related products. Let’s hear what they have to say about today’s payment trends and where they see things as technology and customer preferences evolve.

Part 1 of this story looked at card / mobile options that are gaining ground with coin payment. In Part 2 today, we look at the impact of COVID-19 on payment trends and the benefits of going cashless.


Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted payment trends?

“The contactless whole is a common conversation that every consumer and business is engaged in,” says Steve Marcionetti, president of Card Concepts Inc. (CCI), which offers laundry card management, marketing and payment solutions. “There is no doubt that options that reduce the number of times a customer has to touch cash or coins benefit a store with an alternative payment option.”

“The pandemic will motivate many owners / operators to convert or add new payment options,” believes Wayne Lewis, CEO of ESD, a manufacturer of a wide range of payment system products, from currency to mobile. “There will also be an increase in the aspect of the industry’s dry cleaning service as more people will want to limit exposure to environmental conditions.”

“More laundries will try to switch to a card system as it eliminates person-to-person money delivery and therefore reduces the risk of bacteria transmission,” says Jacob Lefkovits of payment system provider The Laundry Pass.

“According to Visa and MasterCard, there are already over 175 million contactless credit cards in the hands of consumers in the United States and usage … is skyrocketing, more than 150% since November,” says Michael Schantz, president of Setomatic. Systems, whose company offers a system that accepts all forms of payment. “This is the easiest, fastest and safest way to pay. Now more than ever, customers want to get in and out of the laundry as quickly as possible with limited touch points.”

“Restricted access to the bank lobby has resulted in more apartment dwellers draining the laundromat money changers they need to load at home, resulting in increased interest among operators in payment formats that use coins and tokens. dollars into the mix, ”says Butch Bruner, president of Imonex Services Inc., which offers coin and token acceptors.

“In many ways, it has accelerated what was already in trend,” comments Paresh Patel, founder and CEO of PayRange, which offers a mobile payment solution. “Although mobile and contactless payments were on the rise, they quickly became a top priority for operators and indeed everyone. With so many concerns about the spread of the disease, companies had to find ways to accept payment without having to touch anything and it is this is where mobile apps come in. “

“Overall, we’ve seen an increase in companies shifting to cashless solutions as people keep their social distance and are wary of potential problems accessing cash and coins,” says Steven King, regional sales manager for payment solutions from coin sales to smart card systems and payment apps.


What benefits can a hybrid coin / cashless system or a completely cashless system offer a laundry owner today?

“No quarter to collect; multiple payment options such as credit / debit / EBT / mobile card; remote diagnostics of system and customer problems; a simpler, contactless experience for customers and a text notification when the laundry is finished, ”lists Oleg Stepanov, who represents payment systems provider Mitech Integrated Systems (Laundroworks).

“Hybrid or cashless systems offer more than just payments,” explains Schantz. “Most systems incorporate various loyalty programs, full accountability, washer / dryer availability and many other useful features.”

“In addition to customer convenience, there are powerful marketing benefits that can encourage higher spending, attract new customers and encourage loyalty,” says Marcionetti. “The detailed reporting that comes from these systems allows operators to make more informed decisions about how to price their equipment, make changes to the equipment mix and manage employees.”

“While almost everyone has a smartphone these days that they can use for mobile payment, there are still a few that won’t,” Patel says. “There will also be some customers who may not have a card to use. For some locations, it may be necessary to accept different types of payment so that all customers can pay. “

“Hybrid systems allow the owner / operators to incentivize users to use forms of payment other than coins by rewarding them for using loyalty cards, credit cards, debit cards or app payments,” says Lewis. “Coinless stores use greater pricing flexibility and additional marketing features that aren’t available for laundromats.”

“Hybrids offer payment selections to consumers and payment redundancy to operators,” comments Bruner. “Dollar token / quarter coin hybrids significantly reduce overall coin handling, while a token-only cashless format can eliminate all coins. Tokens are an owner’s private money system that works seamlessly with coins, cash and credit / debit cards, creating hybrid payment options so customers can wash and dry with everything they carry in their pocket. “

In the conclusion of Tuesday: questions to ask before making a system change, and peer into the future

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