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August 17, 2020

Dealing with the Coronavirus Coin Shortage

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While cash and quarters are still king for the vended laundry equipment at many laundromats around Chicago and the Midwest, the COVID-19 pandemic has left many laundromats scrambling with a coin shortage. 

A recent statement from the U.S. Mint regarding the coin shortage noted that precautions taken to slow the spread of the virus reduced retail sales activity and decreased deposits from third-party coin processors, which account for the majority of coins in circulation each year. So, while there are coins available, they aren’t circulating as much as before. 

“Simply put, there is an adequate amount of coins in the economy, but the slowed pace of circulation has meant that sufficient quantities of coins are sometimes not readily available where needed,” the release states. 

Therefore, many laundromats have felt the pull of the coin shortage as they try to keep their customers happy and their coin-operated washers and dryers up and running. News reports from around the country note that laundromat owners are dealing with daily bank runs, banks limiting how many coins they’re giving out, and non-customers coming in to use the change machines — all of which creates extra work and hassle for both laundromat customers and owners. 

How To Handle the Coin Shortage at Your Laundromat

If you’re dealing with issues related to the coin-shortage at your Midwest laundromat, you’re not alone. No one knows how long this pandemic is going to go on, which means we could be looking at a coin shortage or low circulation for quite some time. 

Thankfully, you still have some options to keep your business operating efficiently and customers content — and Coin-O-Matic can help!. 

Increase communication

First and foremost, you want to keep your customers informed about what’s going on. Signs, social media posts, email blasts, and even one-on-one conversations with customers to remind them not to take more coins than they need and reinforce that coin machines are for customer use only is a great start. That way, customers will be cognizant of the issue. 

If you haven't already, you may also want to brief your employees about what’s going on so they can answer customer questions and follow updated policies if need be. 

Utilize alternative payment methods

You could also increase focus on cashless payment options, such as tokens, smart cards, debit/credit cards, and smartphone options. This is where Coin-O-Matic can be the most help, as we specialize in coinless payment options for laundromats. While this may be a bit of an adjustment for customers who are used to paying with cash or coin, it’s a great (and safe) option as we’re dealing with the coin circulation issue and beyond. 

Cards and other coinless options are increasingly popular as more and more customers move away from cash in favor of more convenient and time-saving payment methods. If you’re looking to move your laundromat into the 21st Century, alternative payment methods are the way to go.  

The benefits of alternative payment methods for your laundry business include:

  • Improved convenience and customer experience.

  • No more coin collection! Eliminate cash from your laundry room & simplify your business

  • Increased security 

  • Increased marketing opportunities

  • Increased laundry revenue options

Contact one of our payment system specialists today to get started!


 Coin-O-Matic has proudly served the Midwest — including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin — for more 100 years! We’re a proud distributor of some of the top brands in the commercial laundry industry, including Speed QueenMaytag, Electrolux, B&C Technologies, and Yamamoto


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