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Depending on how it’s operated, a communal laundry can be a source of profit and customer satisfaction – or a source of hassle, complaints and expense.

Now that laundry has finally started transitioning from cash and coin to card, one of the biggest factors determining which side of the… coin… your communal laundry falls on is whether you use cash or credit card operated washing machines and dryers.

As a leading Australian supplier of commercial laundry and equipment for 40 years running, we’ve seen it all.

To help you tackle the ‘coin or card?’ question for yourself, we’ve built up a list of pros and cons for both coin, and card operated laundry.

Coin Operated Laundry

For many years, coin operated laundry machines have been the industry standard. It’s almost strange that in a world operated by card and even smartphone payment, it’s still considered normal to dig into your pockets for change when it comes time to do the washing and drying. But it is!


There are two main advantages to coin laundries: they are cheaper to install, and business owners, as well as customers, are used to them.

Many laundries have operated by coin for years, so many systems are set up to handle coins. Staff know how to count and handle change, customers are used to keeping a little jar stocked for the laundry, and laundry facility owners are accustomed to running this method of operation.

Pros for the business owner

  • Less expensive to install.
  • Coins are the old standard.
  • More readily available. More suppliers may carry coin operated machines.

Pros for the customer

  • Customers may be accustomed to using coins
  • A good way to get rid of coins hanging around the house or weighing down pockets


Cons for the business owner

  • Time spent counting coins. You’ll need to spend your own time, or pay employees, to collect, transport, and count coins.
  • Increased risk of break-ins (thieves can bash their way in and grab coins)
  • Need to trust employees with coins/cash
  • Miss out on customers and markets who don’t carry coins

Cons for the customer

  • Need to collect and keep track of coins.
  • Need to memorise how much the laundry costs.
  • Out of coins? Good luck drying your clothes.
  • Few people carry cash or coins any more.

Credit Card Operated / Cashless Laundry

Cashless machines are a quickly rising trend in the laundry industry. Considering the world has been moving in that direction for decades, it’s no surprise. Some would even say Card Readers are the Future of Laundry. Regardless of what you think, card operated laundry machines offer some straightforward benefits to owners and customers alike:


Pros for the business owner:

  • No more counting coins! Save time, money and hassle.
  • Increased profits. Customers usually spend 30% more when using card for vending purchases.
  • Increased accountability. Access online income reports and view transaction reports securely.
  • Increased security. Decrease risk of break-ins (no cash to steal).
  • Better information. Access info about how, when and how much customers are spending.
  • Get the edge on competitors still using coin operated laundry.
  • Ease of install. Card operated washing machines and dryers are simple to install.
  • Ease of conversion. Coin laundries can be converted to cashless.
  • Flexibility. Change prices and run special deals and incentives with ease.
  • Access to new markets. Younger demographics are NOT used to using coins.
  • Use smartphone payment.

Sold on card operated laundry? We install it! Click here to learn more and enquire.

Pros for the customer:

  • Convenience. No need to collect coins and fumble with change. Especially helpful when you’ve got your hands full of laundry.
  • Save time. Swipe or tap and go.
  • Security. No need to worry about losing coins, or having them swiped off the counter.
  • Flexibility. Credit card operated washing and drying machines can offer more service options and specials.
  • Keep track of spending. Customers can track their laundry spending just like they do their other purchases.


Cons for the business owner:

  • Additional cost to install
  • May need to change accounting system
  • May need to retrain employees

Cons for the customer:

  • Customer might be used to using coins.

Which is Better for Your Communal Laundry?

In most situations, card readers will be a better option for your laundry. They are more convenient, they are shown to raise revenue, they are easier to manage, and they are more future-proof than coin laundries. Our world is quickly becoming cashless, and it is likely that moving forward, coin and cash will continue to become less common and less convenient.

If expense is a factor, a coin laundry is fine – and you can always convert it to cashless down the line – but at present, card reading laundry equipment shows more promise than coin operated machinery.

Get Cashless Laundry for Your Business

Dependable Laundry Solutions is a leading Australian supplier of commercial laundry equipment. We’ve been supplying laundry for over 40 years, and we now offer credit card readers and cashless laundry solutions.

If you’d like to enquire about cashless laundry, Click here.

If you’d like to visit us online, head to dependablelaundry.com.au

If you’d like to know more about our card readers, we wrote a whole blog on cashless laundry.

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