As a laundry investor, you got into (or are getting into) the business to make money. Obviously, equipment brand and mix should be your first thought in planning your laundromat – you want to design a mix of capacities and features that will produce ample return on investment.
However, you also need to give ample thought to the way in which you will receive that money. Today, owners have a variety of payment options to consider – coin, card, mobile app, credit card – but which one is right?
Knowing your market and prospective clients is certainly the first step in planning your payment system as well as the way you want to manage your business. For instance, accepting cash and coins brings additional management time. Collecting coins from laundry equipment and refilling changers takes time. Putting this responsibility on staff can also open the possibility of theft. The upside is most customers are quite familiar with the cash model.
Many newcomers to the business are embracing technology and opting for mobile payment apps. This payment system simplifies operations as well as data collection, buy combining all information into one system. The knock on this can be a learning curve that may turn some customers off, especially seniors. The reality, however, can be quite different as mobile apps continue to be more commonplace, even for simple purchases such as coffee.
Card-based payments are another option and operate much the same as mobile apps, giving customers the ability to add value to a laundry debit-style card that subtracts value for wash and dry cycles.
Credit card readers are an additional payment method. Like card readers, this option involves bolting readers on machines, which also comes with additional cost. Credit card payment jibes with our society increasingly becoming cashless.
Cashless methods have become particularly useful over the last couple years, when coin shortages were reported.
A case can certainly be made that the owner who offers multiple payment options is better positioned for success than one tied solely to coins. In the end, however, owners must balance their management level with what payment options their market might embrace.