customer placing a coin into a washer/dryer machine

How To Choose Between a Coin-Operated or Card-Reader Laundry System

If you're managing a shared laundry facility, deciding between coin and card-operated laundry systems can be a daunting task.

Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the decision you make will depend on various factors. In this blog, we'll provide you with an overview of both systems and highlight the key factors to consider helping you choose the best option for your laundry facility.

Apartment Buildings

Coin-operated laundry machines have long been the gold standard in apartment buildings. They’re commonly more affordable to install and service than card-reader laundry systems and are very easy for tenants to use. If you’re on a budget and need to invest in several washers and dryers for multiple floors, coin-operated machines are probably your best bet.

However, it’s also important to consider the demographic of your building. For instance, older generations may feel more comfortable with coin-operated machines because they don’t have to learn a new system. However, young people may prefer the convenience of being able to use cards or apps.

With a card-operated system, there is also no need to store and transport large amounts of coins, reducing the risk of theft and improving security for both the facility owner and customers.



Today, convenience is everything. If you have a high-traffic laundromat, implementing a card-operated system can attract more customers. For instance, you can implement a prepaid card system to increase customer loyalty or install a system with various cashless payment options, including apps, to appeal to the masses.

Plus, on the management side, you can do away with counting coins, saving you valuable labour time. Additionally, laundromats that don’t handle cash are less appealing to thieves. Moreover, card-reader laundry systems track all your transactions to make bookkeeping a breeze.


On-Campus Shared Laundry Rooms

Students are accustomed to technology and less likely to carry cash, so old-fashioned coin-operated machines may not meet their needs. Therefore, modernizing your shared laundry room with a card-operated system may be just what you need to increase profits.

For instance, you can make it so students can use their ID cards to pay for laundry services. This means they don’t have to make change or worry about having coins swiped from their dorm rooms. Plus, some card-operated washers and dryers can be connected to a smartphone app that students can use to check which machines are available in real time, giving them more time to study for big tests and exams.


Coin vs Cashless: Speak with an Expert to Decide Which Option Is Right for You!

At Harco, we carry various coin-operated and cashless laundry systems for commercial operations of all sizes. We carry the best-performing equipment on the market and can help you maintain it to keep your investment running smoothly. Contact us today for a quote or to speak with our knowledgeable staff about which choice is the best fit for your needs!