A quarter is an alloy of copper and nickel, 0.955 inches in diameter, with a picture of George Washington on the back. They’re easy to recognize and just as easily evoke the wrath of Old Testament proportions in anyone who has ever had to daily dealings with the damned things, especially those whose business depends on their use.

One hundred years ago a quarter bought you 3 pints of milk, five grapefruits or a pound of bacon. Now there’s value for you — Walmart, eat your heart out! Now, this humble coin has become an object of derision well past its sell-by date, an artifact that generates unease, like the mad uncles our Victorian forebears are reputed to have kept locked in the attic.

Those in the vending machine business who compel their customers to pay in quarters and those who have to procure them in order to buy the services they make possible, hate these coins in equal measure. It’s not hard to see why; we’re not short of reasons to look down our 21st-century noses at the lowly quarter.

Quarters wear you out!

Who wants to spend their time schlepping to and from the bank with quarters? Put this question to any group of random Americans and you’ll be able to count the number raising their hands to enthusiastically embrace the task, on the fingers of one foot. Most of us would rather push a pistachio nut up Mount Rushmore with our nose.

Those whose have no option but to shuttle by bus to and from the bank with mountains of moolah — $500 of quarters weigh 30lbs — will gain some health benefits from the physical exertion, but this back-and-forth is guaranteed to erode the soul faster than a ten stretch in the latter day Alcatraz of Florence Maximum Security Prison.

This truck in coinage will hit your pocket too — you could replace all the tires on a Greyhound for the cost of your annual bus pass — a state of affairs that sits uneasily with those with little disposable income.

Even if you have your own car: Is driving around the city collecting quarters worth the drudgery of being repeatedly stuck in traffic as you shunt from stop to stop?

A counter-intuitive downside to the use of quarters in laundromats is that a scarcity of quarters in customers’ pockets can actually result in machine breakdown. Why? Because although most people want to spread loads of laundry across multiple machines they often have insufficient quarters to do so and end up overloading the units — a surefire way to shorten the machine’s effective lifespan.

Quarters raise issues of trust and security too. Ask yourself these questions: Do you trust your employees with cash? Do you trust your laundry service provider with cash? If an employee collects your quarters, can you be certain they aren’t a silent partner as well as an employee? Simply having quarters in a machine acts as a magnet for vandals.

So far, so bad. Quarters are heavy, cumbersome and soooo 19th century. But enough of this gloom, already. What can we do about this two-bit tyranny? Plenty, as it turns out. It’s time to consider Smartphone payments and to wave the quarter goodbye because technology has come to our rescue. Let’s face it, for those running a multi-family or laundromat operation, hauling quarters is time-consuming, back-breaking, and as we shall shortly learn, wholly unnecessary. Cue the song: ‘So long (quarter), it’s been good to know you.’

End two-bit tyranny with ShinePay, now!

Leading mobile payment system, ShinePay, offers market differentiation to your laundromat or multi-family property. The benefits of moving to a smart system like ShinePay are compelling.

For starters, the public’s dislike of quarters makes it much more likely they’d pay a premium to be rid of them altogether, using ShinePay’s smart systems instead. Remember that people tend to spend more with a credit card than with cash and you’ll quickly realize that you can increase rental charges without complaint since, from the client’s perspective, you are increasing the value of the property you rent out to them.

A sizeable percentage of Laundromat customers come from low-income groups. Yet amongst these groups Smartphone usage is high. Systems like ShinePay, therefore, appeal to this section of the community.

ShinePay technology eliminates coin usage by letting people pay for their services with their smartphones. Even if you use a service to collect quarters, ShinePay systems allow you to audit them passively, generating reports to compare with their own, giving you additional security.

ShinePay can help minimize or even eliminate wilful damage to machines by reducing or eliminating coin usage. This, in turn, reduces the incentive for bad people to rob or destroy your machines. Estimates of criminal damage can exceed $1000 per unit and serial vandalism is not unknown. This is an issue of great concern for multifamily & laundromat coin-op operators.

The ShinePay benefits of a quarter-free future, embrace the use of Smartphones and Smart devices, and they’re available right now. Consider the following few examples:

  • Eliminating labor costs associated with emptying machines
  • Eliminating transportation costs from depositing coins
  • Eliminating coin changers and reclaiming that capital investment
  • Eliminating repair costs resulting from customers overloading machines
  • The option to deposit money instantaneously to any bank account
  • Growing your operation through remote management

— George Melcer, CEO ShinePay