The Laundry Boss

Published October 5, 2023

The Balance of Payment: How Laundromat Owners Can Tactfully Pass on Credit Card Fees

In our rapidly evolving cashless society, accepting credit card payments has become the norm for most businesses, including laundromats. However, the transaction fees associated with credit card payments can add up, affecting a laundromat's bottom line. To strike a balance, many laundromat owners consider passing these fees onto their customers. This practice, when done correctly, can ensure the cost of service remains economical for those who prefer the traditional methods of cash and coin payment. Here's a closer look at how and why this can be achieved.

Why Pass Along Credit Card Transaction Fees?

Economic Fairness: Credit card fees can range from 3% to 5% or even higher, depending on the card type and the provider. By passing these fees to customers who choose to use credit cards, laundromat owners can prevent these expenses from being spread out across all patrons, including those who pay with cash or coin. This ensures that those who opt for cash or coin payment aren’t indirectly subsidizing credit card users.

Maintaining Competitive Prices: Absorbing these fees might force businesses to increase their prices across the board. By passing on the specific fees to the users who incur them, laundromats can keep their basic pricing competitive and attractive, especially to cash or coin users.

How to Implement This Tactfully:

Transparent Communication: Before introducing any additional fees, communicate the change to your customers. Explain the reasons behind the decision and how it helps keep prices economical for everyone. Transparency can prevent misunderstandings and potential customer dissatisfaction.  Encourage customers to use kiosks to put their coin and cash into, avoiding the fees and earning loyalty rewards in the process.

Clear Signage: Post signs at prominent spots in your laundromat indicating that a nominal fee will be added for credit card transactions. This helps set the right expectation before a customer decides their payment method.

Offer Alternatives: Make sure your coin-operated machines or kiosks are in excellent working condition and consider having an integrated change kiosk onsite. The easier you make it for customers to access cash and coin options, the less friction there will be.

Consider a Minimum Credit Card Amount: To mitigate the impact of transaction fees on smaller payments, set a minimum amount for credit card usage. This can encourage small transaction customers to use cash, while still offering the convenience of credit for larger transactions or loading up of a mobile wallet.

Stay Updated on Regulations: Ensure that you’re compliant with local and state regulations regarding credit card surcharges. Some states in the U.S., for instance, have regulations against charging customers extra for using credit cards.

Our Call to Action:

In a diverse customer base, it’s all about offering choices and fairness in pricing. By passing on credit card transaction fees, laundromat owners can maintain a delicate balance, ensuring the cost of their service remains affordable and competitive, especially for patrons who prefer cash and coin. Like any business decision, it’s essential to approach this with a mix of transparency, fairness, and clear communication to ensure customers understand and appreciate the rationale behind the change.

John Altieri

John Altieri