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Got some spare change? Maybe not as coin shortage grows

Fewer coins are in circulation and that’s causing some headaches for area laundromat and car wash owners. (Photo by Megan Vanselow)
Fewer coins are in circulation and that’s causing some headaches for area laundromat and car wash owners. (Photo by Megan Vanselow)(KWTX)
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 7:21 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - Fewer coins are circulating after shutdowns and closures and some owners of area Spin Zone laundromats and car washes say that’s impacting their businesses. 

James Dean and his son Josh own five laundromats and five car washes, almost all of which run on quarters.

They say it was around the Fourth of July when they noticed that more and more non-customers and other businesses were using their cash-for-coin machines, but not spending those coins at the business.

"Most of the quarters going in have just been disappearing and leaving the store, its going out at a much higher rate, literally in the thousands of dollars," Dean said.

This has forced them to start recycling their coins every day from the machines back into their coin dispenser because they say the amount of coins they need isn’t available at the bank either.

Because of the shortage, they've now added a digital system to Spin Zone's Belton location that allows customers to pay for laundry using an app on their phone.

"You can use credit cards or debit cards or any kind of payment to load money onto the app," Dean said.

The system cost the business $150 per machine, plus the maintenance to install.

They say it costs them more money each time it’s used too, but it’s a change they say they had to make to stay alive.

"We started giving incentives for people to use the phone app versus the change machine," Dean said.

“We’ve also put on a convenience fee of 5% so when you put $20 into the coin machine you’ll only get $19 back,” Dean said.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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