What is a Change Machine?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 February 2020
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A change machine is a machine that is typically used to provide change to people for a wide range of purposes. These machines are usually operated by inserting paper money into the machine, at which point coins are then issued for the same amount. This type of machine is commonly used near vending machines and in Laundromats where other machines might only accept coins and not paper money. A change machine can also sometimes refer to a machine that can allow paper money or coins to be inserted into the machine, which is then loaded onto a card for a variety of different purposes.

Also called a bill changer, a change machine is usually designed to convert paper money into coins that can then be used in other types of machines. Some machines may charge some type of fee, and will only provide slightly less money in coins than was inserted into the machine in paper money. The type of machine used usually depends on the operator of a change machine and where the machine is placed. A machine used in a Laundromat will often not charge a fee because the machine is owned and provided by the owner of the Laundromat, who will receive the change provided through the laundry machines.


While a change machine can be useful in a variety of locations, newer vending machines are often able to accept paper money and not just coins. This has greatly reduced the need for change machines, though they are still often used for certain types of businesses. Some casinos, for example, continue to use change machines to allow customers to easily convert large bills into coins that can be played on machines for a longer time.

A change machine can also be designed to not issue coins at all, but instead accept money inserted into the machine and place a corresponding amount of money onto a card, similar to a credit card. The card can then be used on other machines, allowing machines to only need to have input slots for the card, without the need for different cash and coin receivers. This type of change machine is becoming increasingly popular in places like copy shops and college libraries where people can place money on a card and then use that card to make copies or print from a computer. Students then only need to have their card with them, which can sometimes be a student identification card, rather than worry about carrying cash.



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