ATM Giant Cardtronics Cites Crypto As Business Risk
The biggest operator of automated teller machines (ATMs) has joined the growing chorus of financial firms that are warning about the competitive impact of cryptocurrencies.
Cardtronics noted the potential impact of cryptocurrencies on its business prospects in its most recent 10-K annual report to shareholders filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The tech was mentioned alongside other digital payment methods, including apps like Venmo, that would reduce the need for people to carry cash.
The company said in the filing, which was published on March 1:
"New payment technology, such as Venmo, Zelle, and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, or other new payment method preferences by consumers could reduce the general population's need or demand for cash and negatively impact our transaction volumes in the future."
"Changes in consumer preferences and usage behavior" could ultimately lead to reduced cash flows, the company continued.
Cardtronics joins a list of U.S. financial companies, namely banks, that have sounded the alarm in this manner in recent days. That list includes Square, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, as well as smaller regional banks like WesBanco and IberiaBank.
Yet whether cryptocurrencies themselves will affect the use of ATMs remains to be seen, since cash is already fading away as a payment method in many countries. Research published in December by Australia's central bank notes declining ATM withdrawal rates despite a growing number of actual machines in use.
Other companies have warned about how the shifting fortunes of cryptocurrency markets could impact them in the long term, including graphics card maker AMD, which has seen demand grow thanks to the need for chips as part of the mining process. AMD noted that volatility in the cryptocurrency markets could have an impact on its GPU sales.
ATM machine image via Shutterstock