Cardtronics is the Latest Company to Cite Cryptocurrencies as a Business Risk

Cryptocurrencies Threat ATM

Cardtronics, the largest automated teller machine (ATM) company in the world, is the latest of many financial companies to cite cryptocurrencies as a threat to their business model. 

In their annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, Cardtronics listed a plethora of up-and-coming financial technology services including digital payment apps like Venmo and Zelle, as well as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as threats to their business model.

“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” The company also said, “Changes in consumer preferences and usage behavior could ultimately lead to reduced cash flows.”

The company is facing growing pressure from an increasingly cash-free economy, and technologies like cryptocurrencies will only increase this pressure. Although there is no current evidence on whether or not cryptocurrencies have created lower ATM usage, the digital nature of cryptocurrency negates the need for physical cash.

The ATM industry is one of many industries that are facing the threat of widespread adoption of cryptocurrency.  Over the past month, Cardtronics has joined JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and several other finance companies in citing similar fears about cryptocurrency and the future of the finance industry.

Other industries have also been seeing the effects of cryptocurrencies on their profitability.  Graphics card makers Nvidia and AMD have seen massive jumps in their revenue due to the increased sales of their GPUs for cryptocurrency miners. 

Although the finance industry has been overwhelmingly negative towards cryptocurrencies, adapting to the evolving technologies could be very profitable for banks, payment service providers, and ATM makers alike.  There is a growing need for cryptocurrency ATMs that Cardtronics could tap into, but whether or not they choose to meet consumer’s growing demands remains to be seen.