A securities affiliate of Spanish banking group Banco Santander is predicting bitcoin will have a significant impact on the legacy finance ecosystem should it see wider adoption.
The report, published earlier this week, stems from a meeting involving Santander researchers, Santander Investment Securities, Brazilian bitcoin brokerage Mercado Bitcoin and local investors. While short, the publication offers a take on the risks (or opportunities) card issuers, acquirers, exchanges and banks would face in a future should the use of digital currency become more mainstream.
Perhaps most at risk, according to the report, are the card issuers and acquirers.
Researchers Henrique Navarro and Bruno Mendonca noted:
“Simply put, we believe a future with bitcoin transactions with their low (or no) costs and fees puts at risk the entire business model of credit and debit card companies. Acquirers such as Cielo (through net MDRs and POS revenue) and issuer banks (through interchange fees) potentially could suffer the most, in our view.”
Specifically, the report identifies long transaction times, operational costs and associated fees and taxes as factors that would put issuers and acquirers at a disadvantage.
“The risk increases as more and more merchants and suppliers accept bitcoins,” the report adds.