MasterCard has named Bitcoin as a major competitor in their annual SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) report. The American multinational financial services corporation mentions digital money three times across the document, always stating its ‘competitor’ statute.
The document starts by referring to Bitcoin and other altcoins as part of MasterCard’s group of competitors. The group also includes fiat currency, checks and other credit card issuers, among other services and technologies.
But the report goes on to mention cryptocurrency as part of the “startup and emerging competitors” category.
“These competitors include digital wallet providers such as PayPal, AliPay and Amazon, merchants. […] mobile operator services, services such as mPesa, handset manufacturers, and cryptocurrencies,” reads the document.
It later adds that “rapid and significant technological changes could occur, resulting in new and innovative payment methods (including cryptocurrencies) and programs that could place us at a competitive disadvantage and that could reduce the use of MasterCard products.”
However, MasterCard’s new report also discusses other threats to their business model, putting government regulations on the top of the list. “Over the past several years, we have experienced continued pricing pressure. The demand from our customers for better pricing arrangements […] moderates our growth,” the company states.
“We may not be able to continue our expansion strategy […] at levels sufficient to compensate for such lower fees or increased costs in the future […]. We may not succeed in [cost containment] efforts.”