SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the Transition Period From to
Commission File Number 001-35004
FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc.
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
| ||(I.R.S. Employer|
|3280 Peachtree Road, Suite 2400,||Atlanta,||Georgia||30305|
|(Address of principal executive offices)|| ||(Zip Code)|
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (770) 449-0479
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share||FLT||NYSE|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer|| ||☒||Accelerated filer|| ||☐|
|Non-accelerated filer|| |
☐ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
|Smaller reporting company|| ||☐|
|Emerging growth company|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately 20,742,490,287 as of June 30, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of February 12, 2021, there were 83,416,310 shares of common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement to be delivered to shareholders in connection with the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on June 10, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
FLEETCOR TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
For The Year Ended December 31, 2020
Note About Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about FLEETCOR’s beliefs, expectations and future performance, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “seek,” “project” or “expect,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could” or “should,” the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology.
These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance, and you should not place undue reliance on such statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements are subject to many uncertainties and other variable circumstances, including those discussed in this report in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” many of which are outside of our control, that could cause our actual results and experience to differ materially from any forward-looking statement.
These forward-looking statements may not be realized due to a variety of factors, including, without limitation:
•regulatory measures, voluntary actions, or changes in consumer preferences, that impact our transaction volume, including social distancing, shelter-in-place, shutdowns of nonessential businesses and similar measures imposed or undertaken in an effort to contain and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19);
•the impact of macroeconomic conditions and whether expected trends, including retail fuel prices, fuel price spreads, and fuel transaction patterns, develop as anticipated;
•our ability to successfully execute our strategic plan, manage our growth and achieve our performance targets;
•our ability to attract new and retain existing partners, fuel merchants, and lodging providers, their promotion and support of our products, and their financial performance;
•the failure of management assumptions and estimates, as well as differences in, and changes to, economic, market, interest rate, interchange fees, foreign exchange rates, and credit conditions, including changes in borrowers’ credit risks and payment behaviors;
•the risk of higher borrowing costs and adverse financial market conditions impacting our funding and liquidity, and any reduction in our credit ratings;
•our ability to successfully manage our credit risks and the sufficiency of our allowance for expected credit losses;
•our ability to securitize our trade receivables;
•the occurrence of fraudulent activity, data breaches or failures of our information security controls or cybersecurity-related incidents that may compromise our systems or customers’ information;
•any disruptions in the operations of our computer systems and data centers;
•the international operational and political risks and compliance and regulatory risks and costs associated with international operations;
•our ability to develop and implement new technology, products, and services;
•any alleged infringement of intellectual property rights of others and our ability to protect our intellectual property;
•the regulation, supervision, and examination of our business by foreign and domestic governmental authorities, as well as litigation and regulatory actions, including the lawsuit recently filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC);
•the impact of regulations relating to privacy, information security and data protection; use of third-party vendors and ongoing third-party business relationships; and failure to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorism financing laws;
•changes in our senior management team and our ability to attract, motivate and retain qualified personnel consistent with our strategic plan;
•tax legislation initiatives or challenges to our tax positions and/or interpretations, and state sales tax rules and regulations;
•the risks of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, including, without limitation, the related time and costs of implementing such transactions, integrating operations as part of these transactions and possible failures to achieve expected gains, revenue growth and/or expense savings from such transactions; and
•the other factors and information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings that we make with the SEC under the Exchange Act and Securities Act. See “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this report are made only as of the date hereof. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim, any obligation to update any such statements or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any of such statements to reflect future events or developments.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
FLEETCOR is a leading global provider of digital payment solutions that enables businesses to control purchases and make payments more effectively and efficiently. Since its incorporation in 2000, FLEETCOR has continued to deliver on its mission: to provide businesses with “a better way to pay”. FLEETCOR has been a member of the S&P 500 since 2018 and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker FLT.
Businesses spend an estimated $170 trillion each year. In many instances, they lack the proper tools to monitor what is being purchased, and employ manual, paper-based, disparate processes and methods to both approve and make payments for their purchases. This often results in wasted time and money due to unnecessary or unauthorized spending, fraud, receipt collection, data input and consolidation, report generation, reimbursement processing, account reconciliations, employee disciplinary actions, and more.
FLEETCOR’s vision is that every payment is digital, every purchase is controlled, and every related decision is informed. Digital payments are faster and more secure than paper-based methods such as checks, and provide timely and detailed data which can be utilized to effectively reduce unauthorized purchases and fraud, automate data entry and reporting, and eliminate reimbursement processes. Combining this payment data with analytical tools delivers powerful insights, which managers can use to better run their businesses.
Our wide range of modern, digitized solutions generally provides control, reporting, and automation benefits superior to many of the payment methods businesses often used such as cash, paper checks, general purpose credit cards, as well as employee pay and reclaim processes. In addition to delivering meaningful value to our customers, our solutions also share several important and attractive business model characteristics such as:
•customers are primarily businesses, which tend to have relatively predictable, consistent volumes;
•recurring revenue models driven by recurring volume, resulting in predictable revenue;
•similar business-to-business (B2B) selling systems with common sales approaches, management and reporting;
•specialized technology platforms and proprietary payment acceptance networks, which create competitive advantages and barriers to entry; and
•high EBITDA margins and cash flow translation given limited infrastructure investment requirements.
We are executing on a strategy of optimizing assets, leveraging similar selling methods, and bundling and cross-selling value-added solutions. We continue to enhance our solutions to displace inferior payment methods, improve customers’ mobile and digital experiences, and extend utility. We actively market and sell to current and prospective customers leveraging a multi-channel go-to-market approach, which includes direct sales forces, comprehensive digital channels, and strategic partner relationships. We supplement our organic growth strategy and sales efforts by pursuing attractive acquisition opportunities, which serve to strengthen or extend our market positions and create value even faster. With a long, proven operating history, FLEETCOR now serves hundreds of thousands of business customers with millions of cardholders making payments to millions of vendors around the world.
FLEETCOR has three reportable segments, North America, International, and Brazil. We report these three segments as they reflect how we organize and manage our global employee base, manage operating performance, contemplate the differing regulatory environments across geographies, and help us isolate the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations on our financial results. However, to help facilitate an understanding of our expansive range of solutions around the world, we describe them in two categories: Corporate Payments solutions, which simplify and automate payments, and Expense Management solutions, which help control and monitor employee spending.
Our Corporate Payments solutions are designed to help businesses streamline the back-office operations associated with making outgoing payments. Companies save time, cut costs, and manage B2B payment processing more efficiently with our suite of Corporate Payment solutions, including accounts payable (AP) automation, virtual cards, cross-border, and purchasing and T&E cards.
AP Automation – We offer AP automation solutions with options that are purpose-built for the simplest, small business, to the most complex large enterprise. We initiate, manage and guarantee payment of all company-approved bills to all domestic and international vendors through whichever payment modalities the vendors allow, such as automated clearing house (ACH), wire, check or payment card. For small/medium sized businesses (SMB), our offering is simple, modern bill pay with invoice scanning and automated workflows, which also syncs to popular accounting systems like QuickBooksTM. Our mid-market/enterprise option meets the needs of the most complex global enterprises with multiple organizational hierarchies, approval workflows, locations, bank accounts, robust on-demand reporting and seamless integration with Enterprise Resource Planning
(ERP) systems. We also provide rich data on the remittance to the supplier, regardless of payment modality, which facilitates invoice reconciliations and payment posting. By automating the process of paying vendors, businesses of all sizes can reduce the time, costs and fraud risks associated with their payment processes, and refocus on operating their businesses.
Virtual Card – Virtual Card provides a single-use card number for a specific amount, usable within a defined timeframe. Virtual Cards provide enhanced security relative to checks while reducing total payment costs for our customers. Full remittance data accompanies each Virtual Card payment, providing significant reconciliation advantages to ACH payments. We have integrated our Virtual Card offering into most leading ERP systems, providing a seamless experience for AP personnel.
We have built a proprietary merchant acceptance network, which we believe is largest in the industry, that accepts our Virtual Card payments. Our merchant acceptance network is unique from all others, due to the nature of commercial Virtual Card acceptance, so other issuers’ virtual cards are not interchangeable. This network is managed with proprietary technology that allows us to continuously expand Virtual Card acceptance and optimize the amount of spend we can capture. The scale of this network, coupled with a best-in-class, in-house vendor enrollment service, is a competitive advantage. Our ERP integrations, application programming interface (API) capabilities, strategic vendor enrollment, and transaction management tools enable us to optimize our customers’ electronic payables programs.
Our Virtual Card operates solely on the Mastercard network. Our customers’ ERP systems are directly integrated with our issuing system, and merchants must be enrolled in our proprietary vendor network to accept our Virtual Card solution. This two-sided transaction, where both payor and receiver are both in our network, provides substantial payment security relative to paper checks or ACH.
Cross-Border – Our Cross-Border solution is used by our customers to pay international suppliers, foreign office and personnel expenses, capital expenditures, and profit repatriation and dividends. We also offer hedging and risk management services to customers, which helps them manage the impact of volatile exchange rates in the course of doing business internationally.
Trade settlement and payment delivery is facilitated through a global network of correspondent banks, in-country payment gateways and technology providers, enabling us to send payments to recipients in over 200 countries and 150 currencies. Our customers rely on us to deliver personalized service and customer solutions, with a heavy focus on technology. We offer a proprietary trading and payments platform that we can "white label" for financial institutions looking to expand their cross-border payment capability, as well as a suite of API products that enables us to embed our full capability directly within the technology of both customers and partners. By utilizing transaction monitoring and watch list screening systems, we ensure payments are safe, secure, and meet all applicable regulatory requirements.
Purchasing and T&E cards – We also offer purchasing cards and travel & entertainment (T&E) solutions to our customers. These solutions are generally sold in conjunction with our Virtual Card or AP Automation offerings. Additionally, we provide technology, which combines and leverages transaction data captured from our virtual, purchasing, and T&E card products, to help our customers analyze and manage their corporate spending.
Employee Expense Management
Our Expense Management solutions are purpose-built to provide customers with greater control and visibility of employee spending when compared with less specialized payment methods, such as cash or general-purpose credit cards. Our proprietary processing and card management solutions provide customers with significant capabilities including: customizable user-level controls, detailed transaction reporting, programmable alerts, configurable networks, contract price validation and audit, and tax management and reporting. Our customers can use these data, controls and tools to combat fraud and employee misuse, streamline expense administration and potentially lower their operating costs.
We utilize both proprietary and third-party payment acceptance networks to deliver our Expense Management solutions. In our proprietary networks, which tend to be geographically distinct, transactions are processed on systems owned and operated by us, and only at select participating merchants with whom we have contracted directly for acceptance. These proprietary networks generally provide us with better economics, as we control more of the transaction, and richer data because of how the networks and point of sale software are configured. Third-party networks are operated by independent parties, and tend to be more broadly accepted, which is the primary benefit compared with our proprietary networks. Mastercard and VISA are our primary third-party network partners in North America and Europe, respectively.
We offer Fuel solutions to businesses and government entities who operate vehicle fleets. At its most basic, we provide the measurement of fuel used and facilitate the payment for that fuel to the merchant, whether that fuel be diesel, gasoline, compressed natural gas, or even electricity.
The measurement and payment needs of our customers operating electric vehicles (EV) are similar to those operating traditional, internal combustion vehicles, just centered around electricity usage instead of gas or diesel usage. As we help our customers manage through the transition to EVs, we expect many of them to operate mixed fleets, and will need access to networks of fuel stations, electric charging stations both on the road and at the office, in addition to at-home charging options. Considering the increased complexity of managing a mixed fleet or an all EV fleet, we believe the value of our solutions will endure, regardless of the propulsion method.
We utilize both proprietary and third-party networks to deliver our Fuel solutions. Our proprietary fuel networks are geographically distinct, and may also be unique to specific market segments we serve, such as highway-based truck stops with high speed diesel pumps that can quickly refuel long-haul diesel trucks. We are actively expanding our proprietary networks, particularly in Europe, to accommodate EV charging. Many of our Fuel solutions also have additional purchasing capabilities as part of our "beyond fuel" program. We can enable the fuel card to allow customers to purchase non-fuel items such as oil, vehicle maintenance supplies and services, and building supplies, but with more control than a general-purpose credit card.
We also provide program management services to major oil companies, leasing companies and fuel marketers, which allow these partners to outsource the sales, marketing, credit, service, and system operations of their branded fuel card portfolios. Our fuel partners include British Petroleum (BP), Arco, Speedway, and Casey's and over 600 fuel marketers of all sizes.
We offer Lodging solutions to businesses in North America that have employees who travel overnight for work purposes, and to airlines and cruise lines globally to accommodate both their traveling crews and stranded passengers. We provide access to deeply discounted hotel networks and may include customer-specific rate negotiation, the ability to customize the network to fit the customers’ specific travel needs and policies, enhanced controls and reporting, and audit and tax management services. The size, scale, and nature of our Lodging customer base enable us to negotiate lodging nightly rates lower than the rates most companies could negotiate directly and far below the rates available to the general public. Our Lodging solutions operate on our proprietary lodging networks, which include a worldwide network of hotels across 136 countries. We also can secure hotel rooms outside our proprietary networks if required by our customers.
We use proprietary data management and payment processing systems to manage customer billings and reports, which combined with our discounted hotel network, provide customers with savings and increased visibility into their lodging costs. The integration of our processing systems with airline logistics and crew management systems enables us to deliver enhanced services to the travel industry vertical.
Operated only in Brazil, we are the leading electronic toll payments provider to businesses and consumers in the form of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags affixed to vehicles’ windshields. Our Toll solution operates on our proprietary Sem PararTM network, which processes transactions for more than 5 million tagholders on 100% of the toll roads across Brazil. We provide convenience and faster travel for customers, while also reducing manual labor and cash handling at merchants’ toll booths. Our Toll solution also provides commercial customers with driver routing controls and fare auditing, mostly in the form of vehicle type and axle count configuration.
Our tags may also be used at over 3,300 participating merchant locations to purchase goods and services, other than tolls, while in your vehicle, such as parking, fuel, car washes, and meals at drive-through restaurants. At merchant locations, payment via electronic tags is faster, safer and more secure for customers, which in turn increases loyalty and throughput for merchants and eliminates the handling of cash.
FLEETCOR provides several other payments solutions that, due to their nature or size, are not considered with our Corporate Payments and Expense Management solutions.
We provide fully integrated gift card program management and processing services in 61 countries, in both plastic and digital form. The gift cards are issued specifically for each customer under their specific brands and are generally accepted exclusively within their retail network, digitally or in person.
Our Gift solution includes card design, production and packaging, delivery and fulfillment, card and account management, transaction processing, promotion development and management, website design and hosting, program analytics, and card distribution channel management. Our turnkey solution benefits our customers in the form of brand promotion, cardholder loyalty, increased sales, interest on prepaid balances, and breakage on abandoned card balances.
Payroll Card – We offer a Payroll Card solution in North America in the form of a reloadable stored value card, that can be used instead of a paper payroll check. Our solution operates on the Mastercard payment network and the All Point ATM network, and the Payroll Cards are issued to our customers’ employees, and funded by the employees’ earned wages. As cardholders, the employees may present the Payroll Card as a form of payment for personal purchases, transfer funds to their bank account or withdraw funds from participating ATMs.
Fleet Maintenance – We provide a vehicle maintenance service solution that helps fleet customers to manage their vehicle maintenance, service, and repair needs in the U.K. This solution is provided through our proprietary maintenance and repair
network, which processes transactions for fleet customers through approximately 8,700 service centers across the U.K. We also offer compliance service to the U.K.’s heavy goods (truck) operators, workshops and drivers.
Long-haul transportation services – In addition to, and often in conjunction with, our Fuel solution, we provide trucking companies in North America with various solutions and services specifically relevant to their industry including: road tax compliance analysis and reporting, permit procurement, and cash movement and disbursement.
Benefits – In Mexico and Brazil, we offer prepaid food vouchers or cards that may be used as a form of payment in restaurants and grocery stores. Additionally, in Brazil, we offer prepaid transportation cards and vouchers that may be used as a form of payment on public transportation.
Sales and Distribution
We actively market and sell our solutions to current and prospective customers leveraging a multi-channel approach. This go-to-market strategy includes direct sales forces, comprehensive digital channels, and strategic partner relationships. Our primary focus is on direct sales, where we acquire and manage the customer relationship, which has historically been either in-person or via telesales. We also have a robust, digital sales platform that enables our sales people to be more efficient by improving their prospecting efforts through web sourced leads. With the shift of customer behavior to the web for much of their consumer purchases, we are building an online, end-to-end capability where the customers can buy, onboard and manage their accounts on their own. Our capabilities are also offered through indirect sales channels (e.g., major oil companies and fuel marketers for Fuel, and retail establishments for Tolls) and on a branded or “white label” basis, indirectly through a broad range of resellers and partners across Fuel, Lodging, and Corporate Payments. In doing so, we leverage their sales networks to expand our reach into new customer segments, new industry verticals, and new geographies faster and at a significantly lower cost.
With respect to our Tolls solution, to reach consumers, we also place proprietary manned kiosks and unmanned vending machines in areas with high consumer foot traffic, such as shopping malls. With respect to our Gift solution, third-party distribution is generally provided by other companies, who are reliant on access to our systems to meet their distribution obligations.
We capitalize on our products’ specialization by deploying product-dedicated sales forces who use field sales, telesales and digital marketing to target specific customer segments. As our solution set has expanded, we are also facilitating cross-selling and bundled product offerings to fully leverage our distribution capabilities, capture more spend and revenue from our existing customer base, and deliver more value to customers which should improve customer loyalty and retention.
Credit Underwriting and Collections
We follow detailed application credit review, account management, and collections procedures for all customers of our payment solutions. The credit review includes a combination of quantitative, third-party credit scoring models, and judgmental underwriting based on customer financials. We employ a variety of tools to manage risk in our portfolio, including: billing frequency, payment terms, spending limits, payment methods, delinquency suspension, and security. We use fraud detection programs, including proprietary and third-party solutions, to monitor transactions and prevent misuse. We monitor the credit quality of our portfolio periodically utilizing external credit scores and internal behavior data to identify high risk or deteriorating credit quality accounts. We conduct targeted strategies to minimize exposure to high-risk accounts, including reducing spending limits and payment terms or requiring additional security.
Our primary competition is from financial institutions offering general payment methods, like cash, checks, and general-purpose credit cards. We also compete with specialized competitive offerings from other companies that vary by product category.
•Our Corporate Payments solutions compete with similar offerings from financial institutions, American Express, Western Union Business Solutions and Associated Foreign Exchange.
•Our Fuel solutions compete with similar offerings from WEX, U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems, Edenred, Sodexo, Alelo, Radius Payment Solutions, World Fuel Services, and DKV.
•Our Lodging solutions compete with similar offerings from Egencia (Expedia), hotelengine.com, and in-house travel departments of large corporations and airlines.
•Our Toll solutions compete with similar offerings from ConectCar (Banco Itaú and Ipiranga), Veloe (Alelo), and Repom (Edenred).
•Our Gift and Payroll Card solutions compete with similar offerings from First Data (Fiserv), other special-purpose card issuers, and payroll companies.
In executing on our strategy, we are advantaged by leveraging our competitive strengths:
•Global Scale – We have strong market positions across four continents. This enables us to provide new offerings with better cost economics; sell complementary products; acquire attractive assets that can leverage existing infrastructure and cost synergies; and introduce successful products and practices from other markets.
•Focused Growth Strategy – As a result of strong revenue retention, we can focus on driving organic growth from new customer acquisitions in addition to selling more value-added products to current customers. Also, we effectively identify and acquire new attractive assets.
•Scalable Technology – Our easy-to-use platforms provide control and functionality for our customers and we can on-board incremental customer volume with very limited need for additional infrastructure.
•Diversification – Our solutions and geographic diversification are designed to provide stability through the “portfolio effect” when one geography or business is underperforming relative to the others. This allows FLEETCOR to deliver on strong financial performance relative to competitors; continue to invest throughout business cycles; and reallocate resources to higher performing businesses.
Our technology provides continuous authorization of transactions, processing of critical account and customer information, and settlement between merchants, issuing companies, and individual commercial entities. We recognize the importance of state-of-the-art, secure, efficient, and reliable technology in our business and have made significant investments in our applications and infrastructure. In 2020, we spent approximately $220 million in capital and operating expenses to operate, protect, and enhance our technology.
We operate several proprietary processing systems that provide features and functionality to run our card programs and solutions, including our card issuing, processing, and information services. Our processing systems also integrate with our proprietary networks, which provide brand awareness and connectivity to our acceptance locations that enables the “end-to-end” card acceptance, data capture, and transaction authorization capabilities of our card programs. Our proprietary processing systems and aggregation software are tailored to meet the unique needs of the individual markets they serve and enable us to create and deliver solutions that serve each of our industry verticals and geographies. Our technology platforms are primarily comprised of four key components, which were primarily developed and are maintained in-house: (1) a core processing platform; (2) specialized software; (3) integrated network capabilities; and (4) a cloud-based architecture with proprietary APIs.
Our technology function is based in the U.S., Europe, and Brazil and has expertise in the management of applications, transaction networks, and infrastructure. We operate application development centers in the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Russia, Czech Republic, Brazil, and New Zealand. Our distributed application architecture allows us to maintain, administer, and innovate our solutions in a cost-effective and flexible manner. Our purpose-built solutions contain significant intellectual property that differentiates us from our competition.
Our IT transformation initiatives are focused on three main pillars: (1) digital strategy; (2) core systems modernization; and (3) data. Our digital strategy is focused on streamlining a digital customer experience across all of our solutions, providing a seamless experience. Additionally, we are investing in modernizing our core transactional systems to make them more resilient, secure, and scalable. Through the use of cloud technology and microservices, we are able to modernize our platforms with no disruption to our customers. Finally, data is becoming an ever-increasing part of how the Company and its customers do business. We are focused on investing in our data assets to deliver value for our customers through improved insights to them to better control expenses and mitigate fraud.
Our technology infrastructure is supported by highly-secure data centers, with redundant locations. We operate our primary data centers, located in Atlanta, Georgia; Prague, Czech Republic; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; São Paulo, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; and Moscow, Russia. Additionally, as we develop new solutions and modernize legacy assets, we increasingly leverage cloud services. The use of cloud services provides us with increased flexibility and agility. We use only proven technology and expect no foreseeable capacity limitations. Our systems align with industry standards for security, with multiple industry certifications. Our network is configured with multiple layers of security to isolate our databases from unauthorized access. We use security protocols for communication among applications, and our employees access critical components on a need-only basis. We may not be able to adequately protect our systems or the data we collect from continually evolving cybersecurity risks or other technological risks, which could subject us to liability and damage our reputation. See also, "Risks related to information technology and security" under Item 1A for further discussion of the risks we face in connection with our technology systems and potential data breach and cybersecurity risks facing the Company.
We maintain disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which benefited and continue to benefit us during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our telecommunications and internet systems have multiple levels of redundancy to ensure the reliability of network service. In 2020, we achieved over 99.9% up-time for authorizations globally.
Safeguarding Our Business
To provide our services, we collect, use and store sensitive business information and personal information, which may include credit and debit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, names and addresses, and other types of personal information or sensitive business information. Some of this information is also processed and stored by financial institutions, merchants, and other entities, as well as third-party service providers to whom we outsource certain functions and other agents, which we refer to collectively as, our associated third parties. We may have responsibility to the card networks, financial institutions, and in some instances, our customers, and/or individuals, for our failure or the failure of our associated third parties (as applicable) to protect this information.
We are subject to cybersecurity and information theft risks in our operations, which we seek to manage through cyber and information security programs, training, and insurance coverage. To strengthen our security and cyber defenses, we maintain a defensive in-depth approach to cyber and information security to defend our systems against misuse, intrusions, and cyberattacks and to protect the data we collect. Further, we work with information security and forensics firms and employ advanced technologies to help prevent, investigate and address issues relating to processing system security and availability. We also collaborate with third parties, regulators, and law enforcement, when appropriate, to resolve security incidents and assist in efforts to prevent unauthorized access to our processing systems.
A substantial number of laws and regulations, both in the U.S. and in other jurisdictions, apply to businesses offering payment products to customers, processing payments and servicing related accounts, or operating payment networks. These laws and regulations are often evolving and sometimes ambiguous or inconsistent, and the extent to which they apply to us is at times unclear. Failure to comply with regulations may result in the suspension or revocation of licenses or registrations, the limitation, suspension, or termination of services or relationships with our bank partners and sponsors and business and sales partners, and/or the imposition of civil and criminal penalties, including fines. Certain of our solutions are also subject to rules set by various payment networks, such as Mastercard, as more fully described below.
The following, while not exhaustive, is a description of several federal and state laws and regulations in the U.S., as well as foreign laws and regulations, that are applicable to our business, and therefore can materially affect our capital expenditures, earnings, and competitive position. In addition, the legal and regulatory framework governing our business is subject to ongoing revision, and changes in that framework could have a significant effect on us.
Money Transmission and Payment Instrument Licensing Regulations
We are subject to various U.S. laws and regulations governing money transmission and the issuance and sale of payment instruments relating to certain aspects of our business. In the U.S., most states license money transmitters and issuers of payment instruments. Through our subsidiaries, we are licensed in all states where required for business. Many states exercise authority over the operations related to money transmission and payment instruments and, as part of this authority, subject us to periodic examinations, which may include a review of our compliance practices, policies and procedures, financial position and related records, privacy and data security policies and procedures, and other matters related to our business. As a result of these periodic examinations, state agencies sometimes issue us findings and recommendations, prompting us to make changes to our operations, and procedures.
As a licensee, we are subject to certain restrictions and requirements, including net worth and surety bond requirements, record keeping and reporting requirements, requirements for regulatory approval of controlling stockholders or direct and indirect changes of control of the licensee and certain other corporate events, and requirements to maintain certain levels of permissible investments in an amount equal to our outstanding payment obligations. Many states also require money transmitters and issuers of payment instruments to comply with federal and state anti-money laundering laws (AML) and regulations. See “Anti-Money Laundering. Counter Terrorist, and Sanctions Regulations.”
Government agencies may impose new or additional requirements on money transmission and sales of payment instruments, and we expect that compliance costs will increase in the future for our regulated subsidiaries.
Privacy and Information Security Regulations
We provide services that may be subject to various state, federal, and foreign privacy and information security laws and regulations, including, among others, the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its Network and Information Security directive, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Brazil’s General Data Protection Law, and California’s Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (CCPA).
These and similar laws and their implementing regulations restrict certain collection, processing, storage, use, and disclosure of personal information, require notice to individuals of privacy practices, and provide individuals with certain rights to prevent use and disclosure of protected information. Some also impose requirements for the safeguarding and proper destruction of personal information through the issuance of data security standards or guidelines. In many cases they impose obligations to notify affected individuals, state officers or other governmental authorities, the media, and consumer reporting agencies, as well as businesses and governmental agencies, of security breaches affecting personal information. In addition, some restrict the ability to collect and utilize certain types of information such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers.
Certain of our products that access payment networks require compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards. See “Payment Card Industry Rules.”
Email and Text Marketing Laws
We use direct email marketing and text-messaging to reach out to current or potential customers and therefore are subject to various statutes, regulations, and rulings, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act) and related Federal Communication Commission (FCC) orders. Several states have enacted additional, more restrictive and punitive laws regulating commercial email. Foreign legislation exists as well, including Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the European laws that have been enacted pursuant to European Union Directive 2002/58/EC and its amendments. Although we believe that our email practices comply with the relevant regulatory requirements, violations could result in enforcement actions, statutory fines and penalties, and class action litigation.
Unfair or Deceptive Business Practices
All persons engaged in commerce, including, but not limited to, us and our bank sponsors and customers, are subject to regulatory enforcement by the FTC, under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and state attorneys general, under various consumer-protection statutes, prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and certain products also are subject to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding the prohibition of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices. As a service provider to certain of our bank sponsors, we may further be subject to direct supervision and examination by federal banking regulators in connection with certain of our products and services, which may increase our compliance costs. If we are accused of violating any of these laws, rules and regulations, we may be subject to enforcement actions and as a result, may incur losses and liabilities that may impact our business.
We are subject to several laws and related regulations governing the provision and administration of credit. The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was enacted as a consumer protection measure to increase consumer awareness of the cost of credit and to protect consumers from unauthorized charges or billing errors, and is implemented by the CFPB’s Regulation Z. Most provisions of TILA and Regulation Z apply only to the extension of consumer credit, but a limited number of provisions apply to commercial cards as well. One example where TILA and Regulation Z are generally applicable is a limitation on liability for unauthorized use, although a business that acquires 10 or more credit cards for its personnel can agree to more expansive liability. Our cardholder agreements generally provide that these business customers waive, to the fullest extent possible, all limitations on liability for unauthorized card use. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) together with Regulation B prohibit creditors from discriminating on certain prohibited bases, such as an applicant’s sex, race, nationality, age and marital status, and further requires that creditors disclose the reasons for taking any adverse action against an applicant or a customer seeking credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates consumer reporting agencies and the disclosure and use of consumer reports. We obtain consumer reports with respect to an individual who guarantees or otherwise is obligated on a commercial card. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 amended FCRA and requires creditors to adopt identity theft prevention programs to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with covered accounts, which can include business accounts for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft.
Anti-Money Laundering, Counter Terrorist, and Sanctions Regulations
The Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, which is also known as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and which has been amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, contains a variety of provisions aimed at fighting terrorism and money laundering. Among other things, the BSA and implementing regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department require financial-services providers to establish AML programs, to not engage in terrorist financing, to report suspicious activity, and to maintain a number of related records. We are also subject to certain economic and trade sanctions programs that are administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that prohibit or restrict transactions to or from or dealings with specified countries, their governments and, in certain circumstances, their nationals, narcotics traffickers, and terrorists or terrorist organizations. In addition to economic sanctions programs, we are also subject to international laws and regulations focused on fighting terrorism and money laundering, including:
•in Canada, Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA);
•in Australia, as a registered remittance dealer with AUSTRAC, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act);
•in the U.K., as a registered Electronic Money Institution with the Financial Conduct Authority, the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2002, and the Terrorism Act 2000; and
•in the EU, AML requirements promulgated under the 4th, 5th and 6th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives.
Numerous other countries have also enacted or proposed new or enhanced AML legislation and regulations applicable to us.
Non-banks that provide certain financial services are required to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) as “money services businesses” (MSB). Through certain subsidiaries, we are registered as MSBs.
In addition, provisions of the BSA known as the Prepaid Access Rule issued by FinCEN impose certain obligations, such as registration and collection of consumer information, on “providers” of certain prepaid access programs, including the stored value products issued by our sponsor banks for which we serve as program manager. FinCEN has taken the position that, where the issuing bank has principal oversight and control of such prepaid access programs, no other participant in the distribution chain would be required to register as a provider under the Prepaid Access Rule. Despite this position, we have opted to register as a provider of prepaid access through our subsidiary, Comdata Inc.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) effected comprehensive revisions to a wide array of federal laws governing financial institutions, financial services, and financial markets. The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act provided that interchange fees that a card issuer or payment network receives or charges for debit transactions must be “reasonable and proportional” to the cost incurred by the card issuer in authorizing, clearing and settling the transaction. Payment network fees may not be used directly or indirectly to compensate card issuers in circumvention of the interchange transaction fee restrictions. The Federal Reserve has capped debit interchange fees, however the cap has not had a material direct impact on our results of operations because we operate under an exemption to the cap for the majority of our debit transactions.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign government officials and political figures and includes anti-bribery provisions enforced by the Department of Justice and accounting provisions enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The statute has a broad reach, covering all U.S. companies and citizens doing business abroad, among others, and defining a foreign official to include not only those holding public office but also local citizens affiliated with foreign government-run or -owned organizations. The statute also requires maintenance of appropriate books and records and maintenance of adequate internal controls to prevent and detect possible FCPA violations. We are subject to similar statutes in certain foreign jurisdictions in which we operate, such as the U.K. Bribery Act.
Payment Card Industry Rules
In connection with certain services we provide for payment cards bearing the Mastercard brand, and to those acting as merchants accepting those cards, we must comply with the bylaws, regulations and requirements that are promulgated by Mastercard and other applicable payment-card organizations, including the PCI Data Security Standard, the Mastercard Site Data Protection Program and other applicable data-security program requirements. A breach of such payment card network rules could subject us to a variety of fines or penalties that may be levied by the payment networks for certain acts or omissions. The payment networks routinely update and modify their requirements. Our failure to comply with the networks’ requirements or to pay the fines they impose could cause the termination of our registration and require us to stop processing transactions on their networks. Our subsidiary, Comdata Inc., is PCI 3.2 compliant.
We are also subject to network operating rules promulgated by the National ACH Association relating to payment transactions processed by us using the ACH Network.
We may be subject to unclaimed or abandoned property (escheat) laws in the U.S. that require us to turn over to certain government authorities the property of others that we hold that has been unclaimed for a specified period of time, such as payment instruments that have not been presented for payment and account balances that are due to a customer following discontinuation of our relationship. We may be subject to audit by individual U.S. states with regard to our escheatment practices.
Prepaid Card Regulations
Prepaid card programs that we manage may be subject to various federal and state laws and regulations, such as the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act) and the CFPB’s Regulation E, which impose requirements on general-use prepaid cards, store gift cards and electronic gift certificates.
State Usury Laws
Extensions of credit under many of our card products may be treated as commercial loans. In some states, usury laws limit the interest rates that can be charged not only on consumer loans but on commercial loans as well. To the extent that these usury laws apply, we are limited in the amount of interest that we can charge and collect from our customers. Because we have substantial operations in multiple jurisdictions, we utilize choice of law provisions in our cardholder agreements as to the laws of which jurisdiction to apply. With respect to card products where we work with a partner or issuing bank, the partner bank may utilize the law of the jurisdiction applicable to the bank and “export” the usury limit of that state in connection with cards issued to residents of other states or we may use our choice of law provisions.
Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), provisions of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and its technical standards, as well as derivative reporting in Canada and the U.S., have subjected certain of the foreign exchange derivative contracts we offer to our customers as part of our cross-border payments business to reporting, recordkeeping, and other requirements. Additionally, certain foreign exchange derivatives transactions we may enter into in the future may be subject to centralized clearing requirements, or may be subject to margin requirements in the U.S., U.K., and European Union. Other jurisdictions outside the U.S., U.K., and the European Union are considering, have implemented, or are implementing regulations similar to those described above.
We must contractually comply with certain regulations to which our sponsor banks are subject, as applicable. We may be examined by our sponsor banks’ regulators and be subject to audits by certain sponsor banks relative to such regulations.
The Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 requires information returns to be made for each calendar year by merchants, acquiring entities, and third-party settlement organizations with respect to payments made in settlement of electronic payment transactions and third-party payment network transactions occurring in that calendar year. Reportable transactions are also subject to backup withholding requirements. We are required to comply with these requirements for the merchants in our Comdata network. We could be liable for penalties if our information return is not in compliance with these regulations.
As of December 31, 2020, FLEETCOR employed approximately 8,400 associates located in more than 20 countries around the world, with approximately 3,100 of those associates based in the U.S. At FLEETCOR, we strongly believe that talent is a strong determinant of the Company’s performance and success. Our values-driven people programs, practices and policies have been developed to ensure we are able to attract, retain and develop the quality of talent necessary to advance our key initiatives and achieve our strategic objectives. We are firmly committed to delivering a strong employee value proposition and unique employment experience to our associates which, in turn, should lead to better customer experiences and business outcomes.
Our culture has evolved through time, as the Company has grown considerably both organically and through acquisitions. Despite FLEETCOR’s expansive size and geographic scope, we retain a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and share a common vision, mission and set of values, which together serve as cornerstones to our “One FLEETCOR” culture. Our values, listed below, are infused in all aspects of FLEETCOR, and guide our employee selection, behavior and interactions with both internal and external stakeholders:
•Innovation – figure out a better way
•Execution – get it done quickly
•Integrity – do the right thing
•People – we make the difference
•Collaboration – accomplish more together
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
Our focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB) is paramount to our successful “One FLEETCOR” culture. As of December 31, 2020, females represented approximately 53% of our global workforce and approximately 20% of our senior leadership team, while minorities comprised approximately 32% of our domestic workforce and approximately 22% of our senior leadership team.
Fostering a culturally diverse and inclusive environment and creating a true sense of belonging are among our top priorities. Our global diversity council, three regional councils and nine employee resource groups (ERG) are dedicated to building diversity, inclusion and belonging into all aspects of our global operations. Sponsored by the Chairman of the Board and CEO, the councils and ERGs are vital to creating an environment where all employees are able to prosper. Our ERGs allow a safe space for traditionally underrepresented employees to connect and discuss experiences. The ERGs also provide FLEETCOR with perspectives on the unique needs and lived experiences of those who are traditionally underrepresented.
FLEETCOR’s benefits programs are designed to meet the evolving needs of a diverse workforce across the globe. Because we want our employees and their families to thrive, in additional to our regular benefit offerings, we focused on physical and mental well-being in 2020. During the year, we offered free, online fitness classes, sponsored the FLEETCOR Wellbeing Challenge, provided access to employee assistance programs in all regions, and celebrated Mental Health Awareness programs globally.
FLEETCOR offers a variety of high-quality learning opportunities, designed to support employee development and organizational effectiveness. Learning opportunities are available in all geographies at all levels, and incorporate personal, business and leadership skills development with the goal of empowering our organization, creating avenues for closing skill gaps, and enhancing the capabilities of our workforce. Leadership, teamwork, communication, and many other soft skills are vital to our success. We offer a wide variety of career opportunities and paths to advancement through on-the-job coaching, training, and education. We are proud to be a company where an associate can start as an intern and turn it into a successful career.
The Voice of the Employee
We continue to develop and refine our people programs based on feedback we receive directly from our workforce, which we gather through an annual survey of all employees globally. The participation rate for our 2020 annual survey was approximately 83%. Reflecting our efforts to continuously improve in aspects deemed most important by our workforce, our employee engagement score in 2020 was approximately 7 percentage points higher than in our 2019 survey results. We share the detailed engagement scores across the organization, and analyze the results to understand differences by geography, demographics, job level, and leader, and to identify opportunities for further improvement. During 2020, we also conducted several additional surveys specifically related to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped inform our decisions regarding policies and processes for operating safely and effectively.
In October 2020, FLEETCOR published its inaugural Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CRS) report, in which we provided detailed information about the Company’s views and approaches regarding environmental, social and governance issues. We are currently preparing our second annual CRS report for publication later this year, which will include further details related to our global talent strategy, DIB metrics, employee wellness and talent development.
The Company maintains a website at www.fleetcor.com. The information on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We make available on or through our website certain reports and amendments to those reports that we file with or furnish the SEC in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act). These include our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. We make this information available on our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information with, or furnish it to, the SEC.
In addition, the SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically at https://www.sec.gov.
ITEM X. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
The following table sets forth certain information regarding our executive officers, with their respective ages as of December 31, 2020. Our officers serve at the discretion of our board of directors. There are no family relationships between any of our directors or executive officers.
|Ronald F. Clarke||65 ||Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors|
|Charles R. Freund||48 ||Chief Financial Officer|
|John S. Coughlin||52 ||Group President—Corporate Payments|
|Alexey Gavrilenya||44 ||Group President—North America Fuel |
|Alan King||44 ||Group President—Europe, Australia and New Zealand Fuel|
|Armando L. Netto||52 ||Group President—Brazil|
|Alissa B. Vickery||43 ||Chief Accounting Officer|
Ronald F. Clarke has been our Chief Executive Officer since August 2000 and was appointed Chairman of our Board of Directors in March 2003. From 1999 to 2000, Mr. Clarke served as President and Chief Operating Officer of AHL Services, Inc., a staffing firm. From 1990 to 1998, Mr. Clarke served as Chief Marketing Officer and later as a Division President with Automatic Data Processing, Inc., a computer services company. From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Clarke was a Principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management consulting firm. Earlier in his career, Mr. Clarke was a marketing manager for General Electric Company, a diversified technology, media, and financial services corporation.
Charles R. Freund was appointed our Chief Financial Officer in September 2020, and has been with us since 2000. During his tenure with FLEETCOR, Mr. Freund has held numerous roles, including Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, President of Emerging Markets, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Vice President of U.K. Card Issuing, and Vice President of Business Development. Prior to joining us, Mr. Freund was a Consultant at Sibson Consulting, a member of The Segal Group.
John S. Coughlin has served as our Group President of Corporate Payments since August 2019. Mr. Coughlin joined FLEETCOR in 2010, and was the Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Development from his hiring to August 2019. He has led 37 FLEETCOR acquisitions, as well as spearheaded the integration and growth plans. Prior to joining us, Mr. Coughlin held senior roles in private equity, operations, and strategy consulting as Managing Director at PCG Capital Partners, Chief Executive Officer of NCDR/Benevis, and Senior Partner at The Parthenon Group.
Alexey Gavrilenya has been our Group President – North America Fuel since September 2019. Mr. Gavrilenya joined FLEETCOR in March 2009 and served as our Executive Vice President Strategy and Finance, Eastern Europe until April 2011. From May 2011 to January 2016, Mr. Gavrilenya was President – Eastern Europe. He then added to his responsibilities as President – Continental Europe in February 2016. Prior to joining us, Mr. Gavrilenya was CFO of Matarex, Ltd.
Alan King has served as our Group President of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand Fuel since July 2019. Mr. King joined FLEETCOR in August 2016 as President - U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, based in London. Prior to joining us, Mr. King worked at Mastercard where he was most recently Managing Director, MasterCard Prepaid Management Services. During his 11 year career at MasterCard, Mr. King held the roles of Group Head, Global Prepaid Solutions, Group General Manager for Market and Business Development in the U.K. & Ireland, and General Manager, Global Accounts. Prior to MasterCard, Mr. King held leadership positions at VISA in the CEMEA region from 2003 to 2005 and at Citibank from 1998 to 2003, largely across commercial payments in international markets. Mr. King spent the early part of his career in the telecom and automotive industries, in various sales and marketing roles covering Europe.
Armando L. Netto has served as Group President – Brazil since June 2014. Prior to joining us, Mr. Netto led IT Services for TIVIT, an IT and BPO services company, from 2006 to 2014, where he led the integration of functional areas into the business unit, focused on onboarding new clients and ensuring service quality. Prior to TIVIT, Mr. Netto held various leadership roles with Unisys and McKinsey, where he gained international experience in Europe supporting clients in the U.K., France, Austria, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
Alissa B. Vickery is a Certified Public Accountant and was appointed our Chief Accounting Officer in September 2020. Mrs. Vickery joined FLEETCOR in 2011 and also serves as Senior Vice President of Accounting and Controls, with oversight of external reporting, technical accounting, and internal audit. Prior to joining us, Mrs. Vickery held a Senior Director position at Worldpay and spent more than nine years in public accounting at Deloitte LLP and Arthur Andersen LLP, as a senior manager in the audit and assurance practice.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
You should carefully consider the following risks applicable to us. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, operating results, financial condition and the trading price of our common stock could be materially adversely affected. The risks discussed below also include forward-looking statements, and our actual results may differ substantially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. See “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in this report.
Risks related to our business and operations
The extent to which the outbreak of the novel strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and measures taken in response thereto impact our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict.
The novel strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has globally spread throughout other areas such as Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America and have negatively impacted the macroeconomic environment, significantly increasing economic uncertainty. The outbreak has resulted in regulatory and other authorities periodically implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter in place orders, and business shutdowns. These measures have negatively impacted consumer and business spending and could continue to do so. In addition, these measures have adversely impacted and may further impact our workforce and operations and the operations of our customers, suppliers and business partners. These measures may remain in place or return, as applicable, for significant periods of time and they are likely to continue to adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The spread of the coronavirus has caused us to modify our business practices (including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers and business partners. While vaccines are currently being administered around the world, vaccine availability, distribution, efficacy to new strains of the virus and the public's willingness to get vaccinated could limit their impact and extend the duration of the pandemic. We continue to manage the business as appropriate in order to preserve our financial flexibility during this challenging time. There is no certainty that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus or otherwise be satisfactory to government authorities.
In addition, the impact of COVID-19 on macroeconomic conditions may impact the proper functioning of financial and capital markets, foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices, including fuel prices, and interest rates. Even after the COVID-19 global pandemic has subsided or, we may continue to experience adverse impacts to our business as a result of any economic recession or depression that has occurred or may occur in the future. The continued disruption of global financial markets as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic could have a negative impact on our ability to access capital in the future.
The extent to which the COVID-19 outbreak impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the outbreak, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact through vaccines or otherwise, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. Even after the coronavirus outbreak has subsided, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future.
There are no comparable recent events which may provide guidance as to the effect of the spread of the coronavirus and a global pandemic, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 outbreak or a similar health epidemic is highly uncertain and subject to change. We do not yet know the full extent of the impacts on our business, our operations or the global economy as a whole. However, the effects could have a material impact on our results of operations.
Adverse effects on payment card transaction volume, including from unfavorable macroeconomic conditions, weather conditions, natural catastrophes or public health crises or from changes to business purchasing practices, could adversely affect our revenues and operating results.
A substantial portion of our revenue is based on the volume of payment card transactions by our customers Accordingly, our operating results could be adversely impacted by events or trends that negatively impact the demand for fuel, business-related products and services, or payment card services in general.
For example, our transaction volume is generally correlated with general economic conditions and levels of spending, particularly in the U.S., Europe, Russia, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, and the related amount of business activity in economies in which we operate. Downturns in these economies are generally characterized by reduced commercial activity and, consequently, reduced purchasing of fuel and other business related products and services by our customers. Similarly, prolonged adverse weather events, travel bans due to medical quarantine (such as the recent responses to the COVID-19 pandemic) or in response to natural catastrophes, especially those that impact regions in which we process a large number and amount of payment transactions, could adversely affect our transaction volumes. Likewise, recent political, investor and industry focus on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change issues may adversely affect the volume of transactions or business operations of the oil companies, merchants and truck stop owners with whom we maintain strategic relationships, which could adversely impact our business.
In addition, our transaction volumes could be adversely affected if businesses do not continue to use, or fail to increase their use of, credit, debit or stored value cards as a payment mechanism for their transactions. Similarly, our transaction volumes could be impacted by adverse developments in the payments industry, such as new legislation or regulation that makes it more difficult for customers to do business, or a well-publicized data security breach that undermines the confidence of the public in electronic payment systems.
If we fail to adequately assess and monitor credit risks of our customers, we could experience an increase in credit loss.
We are subject to the credit risk of our customers which range in size from small sole proprietorships to large publicly traded companies. We use various methods to screen potential customers and establish appropriate credit limits, but these methods cannot eliminate all potential credit risks and may not always prevent us from approving customer applications that are not credit-worthy or are fraudulently completed. Changes in our industry, customer demand, and, in relation to our Fuel customers, movement in fuel prices may result in periodic increases to customer credit limits and spending and, as a result, could lead to increased credit losses. We may also fail to detect changes to the credit risk of customers over time. Further, during a declining economic environment (including economic weakness caused by large-scale crises like the COVID-19 pandemic), we may experience increased customer defaults and preference claims by bankrupt customers. Additionally, the counterparties to the derivative financial instruments that we use in our international payments provider business to reduce our exposure to various market risks, including changes in foreign exchange rates, may fail to honor their obligations, which could expose us to risks we had sought to mitigate. This risk includes the exposure generated when we write derivative contracts to our customers as part of our cross-currency payments business, and we typically hedge the net exposure through offsetting contracts with established financial institution counterparties. If an international payments customer becomes insolvent, files for bankruptcy, commits fraud or otherwise fails to pay us, we may be exposed to the value of an offsetting position with such counterparties for the derivatives or may bear financial risk for those receivables where we have offered trade credit. If we fail to adequately manage our credit risks, our bad debt expense could be significantly higher than historic levels and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, our bad debt expense was $158.5 million and $74.3 million, or 15 bps and 6 bps of total billings, respectively.
Any decrease in our receipt of fees and charges, or limitations on our fees and charges, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our card solutions include a variety of fees and charges associated with transactions, cards, reports, optional services and late payments. Revenues for late fees and finance charges represent 4% of our consolidated revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020. If the users of our cards decrease their transaction activity, or the extent to which they use optional services or pay invoices late, our revenue could be materially adversely affected. In addition, several market factors can affect the amount of our fees and charges, including the market for similar charges for competitive card products and the availability of alternative payment methods such as cash or house accounts. Furthermore, regulators and Congress have scrutinized the electronic payments industry’s pricing, charges and other practices related to its customers. Any restrictions on our ability to price our products and services could materially and adversely affect our revenue.
We operate in a competitive business environment, and if we are unable to compete effectively, our business, operating results and financial condition would be adversely affected.
The market for our solutions is highly competitive, and competition could intensify in the future. Our competitors vary in size and in the scope and breadth of the products and services they offer. Our primary competitors in the North American Fuel solution are small regional and large independent fleet card providers, major oil companies and petroleum marketers that issue their own fleet cards, and major financial services companies that provide card services to major oil companies and petroleum marketers. Corporate Payments solutions faces a variety of competitors, some of which have greater financial resources, name recognition and scope and breadth of products and services. Competitors in the Lodging solution include travel agencies, online lodging discounters, internal corporate procurement and travel resources, and independent services companies. Our primary competitors in Europe, Australia and New Zealand are independent fleet card providers, major oil companies and petroleum marketers that issue branded fleet cards, and providers of card outsourcing services to major oil companies and petroleum marketers. Our primary competitors in Latin America are independent providers of fleet cards and vouchers for food, fuel, tolls, and transportation and major oil companies and providers of card outsourcing services to major oil companies and petroleum marketers who offer commercial fleet cards.
The most significant competitive factors in our business are the breadth of product and service features, network acceptance size, customer service, payment terms, account management, and price. We may experience competitive disadvantages with respect to any of these factors from time to time as potential customers prioritize or value these competitive factors differently. As a result, a specific offering of our features, networks and pricing may serve as a competitive advantage with respect to one customer and a disadvantage for another based on the customers’ preferences.
Some of our existing and potential competitors have longer operating histories, greater brand name recognition, larger customer bases, more extensive customer relationships or greater financial and technical resources than we do. In addition, our larger competitors may also have greater resources than we do to devote to the promotion and sale of their products and services and to pursue acquisitions. Many of our competitors provide additional and unrelated products and services to customers, such as treasury management, commercial lending and credit card processing, which allow them to bundle their products and services together and present them to existing customers with whom they have established relationships, sometimes at a discount. If price competition continues to intensify, we may have to increase the incentives that we offer to our customers, decrease the prices of our solutions or lose customers, each of which could adversely affect our operating results. In Fuel solutions, major oil
companies, petroleum marketers and large financial institutions may choose to integrate fuel card services as a complement to their existing or complementary card products and services to adapt more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changing opportunities, standards or customer requirements. To the extent that our competitors are regarded as leaders in specific categories, they may have an advantage over us as we attempt to further penetrate these categories.
Future mergers or consolidations among competitors, or acquisitions of our competitors by large companies may present competitive challenges to our business if their fuel card products and services are effectively integrated and bundled into lower cost sales packages with other widely utilized non-fuel card related products and services.
Overall, increased competition in our markets could result in intensified pricing pressure, reduced profit margins, increased sales and marketing expenses and a failure to increase, or a loss of, market share. We may not be able to maintain or improve our competitive position against our current or future competitors, which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
A decline in retail fuel prices or contraction in fuel price spreads could adversely affect our revenue and operating results.
We believe in 2020, approximately 11% of our consolidated revenue was directly influenced by the absolute price of fuel. Approximately 8% of our consolidated revenue in 2020 was derived from transactions where our revenue is tied to fuel price spreads. When our fleet customers purchase fuel, certain arrangements in our Fuel solution generates revenue as a percentage of the fuel transaction purchase amount and other arrangements generate revenue based on fuel price spreads. The fuel price that we charge to any Fuel customer is dependent on several factors including, among others, the fuel price paid to the fuel merchant, posted retail fuel prices and competitive fuel prices. The significant volatility in fuel prices can impact these revenues by lowering total fuel transaction purchase amounts and tightening fuel price spreads. We experience fuel price spread contraction when the merchant’s wholesale cost of fuel increases at a faster rate than the fuel price we charge to our Fuel customers, or the fuel price we charge to our Fuel customers decreases at a faster rate than the merchant’s wholesale cost of fuel. The volatility is due to many factors outside our control, including new oil production or production slowdowns, supply and demand for oil and gas and market expectations of future supply and demand, political conditions, actions by OPEC and other major oil producing countries, speculative trading, government regulation, weather and general economic conditions. When such volatility leads to a decline in retail fuel prices or a contraction of fuel price spreads, our revenue and operating results could be adversely affected.
The value of certain of our solutions depend, in part, on relationships with oil companies, fuel and lodging merchants, truck stop operators, airlines and sales channels to grow our business. The failure to maintain and grow existing relationships, or establish new relationships, could adversely affect our revenues and operating results.
The success and growth of our solutions depend on the wide acceptability of such cards when our customers need to use them. As a result, the success of these solutions is in part dependent on our ability to maintain relationships with major oil companies, petroleum marketers, closed-loop fuel and lodging merchants, truck stop operators, airlines and sales channels (each of whom we refer to as our “partners”) and to enter into additional relationships or expand existing arrangements to increase the acceptability of our payment cards. These relationships vary in length from one to eight years for oil companies to one to two years for merchants and may be renegotiated at the end of their respective terms. Due to the highly competitive, and at times exclusive, nature of these relationships, we often must participate in a competitive bidding process to establish or continue the relationships. Such bidding processes may focus on a limited number of factors, including pricing, which may affect our ability to effectively compete for these relationships.
If the various partners with whom we maintain relationships experience bankruptcy, financial distress, or otherwise are forced to contract their operations, our solutions could be adversely impacted. Similarly, because some of our solutions are marketed under the brands of major oil companies, certain other adverse events outside our control, like those companies’ failure to maintain their brands or a decrease in the size of their branded networks may adversely affect our ability to grow our revenue.
The loss of, failure to continue or failure to establish new relationships, or the weakness or decrease in size of companies with whom we maintain relationships, could adversely affect our ability to serve our customers and adversely affect our solutions and operating results.
We must comply with various rules and requirements, including the payment of fees, of Mastercard and our sponsor banks in order to remain registered to participate in the Mastercard networks.
A significant source of our revenue comes from processing transactions through the Mastercard networks. In order to offer Mastercard programs to our customers, one of our subsidiaries is registered as a member service provider with Mastercard through sponsorship by Mastercard member banks in both the U.S. and Canada. Registration as a service provider is dependent upon our being sponsored by member banks. If our sponsor banks should stop providing sponsorship for us or determine to provide sponsorship on materially less favorable terms, we would need to find other financial institutions to provide those services or we would need to become a Mastercard member, either of which could prove to be difficult and expensive. Even if we pursue sponsorship by alternative member banks, similar requirements and dependencies would likely still exist. In addition, Mastercard routinely updates and modifies its membership requirements. Changes in such requirements may make it significantly more expensive for us to provide these services. If we do not comply with Mastercard requirements, it could seek to fine us, suspend us or terminate our registration, which allows us to process transactions on its networks. The termination of our registration, or any changes in the payment network rules that would impair our registration, could require us to stop providing Mastercard payment processing services. If we are unable to find a replacement financial institution to provide sponsorship or become a member, we may no longer be able to provide such services to the affected customers.
Changes in Mastercard interchange fees could decrease our revenue.
A portion of our revenue is generated by network processing fees charged to merchants, known as interchange fees, associated with transactions processed using our Mastercard-branded cards. Interchange fee amounts associated with our Mastercard network cards are affected by a number of factors, including regulatory limits in the U.S. and Europe and fee changes imposed by Mastercard. In addition, interchange fees are the subject of intense legal and regulatory scrutiny and competitive pressures in the electronic payments industry, which could result in lower interchange fees generally in the future.
Our Cross-Border solution depends on our relationships with banks and other financial institutions around the world, which may from impose fees, restrictions and compliance burdens on us that make our operations more difficult or expensive.
In our Cross-Border solution, we facilitate payment and foreign exchange solutions, primarily cross-border, cross-currency transactions, for small and medium size enterprises and other organizations. Increased regulation and compliance requirements are impacting these businesses by making it more costly for us to provide our solutions or by making it more cumbersome for businesses to do business with us. Any factors that increase the cost of cross-border trade for us or our customers or that restrict, delay, or make cross-border trade more difficult or impractical, such as trade policy or higher tariffs, could negatively impact our revenues and harm our business. We may also have difficulty establishing or maintaining banking relationships needed to conduct our services due to banks’ policies.
Increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, customers and our employees with respect to our environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.
There is increased focus, including from governmental organizations, investors, employees and clients, on ESG issues such as environmental stewardship, climate change, diversity and inclusion, racial justice and workplace conduct. Negative public perception, adverse publicity or negative comments in social media could damage our reputation if we do not, or are not perceived to, adequately address these issues. Any harm to our reputation could impact employee engagement and retention and the willingness of customers and our partners to do business with us. In addition, organizations that provide information to investors on corporate governance and related matters have developed ratings processes for evaluating companies on their approach to ESG matters, and unfavorable ratings of our company or our industries may lead to negative investor sentiment and the diversion of investment to other companies or industries.
Legislation and regulation of greenhouse gases (“GHG”) and related divestment and other efforts could adversely affect our business.
We are aware of the increasing focus of local, state, regional, national and international regulatory bodies on GHG emissions and climate change issues. Legislation to regulate GHG emissions has periodically been introduced in the U.S. Congress, and there has been a wide-ranging policy debate, both in the U.S. and internationally, regarding the impact of these gases and possible means for their regulation. Several states and geographic regions in the U.S. have adopted legislation and regulations to reduce emissions of GHGs. Additional legislation or regulation by these states and regions, the EPA, and/or any international agreements to which the U.S. may become a party, that control or limit GHG emissions or otherwise seek to address climate change could adversely affect our partners’ and merchants’ operations, and therefore ours. See “Our fleet card business is dependent on several key strategic relationships, the loss of which could adversely affect our operating results.” and “If we are unable to maintain and expand our merchant relationships, our closed loop fleet card and lodging card businesses may be adversely affected.” Because our business depends on the level of activity in the oil industry, existing or future laws or regulations related to GHGs and climate change, including incentives to conserve energy or use alternative energy sources, could have a negative impact on our business if such laws or regulations reduce demand for fuel.
In addition to the regulatory efforts described above, there have also been efforts in recent years aimed at the investment community, including investment advisors, sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds, universities and other groups, promoting the divestment of fossil fuel equities as well as to pressure lenders and other financial services companies to limit or curtail activities with companies engaged in the extraction of fossil fuel reserves. If these efforts are successful, our ability to access capital markets may be limited and our stock price may be negatively impacted.
Members of the investment community have recently increased their focus on sustainability practices with regard to the oil and gas industry, including practices related to GHGs and climate change. An increasing percentage of the investment community considers sustainability factors in making investment decisions, and an increasing number of our partners and merchants consider sustainability factors in awarding work. If we are unable to successfully address sustainability enhancement, we may lose partners or merchants, our stock price may be negatively impacted, our reputation may be negatively affected, and it may be more difficult for us to effectively compete.
Maintaining and enhancing our brands is critical to our business relationships and operating results.
We believe that maintaining and enhancing our brands is critical to our customer relationships, and our ability to obtain partners and retain employees. The successful promotion of our brands will depend upon our marketing and public relations efforts, our ability to continue to offer high-quality products and services and our ability to successfully differentiate our solutions from those of our competitors. In addition, future extension of our brands to add new products or services different from our current offerings may dilute our brands, particularly if we fail to maintain our quality standards in these new areas. The promotion of
our brands will require us to make substantial expenditures, and we anticipate that the expenditures will increase as our markets become more competitive and we expand into new markets. Even if these activities increase our revenues, this revenue may not offset the expenses we incur. There can be no assurance that our brand promotion activities will be successful.
We are subject to risks related to volatility in foreign currency exchange rates, and restrictions on our ability to utilize revenue generated in foreign currencies.
As a result of our foreign operations, we are subject to risks related to changes in currency rates for revenue generated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. For the year ended December 31, 2020, approximately 39% of our revenue was denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar (primarily, British pound, Brazilian real, Canadian dollar, Russian ruble, Mexican peso, Czech koruna, Euro, Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar). Revenue and profit generated by international operations may increase or decrease compared to prior periods as a result of changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Resulting exchange gains and losses are included in our net income. In addition, a majority of the revenue from our international payments provider business is from exchanges of currency at spot rates, which enable customers to make cross-currency payments. This solution also writes foreign currency forward and option contracts for our customers. The duration of these derivative contracts at inception is generally less than one year. The credit risk associated with our derivative contracts increases when foreign currency exchange rates move against our customers, possibly impacting their ability to honor their obligations to deliver currency to us or to maintain appropriate collateral with us.
Furthermore, we are subject to exchange control regulations that restrict or prohibit the conversion of more than a specified amount of our foreign currencies into U.S. dollars, and, as we continue to expand, we may become subject to further exchange control regulations that limit our ability to freely utilize and transfer currency in and out of particular jurisdictions. These restrictions may make it more difficult to effectively utilize the cash generated by our operations and may adversely affect our financial condition.
Our expansion through acquisitions may divert our management’s attention and result in unexpected operating or integration difficulties or increased costs and dilution to our stockholders, and we may never realize the anticipated benefits.
We have been an active acquirer in the U.S. and internationally, and, as part of our growth strategy, we expect to seek to acquire businesses, commercial account portfolios, technologies, services and products in the future. We have substantially expanded our overall portfolio of solutions, customer base, headcount and operations through acquisitions. The acquisition and integration of each business involves a number of risks and may result in unforeseen operating difficulties, delays and expenditures in assimilating or integrating the businesses, technologies, products, personnel or operations of the acquired business, all of which may divert resources and management attention otherwise available to grow our existing portfolio. In addition, acquisitions may expose us to geographic or business markets in which we have little or no prior experience, present difficulties in retaining the customers of the acquired business and present difficulties and expenses associated with new regulatory requirements, competition controls or investigations.
In addition, international acquisitions often involve additional or increased risks including difficulty managing geographically separated organizations, systems and facilities, difficulty integrating personnel with diverse business backgrounds, languages and organizational cultures, difficulty and expense introducing our corporate policies or controls and increased expense to comply with foreign regulatory requirements applicable to acquisitions.
Integration of acquisitions could also result in the distraction of our management, the disruption of our ongoing operations or inconsistencies on our services, standards, controls, procedures and policies, any of which could affect our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of an acquisition or otherwise adversely affect our operations and financial results.
To complete future acquisitions, we may determine that it is necessary to use a substantial amount of our cash or engage in equity or debt financing. If we raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of holders of our common stock. In addition, we may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all, which could limit our ability to engage in acquisitions. Moreover, we can make no assurances that the anticipated benefits of any acquisition, such as operating improvements or anticipated cost savings, would be realized. Further, an acquisition may negatively affect our operating results because it may require us to incur charges and substantial debt or other liabilities, may cause adverse tax consequences, substantial depreciation and amortization or deferred compensation charges, may require the amortization, write-down or impairment of amounts related to deferred compensation, goodwill and other intangible assets, may include substantial contingent consideration payments or other compensation that reduce our earnings during the quarter in which incurred, or may not generate sufficient financial return to offset acquisition costs.
Our business in foreign countries may be adversely affected by operational and political risks that are greater than in the U.S.
We have foreign operations in, or provide services for commercial card accounts in more than 100 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asia. We also expect to seek to expand our operations into various additional countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America as part of our growth strategy.
Some of the countries where we operate, and other countries where we will seek to operate, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico, have undergone significant political, economic and social change in recent years, and the risk of unforeseen changes in these countries may be greater than in the U.S. In addition, changes in laws or regulations, including with respect to payment service providers, taxation, information technology, data transmission and the Internet, revenues from non-U.S. operations or in the
interpretation of existing laws or regulations, whether caused by a change in government or otherwise, could materially adversely affect our portfolio, operating results and financial condition. Specifically, the recent exit of the U.K. from the European Union (often referred to as Brexit) may create significant administrative burdens and additional compliance costs for our European operations by interrupting or effectively terminating U.K.-based licenses that we hold to conduct financial transactions within the European Union. The uncertainty surrounding the terms of the U.K.’s withdrawal and its consequences could also adversely impact consumer and investor confidence, and the level of consumer purchases of discretionary items and retail products, including our products in the U.K. and the European Union.
In addition, conducting and expanding our international operations subjects us to other political, economic, technological, operational and regulatory risks and difficulties that we do not generally face in the U.S. These risks and difficulties could negatively affect our international operations and, consequently, our operating results. Further, operating in international markets requires significant management attention and financial resources. We cannot be certain that the investment and additional resources required to establish, acquire or integrate operations in other countries will produce desired levels of revenue or profitability.
We may incur substantial losses due to fraudulent use of our payment cards or vouchers.
Under certain circumstances, when we fund customer transactions, we may bear the risk of substantial losses due to fraudulent use of our payment cards or vouchers. We do not maintain insurance to protect us against such losses. We bear similar risk relating to fraudulent acts of employees or contractors, for which we maintain insurance. However, the conditions or limits of coverage may be insufficient to protect us against such losses.
Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to engage in illegal activities involving financial products, such as skimming and counterfeiting payment cards and identity theft. A single significant incident of fraud, or increases in the overall level of fraud, involving our cards and other products and services, could result in reputational damage to us, which could reduce the use and acceptance of our cards and other products and services or lead to greater regulation that would increase our compliance costs. Fraudulent activity could also result in the imposition of regulatory sanctions, including significant monetary fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our Fuel, Payroll Card and Gift solutions' results are subject to seasonality, which could result in fluctuations in our quarterly net income.
Our Fuel and Payroll Card solutions are typically subject to seasonal fluctuations in revenues and profit, which are impacted during the first and fourth quarter each year by the weather, holidays in the U.S., Christmas being celebrated in Russia in January, and lower business levels in Brazil due to summer break and the Carnival celebration. Our Gift solution is typically subject to seasonal fluctuations in revenues as a result of consumer spending patterns. Historically Gift revenues have been strongest in the third and fourth quarters and weakest in the first and second quarters, as the retail industry has its highest level of activity during and leading up to the Christmas holiday season.
Risks related to information technology and security
We are dependent on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of interconnected computer systems, telecommunications, data centers and call centers, including technology and network systems managed by multiple third parties, which could result in our inability to prevent disruptions in our services.
Our ability to provide reliable service to customers, cardholders and other network participants depends upon uninterrupted operation of our data centers and call centers as well as third-party labor and services providers. Our business involves processing large numbers of transactions, the movement of large sums of money and the management of large amounts of data. We rely on the ability of our employees, contractors, suppliers, systems and processes to complete these transactions in a secure, uninterrupted and error-free manner.
Our subsidiaries operate in various countries and country specific factors, such as power availability, telecommunications carrier redundancy, embargoes and regulation can adversely impact our information processing by or for our local subsidiaries.
We engage backup facilities for each of our processing centers for key systems and data. However, there could be material delays in fully activating backup facilities depending on the nature of the breakdown, security breach or catastrophic event (such as fire, explosion, flood, pandemic, natural disaster, power loss, telecommunications failure or physical break-in). We have controls and documented measures to mitigate these risks but these mitigating controls might not reduce the duration, scope or severity of an outage in time to avoid adverse effects.
We may experience software defects, system errors, computer viruses and development delays, which could damage customer relationships, decrease our profitability and expose us to liability.
Our business depends heavily on the reliability of proprietary and third-party processing systems. A system outage could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations, including by damaging our reputation or exposing us to third-party liability. To successfully operate our business, we must be able to protect our processing and other systems from interruption, including from events that may be beyond our control. Events that could cause system interruptions include fire, natural disaster, unauthorized entry, power loss, telecommunications failure, computer viruses, terrorist acts and war. Although we have taken steps to protect against data loss and system failures, there is still risk that we may lose critical data or experience system failures.
Our solutions are based on sophisticated software and computing systems that are constantly evolving. We often encounter delays and cost overruns in developing changes implemented to our systems. In addition, the underlying software may contain undetected errors, viruses or defects. Defects in our software products and errors or delays in our processing of electronic transactions could result in additional development costs, diversion of technical and other resources from our other development efforts, loss of credibility with current or potential customers, harm to our reputation or exposure to liability claims. In addition, we rely on technologies supplied to us by third parties that may also contain undetected errors, viruses or defects that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Although we attempt to limit our potential liability for warranty claims through disclaimers in our software documentation and limitation of liability provisions in our licenses and other agreements with our customers, we cannot assure that these measures will be successful in limiting our liability.
We may not be able to adequately protect our systems or the data we collect from continually evolving cybersecurity risks or other technological risks, which could subject us to liability and damage our reputation.
We electronically receive, process, store and transmit data and sensitive information about our customers and merchants, including bank account information, social security numbers, expense data, and credit card, debit card and checking account numbers. We endeavor to keep this information confidential; however, our websites, networks, information systems, services and technologies may be targeted for sabotage, disruption or misappropriation. The uninterrupted operation of our information systems and our ability to maintain the confidentiality of the customer and consumer information that resides on our systems are critical to the successful operation of our business. Unauthorized access to our networks and computer systems could result in the theft or publication of confidential information or the deletion or modification of records or could otherwise cause interruptions in our service and operations.
Other than a previously disclosed unauthorized access incident during the second quarter of 2018, we are not aware of any material breach of our or our associated third parties’ computer systems, although we and others in our industry are regularly the subject of attempts by bad actors to gain unauthorized access to these computer systems and data or to obtain, change or destroy confidential data (including personal consumer information of individuals) through a variety of means.
Because techniques used to sabotage or obtain unauthorized access to our systems and the data we collect change frequently and may not be recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. Threats to our systems and our associated third parties’ systems can derive from human error, fraud or malice on the part of employees or third parties, or may result from accidental technological failure. Computer viruses can be distributed and could infiltrate our systems or those of our associated third parties. In addition, denial of service or other attacks could be launched against us for a variety of purposes, including to interfere with our services or create a diversion for other malicious activities. Although we believe we have sufficient controls in place to prevent disruption and misappropriation and to respond to such attacks, any inability to prevent security breaches could have a negative impact on our reputation, expose us to liability, decrease market acceptance of electronic transactions and cause our present and potential clients to choose another service provider.
We could also be subject to liability for claims relating to misuse of personal information, such as unauthorized marketing purposes and violation of data privacy laws. For example, we are subject to a variety of U.S. and international statutes, regulations, and rulings relevant to the direct email marketing and text-messaging industries. While we believe we are in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations, if we were ever found to be in violation, our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows could be materially adversely affected. We cannot provide assurance that the contractual requirements related to security and privacy that we impose on our service providers who have access to customer and consumer data will be followed or will be adequate to prevent the unauthorized use or disclosure of data. In addition, we have agreed in certain agreements to take certain protective measures to ensure the confidentiality of customer data. The costs of systems and procedures associated with such protective measures, as well as the cost of deploying additional personnel, training our employees and hiring outside experts, may increase and could adversely affect our ability to compete effectively. Any failure to adequately enforce or provide these protective measures could result in liability, protracted and costly litigation, governmental and card network intervention and fines, remediation costs, and with respect to misuse of personal information of our customers, lost revenue and reputational harm. While we maintain insurance covering certain security and privacy damages and claim expenses we may not carry insurance or maintain coverage sufficient to compensate for all liability and such insurance may not be available for renewal on acceptable terms or at all, and in any event, insurance coverage would not address the reputational damage that could result from a security incident.
In addition, under payment network rules, regulatory requirements, and related obligations, we may be responsible for the acts or failures to act of certain third parties, such as third-party service providers, vendors, partners and others, which we refer to collectively as associated participants. The failure of our associated participants to safeguard cardholder data and other information in accordance with such rules, requirements and obligations could result in significant fines and sanctions and could harm our reputation and deter existing and prospective customers from using our services. We cannot assure you that there are written agreements in place with every associated participant or that such written agreements will ensure the adequate safeguarding of such data or information or allow us to seek reimbursement from associated participants. Any such unauthorized use or disclosure of data or information also could result in litigation that could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to develop and implement new technology, products and services, adapt our products and services to changes in technology, the marketplace requirements, or if our ongoing efforts to upgrade our technology, products and services are not successful, we could lose customers and partners.
The markets for our solutions are highly competitive and characterized by technological change, frequent introduction of new products and services and evolving industry standards. We must respond to the technological advances offered by our competitors and the requirements of regulators and our customers and partners, in order to maintain and improve upon our competitive position and fulfill contractual obligations. We may be unsuccessful in expanding our technological capabilities and developing, marketing, selling or encouraging adoption of new products and services that meet these changing demands, which could jeopardize our competitive position. Similarly, if new technologies are developed that displace our traditional payment card as payment mechanisms for purchase transactions by businesses, we may be unsuccessful in adequately responding to customer practices and our transaction volume may decline. In addition, we regularly engage in significant efforts to upgrade our products, services and underlying technology, which may or may not be successful in achieving broad acceptance or their intended purposes.
The solutions we deliver are designed to process complex transactions and provide reports and other information on those transactions, all at high volumes and processing speeds. Any failure to deliver an effective and secure product or service or any performance issue that arises with a new product or service could result in significant processing or reporting errors or other losses. We may rely on third parties to develop or co-develop our solutions or to incorporate our solutions into broader platforms for the commercial payments industry. We may not be able to enter into such relationships on attractive terms, or at all, and these relationships may not be successful. In addition, partners, some of whom may be our competitors or potential competitors, may choose to develop competing solutions on their own or with third parties.
Risks related to our intellectual property
If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights and confidential information, our competitive position could be harmed and we could be required to incur significant expenses in order to enforce our rights.
To protect our proprietary technology, we rely on copyright, trade secret, patent and other intellectual property laws and confidentiality agreements with employees and third parties, all of which offer only limited protection. Despite our precautions, it may be possible for third parties to obtain and use without our consent confidential information or infringe on our intellectual property rights, and our ability to police that misappropriation or infringement is uncertain, particularly in countries outside of the U.S. In addition, our confidentiality agreements with employees, vendors, customers and other third parties may not effectively prevent disclosure or use of proprietary technology or confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of such unauthorized use or disclosure.
Protecting against the unauthorized use of our intellectual property and confidential information is expensive, difficult and not always possible. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce or defend our intellectual property rights, to protect our confidential information, including trade secrets, or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. This litigation could be costly and divert management resources, either of which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property and proprietary information.
We cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent the unauthorized use or the reverse engineering of our proprietary technology. Moreover, others may independently develop technologies that are competitive to ours or infringe our intellectual property. The enforcement of our intellectual property rights also depends on our legal actions against these infringers being successful, and we cannot be sure these actions will be successful, even when our rights have been infringed. Furthermore, effective patent, trademark, service mark, copyright and trade secret protection may not be available in every country in which we may offer our products and services.
Claims by others that we or our customers infringe their intellectual property rights could harm our business.
Third parties have in the past, and could in the future claim that our technologies and processes underlying our products and services infringe their intellectual property. In addition, to the extent that we gain greater visibility, market exposure, and add new products and services, we may face a higher risk of being the target of intellectual property infringement claims asserted by third parties. We may, in the future, receive notices alleging that we have misappropriated or infringed a third party’s intellectual property rights. There may be third-party intellectual property rights, including patents and pending patent applications that cover significant aspects of our technologies, processes or business methods. Any claims of infringement or misappropriation by a third party, even those without merit, could cause us to incur substantial defense costs and could distract our management from our business, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to prevail against such claims. Some of our competitors may have the capability to dedicate substantially greater resources to enforcing their intellectual property rights and to defending claims that may be brought against them than we do. Furthermore, a party making such a claim, if successful, could secure a judgment that requires us to pay substantial damages, potentially including treble damages if we are found to have willfully infringed a patent. A judgment could also include an injunction or other court order that could prevent us from offering our products and services. In addition, we might be required to seek a license for the use of a third party’s intellectual property, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Alternatively, we might be required to develop non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense and might ultimately not be successful.
Third parties may also assert infringement claims against our customers relating to their use of our technologies or processes. Any of these claims might require us to defend potentially protracted and costly litigation on their behalf, regardless of the
merits of these claims, because under certain conditions we may agree to indemnify our customers from third-party claims of intellectual property infringement. If any of these claims succeed, we might be forced to pay damages on behalf of our customers, which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
Finally, we use open source software in connection with our technology and services. Companies that incorporate open source software into their products, from time to time, face claims challenging the ownership of open source software. As a result, we could be subject to suits by parties claiming ownership of what we believe to be open source software. Open source software is also provided without warranty, and may therefore include bugs, security vulnerabilities or other defects for which we have no recourse or recovery. Some open source software licenses require users of such software to publicly disclose all or part of the source code to their software and/or make available any derivative works of the open source code on unfavorable terms or at no cost. While we monitor the use of open source software in our technology and services and try to ensure that none is used in a manner that would require us to disclose the source code to the related technology or service, such use could inadvertently occur and any requirement to disclose our proprietary source code could be harmful to our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our success is dependent, in part, upon our executive officers and other key personnel, and the loss of key personnel could materially adversely affect our business.
Our success depends, in part, on our executive officers and other key personnel. Our senior management team has significant industry experience and would be difficult to replace. The market for qualified individuals is competitive, and we may not be able to attract and retain qualified personnel or candidates to replace or succeed members of our senior management team or other key personnel. The loss of key personnel could materially adversely affect our business.
Risks related to regulatory matters and litigation
Changes in laws, regulations and enforcement activities may adversely affect our products and services and the markets in which we operate.
The electronic payments industry is subject to increasing regulation in the U.S. and internationally. Domestic and foreign government regulations impose compliance obligations on us and restrictions on our operating activities, which can be difficult to administer because of their scope, mandates and varied requirements. We are subject to government regulations covering a number of different areas, including, among others: interest rate and fee restrictions; credit access and disclosure requirements; licensing and registration requirements; collection and pricing regulations; compliance obligations; security, privacy and data breach requirements; identity theft protection programs; and AML compliance programs. While a large portion of these regulations focuses on individual consumer protection, legislatures and regulators continue to consider whether to include business customers, especially smaller business customers, within the scope of these regulations. As a result, new or expanded regulation focusing on business customers or changes in interpretation or enforcement of regulations may have an adverse effect on our business and operating results, due to increased compliance costs and new restrictions affecting the terms under which we offer our products and services.
In addition, certain of our subsidiaries are subject to regulation under the BSA by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and must comply with applicable AML requirements, including implementation of an effective AML program. Our business in Canada is also subject to the PCMLTFA, which is a corollary to the BSA. Changes in this regulatory environment, including changing interpretations and the implementation of new or varying regulatory requirements by the government, may significantly affect or change the manner in which we currently conduct some aspects of our business.
As a service provider to certain of our bank sponsors, we are subject to direct supervision and examination by the CFPB, in connection with certain of our products and services. CFPB rules, examinations and enforcement actions may require us to adjust our activities and may increase our compliance costs. In addition, our bank partners are subject to regulation by federal and state banking authorities and, as a result, could pass through some of those compliance obligations to us or alter the extent or the terms of their dealings with us in ways that may have adverse consequences for our business.
Many of these laws and regulations are evolving, unclear and inconsistent across various jurisdictions, and ensuring compliance with them is difficult and costly. With increasing frequency, federal and state regulators are holding businesses like ours to higher standards of training, monitoring and compliance, including monitoring for possible violations of laws by our customers and people who do business with our customers while using our products. If we fail or are unable to comply with existing or changed government regulations in a timely and appropriate manner, we may be subject to injunctions, other sanctions or the payment of fines and penalties, and our reputation may be harmed, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
For more information about laws, regulations and enforcement activities that may adversely affect our products and services and the markets in which we operate, see “Business- Regulatory.”
Derivatives regulations have added costs to our business and any additional requirements, such as future registration requirements and increased regulation of derivative contracts, may result in additional costs or impact the way we conduct our hedging activities, as well as impact how we conduct our business within our international payments provider operations.
Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act by the CFTC, provisions of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and its technical standards, as well as derivative reporting in Canada and the U.S., have subjected certain of the foreign exchange derivative contracts we offer to our customers as part of our Cross-Border solutions to reporting, record keeping, and other
requirements. Additionally, certain foreign exchange derivatives transactions we may enter into in the future may be subject to centralized clearing requirements, or may be subject to margin requirements in the U.S., U.K., and European Union or other jurisdictions.
Our compliance with these requirements has resulted, and may continue to result, in additional costs to our business and may impact our international payments provider business operations. Furthermore, our failure to comply with these requirements could result in fines and other sanctions, as well as necessitate a temporary or permanent cessation to some or all of our derivative related activities. Any such fines, sanctions or limitations on our business could adversely affect our operations and financial results. Additionally, the regulatory regimes for derivatives in the U.S., U.K., and European Union, such as under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) are continuing to evolve and changes to such regimes, our designation under such regimes, or the implementation of new rules under such regimes, such as future registration requirements and increased regulation of derivative contracts, may result in additional costs to our business. Other jurisdictions outside the U.S., U.K., and the European Union are considering, have implemented, or are implementing regulations similar to those described above and these may result in greater costs to us as well.
Governmental regulations and contractual obligations designed to protect or limit access to personal information could adversely affect our ability to effectively provide our services.
Governmental bodies in the U.S. and abroad have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, laws and regulations restricting the transfer of, and requiring safeguarding of, non-public personal information. For example, in the U.S., all financial institutions must undertake certain steps to help protect the privacy and security of consumer financial information. In connection with providing services to our clients, we are required by regulations and arrangements with payment networks, our sponsor banks and certain clients to provide assurances regarding the confidentiality and security of non-public consumer information. These arrangements require periodic audits by independent companies regarding our compliance with industry standards such as PCI standards and also allow for similar audits regarding best practices established by regulatory guidelines. The compliance standards relate to our infrastructure, components, and operational procedures designed to safeguard the confidentiality and security of non-public consumer personal information received from our customers. Our ability to maintain compliance with these standards and satisfy these audits will affect our ability to attract and maintain business in the future. If we fail to comply with these regulations, we could be exposed to suits for breach of contract or to governmental proceedings. In addition, our client relationships and reputation could be harmed, and we could be inhibited in our ability to obtain new clients. If more restrictive privacy laws or rules are adopted by authorities in the future on the federal or state level or internationally, our compliance costs may increase, our opportunities for growth may be curtailed by our compliance capabilities or reputational harm and our potential liability for security breaches may increase, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We contract with government entities and are subject to risks related to our governmental contracts.
In the course of our business we contract with domestic and foreign government entities, including state and local government customers, as well as federal government agencies. As a result, we are subject to various laws and regulations that apply to companies doing business with federal, state and local governments. The laws relating to government contracts differ from other commercial contracting laws and our government contracts may contain pricing terms and conditions that are not common among commercial contracts. In addition, we may be subject to investigation from time to time concerning our compliance with the laws and regulations relating to our government contracts. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in suspension of these contracts or administrative or other penalties.
Litigation and regulatory actions could subject us to significant fines, penalties or requirements resulting in significantly increased expenses, damage to our reputation and/or material adverse effects on our business.
We are subject to claims and a number of judicial and administrative proceedings in the ordinary course of our operations, including employment-related disputes, contract disputes, intellectual property disputes, government inquiries, investigations, audits and regulatory proceedings, customer disputes and tort claims. Responding to proceedings may be difficult and expensive, and we may not prevail. In some proceedings, the claimant seeks damages as well as other relief, which, if granted, would require expenditures on our part or changes in how we conduct business. There can be no certainty that we will not ultimately incur charges in excess of presently established or future financial accruals or insurance coverage, or that we will prevail with respect to such proceedings. Regardless of whether we prevail or not, such proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations. Further, these types of matters could divert our management’s attention and other resources away from our business.
In addition, from time to time, we have had, and expect to continue to receive, inquiries from regulatory bodies and administrative agencies relating to the operation of our business. Any potential claims or any such inquiries or potential claims have resulted in, and may continue to result in, various audits, reviews and investigations, which can be time consuming and expensive. These types of inquiries, audits, reviews, and investigations could result in the institution of administrative or civil proceedings, sanctions and the payment of fines and penalties, various forms of injunctive relief and redress, changes in personnel, and increased review and scrutiny by customers, regulatory authorities, the media and others, which could be significant and could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to comply with the FCPA, AML regulations, economic and trade sanctions regulations and similar laws and regulations applicable to our international activities, could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences.
As we continue to expand our business internationally, we may continue to expand into certain foreign countries, particularly those with developing economies, where companies often engage in business practices that are prohibited by U.S., U.K. and other foreign regulations, including the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, Canada’s PCMLTFA, and Australia’s AML/CTF Act. These laws and regulations generally prohibit and our employees, consultants and agents from bribing, being bribed or making other prohibited payments to government officials or other persons to obtain or retain business or gain some other business advantage. We have implemented policies to discourage such practices; however, there can be no assurances that all of our employees, consultants and agents, including those that may be based in or from countries where practices that violate these laws may be customary, will not take actions in violation of our policies for which we may be ultimately responsible.
In addition, we are subject to AML laws and regulations, including the BSA. Among other things, the BSA requires money services businesses (such as money transmitters and providers of prepaid access) to develop and implement risk-based AML programs, verify the identity of our customers, report large cash transactions and suspicious activity, and maintain transaction records.
We are also subject to certain economic and trade sanctions programs that are administered by OFAC, which prohibit or restrict transactions to or from or dealings with specified countries, their governments, and in certain circumstances, their nationals, and with individuals and entities that are specially designated nationals of those countries, narcotics traffickers, and terrorists or terrorist organizations. Other group entities may be subject to additional foreign or local sanctions requirements in other relevant jurisdictions.
Similar AML and counter-terrorist financing and proceeds of crime laws apply to movements of currency and payments through electronic transactions and to dealings with persons specified in lists maintained by the country equivalent to OFAC lists in several other countries and require specific data retention obligations to be observed by intermediaries in the payment process. Our businesses in those jurisdictions are subject to those data retention obligations.
Violations of these laws and regulations may result in severe criminal or civil sanctions and, in the U.S., suspension or debarment from U.S. government contracting. Likewise, any investigation of any potential violations of these laws and regulations by U.S. or foreign authorities could also have an adverse impact on our reputation and operating results. In addition, we cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our international operations might be subject or the manner in which existing laws and regulations might be administered or interpreted.
Risks related to our debt
Our debt obligations, or our incurrence of additional debt obligations, could limit our flexibility in managing our business and could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
At December 31, 2020, we had approximately $4.3 billion of debt outstanding under our Credit Facility and Securitization Facility. In addition, we are permitted under our credit agreement to incur additional indebtedness, subject to specified limitations. Our indebtedness currently outstanding, or as may be outstanding if we incur additional indebtedness, could have important consequences, including the following:
•we may have difficulty satisfying our obligations under our debt facilities and, if we fail to satisfy these obligations, an event of default could result;
•we may be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to required payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow for acquisitions, working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate activities. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Contractual Obligations;”
•covenants relating to our debt may limit our ability to enter into certain contracts, pay dividends or to obtain additional financing for acquisitions, working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate activities, including to react to changes in our business or the industry in which we operate;
•events outside our control, including volatility in the credit markets or a significant rise in fuel prices, may make it difficult to renew our Securitization Facility on terms acceptable to us and limit our ability to timely fund our working capital needs;
•we may be more vulnerable than our less leveraged competitors to the impact of economic downturns and adverse developments in the industry in which we operate; and
•we are exposed to the risk of increased interest rates because certain of our borrowings are subject to variable rates of interest.
In addition, we and our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, including through our Securitization Facility. Although our credit agreements contain restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of significant qualifications and exceptions, and under certain circumstances, the amount of additional indebtedness that could be incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. If new debt is added to our existing debt levels, the related risks that we will face would increase.
Changes in the method pursuant to which the LIBOR rates are determined and potential phasing out of LIBOR after 2021 may adversely affect our results of operations.
LIBOR and certain other “benchmarks” are the subject of recent national, international and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. These reforms may cause such benchmarks to perform differently than in the past or have other
consequences which cannot be predicted. Specifically, there is currently considerable uncertainty regarding the publication of LIBOR beyond 2021, in response to which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began publishing the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and two other alternative rates beginning in April 2018.
We are not able to predict whether LIBOR will actually cease to be available after 2021 or whether SOFR will become the market benchmark in its place. Any uncertainty regarding the continued use and reliability of LIBOR as a benchmark interest rate could adversely affect the performance of LIBOR relative to its historic values. If the methods of calculating LIBOR change from current methods for any reason, or if LIBOR ceases to perform as it has historically, our interest expense associated with the unhedged portion of our outstanding indebtedness or any future indebtedness we incur may increase. Further, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may be forced to substitute an alternative reference rate, such as SOFR or a different benchmark interest rate or base rate borrowings, in lieu of LIBOR under our current and future indebtedness and cash flow hedges. Any such alternative reference rate may be calculated differently than LIBOR and may increase the interest expense associated with our existing or future indebtedness.
Finally, the replacement or disappearance of LIBOR may adversely affect the value of and return on our LIBOR-based obligations and the availability, pricing and terms of cash flow hedges we use to hedge our variable interest rate risk. Alternative reference rates or modifications to LIBOR may not align for our assets, liabilities, and hedging instruments, which could reduce the effectiveness of certain of our interest rate hedges, and could cause increased volatility in our earnings. We may also incur expenses to amend and adjust our indebtedness and swaps to eliminate any differences between any alternative reference rates used by our cash flow hedges and our outstanding indebtedness.
Our balance sheet includes significant amounts of goodwill and intangible assets. The impairment of a significant portion of these assets would negatively affect our financial results.
Our balance sheet includes goodwill and intangible assets that represent approximately 61% of our total assets at December 31, 2020. These assets consist primarily of goodwill and identified intangible assets associated with our acquisitions, which may increase in the future in connection with new acquisitions. Under current accounting standards, we are required to amortize certain intangible assets over the useful life of the asset, while goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets are not amortized. On at least an annual basis, we assess whether there have been impairments in the carrying value of goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets. If the carrying value of the asset is determined to be impaired, it is written down to fair value by a charge to operating earnings, which could materially negatively affect our operating results and financial condition.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
We have no unresolved written comments regarding our periodic or current reports from the staff of the SEC.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our corporate headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia where we lease approximately 46,500 square feet of office space. In addition to our headquarters, we have major operations located in Brentwood, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Lexington Kentucky, and Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Our largest offices internationally are located in São Paulo, Brazil; Prague, Czech Republic; and Mexico City, Mexico. We lease all of the real property used in our business, except for our headquarters in Mexico City, which we own.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
In the ordinary course of business, the Company is involved in various pending or threatened legal actions, arbitration proceedings, claims, subpoenas, and matters relating to compliance with laws and regulations (collectively, "legal proceedings"). Based on our current knowledge, management presently does not believe that the liabilities arising from these legal proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. However, it is possible that the ultimate resolution of these legal proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition for any particular period.
On July 10, 2017, a shareholder derivative complaint was filed against the Company and certain of the Company’s directors and officers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (“Federal Derivative Action”) seeking recovery on behalf of the Company. The Federal Derivative Action alleges that the defendants issued a false and misleading proxy statement in violation of the federal securities laws; that defendants breached their fiduciary duties by causing or permitting the Company to make allegedly false and misleading public statements concerning the Company’s fee charges, and financial and business prospects; and that certain defendants breached their fiduciary duties through allegedly improper sales of stock. The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages on behalf of the Company, corporate governance reforms, disgorgement of profits, benefits and compensation by the defendants, restitution, costs, and attorneys’ and experts’ fees. On September 20, 2018, the court entered an order deferring the Federal Derivative Action pending a ruling on motions for summary judgment in the shareholder class action, notice a settlement has been reached in the shareholder class action, or until otherwise agreed to by the parties. After preliminary approval of the proposed settlement of the shareholder class action was granted, the stay on the Federal Derivative Action was lifted. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on February 22, 2020. FLEETCOR filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint in the Federal Derivative Action on April 17, 2020, which the court granted without leave to amend on October 21, 2020. Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on November 18, 2020. The appeal is pending.
On January 9, 2019, a similar shareholder derivative complaint was filed in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia (“State Derivative Action”), which was stayed pending a ruling on motions for summary judgment in the shareholder class action, notice a settlement has been reached in the shareholder class action, or until otherwise agreed by the parties. On the parties’ joint motion, the court has continued the stay of the State Derivative Action “pending further developments in the first-filed Federal Derivative Action.” The defendants dispute the allegations in the derivative complaints and intend to vigorously defend against the claims.
In October 2017, the FTC issued a Notice of Civil Investigative Demand to the Company for the production of documentation and a request for responses to written interrogatories. After discussions with the Company, the FTC proposed in October 2019 to resolve potential claims relating the Company’s advertising and marketing practices, principally in its U.S. direct fuel card business within its North American Fuel Card business. The parties reached impasse primarily related to what the Company believes are unreasonable demands for redress made by the FTC.
On December 20, 2019, the FTC filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Georgia against the Company and Ron Clarke. See FTC v. FLEETCOR and Ronald F. Clarke, No. 19-cv-05727 (N.D. Ga.). The complaint alleges the Company and Clarke violated the FTC Act’s prohibitions on unfair and deceptive acts and practices. The complaint seeks among other things injunctive relief, consumer redress, and costs of suit. The Company continues to believe that the FTC’s claims are without merit and these matters are not and will not be material to the Company’s financial performance. The Company has incurred and continues to incur legal and other fees related to this complaint. Any settlement of this matter, or defense against the lawsuit, could involve costs to the Company, including legal fees, redress, penalties, and remediation expenses. At this time, the Company believes the possible range of outcomes includes continuing litigation or discussions leading to a settlement, or the closure of these matters without further action.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER
MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker FLT. As of December 31, 2020, there were 265 holders of record of our common stock.
DIVIDENDS AND SHARE REPURCHASES
We currently expect to retain all future earnings, if any, for use in the operation and expansion of our business. We have never declared or paid any dividends on our common stock and do not anticipate paying cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. In addition, our credit agreements restrict our ability to pay dividends. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon, among other factors, our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements and covenants in our existing financing arrangements and any future financing arrangements.
The Company's Board of Directors (the "Board") has approved a stock repurchase program (as updated from time to time, the "Program") authorizing the Company to repurchase its common stock from time to time until February 1, 2023. On October 22, 2020, the Board increased the aggregate size of the Program by $1.0 billion, to $4.1 billion. Since the beginning of the Program, 14,616,942 shares have been repurchased for an aggregate purchase price of $3.1 billion, leaving the Company up to $1.0 billion available under the Program for future repurchases in shares of its common stock. There were 3,497,285 common shares totaling $940.8 million in 2020; 2,211,866 common shares totaling $636.8 million in 2019 and 4,793,687 common shares totaling $925.7 million in 2018; repurchased under the Program.
Any stock repurchases may be made at times and in such amounts as deemed appropriate. The timing and amount of stock repurchases, if any, will depend on a variety of factors including the stock price, market conditions, corporate and regulatory requirements, and any additional constraints related to material inside information we may possess. Any repurchases have been and are expected to be funded by a combination of available cash flow from the business, working capital and debt.
On December 14, 2018, as part of the Program, the Company entered an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreement (2018 ASR Agreement) with a third-party financial institution to repurchase $220 million of its common stock. Pursuant to the 2018 ASR Agreement, the Company delivered $220 million in cash and received 1,057,035 shares on December 14, 2018. An additional 117,751 shares were received on January 29, 2019 upon completion of the 2018 ASR Agreement.
On December 18, 2019, the Company entered an accelerated stock repurchase agreement (2019 ASR Agreement) with a third-party financial institution to repurchase $500 million of its common stock. Pursuant to the 2019 ASR Agreement, the Company delivered $500 million in cash and received 1,431,989 shares on December 18, 2019. An additional 175,340 shares were received on February 20, 2020 upon completion of the 2019 ASR Agreement.
The Company accounted for the 2018 and 2019 ASR Agreements, each as two separate transactions, respectively: (i) as shares of reacquired common stock for the shares delivered to the Company upon effectiveness of each ASR agreement and (ii) as a forward contract indexed to the Company's common stock for the undelivered shares. The initial delivery of shares was included in treasury stock at cost and results in an immediate reduction of the outstanding shares used to calculate the weighted average common shares outstanding for basic and diluted earnings per share. The forward contracts indexed to the Company's own common stock met the criteria for equity classification, and these amounts were initially recorded in additional paid-in capital.
The following table presents information with respect to purchase of common stock of the Company made during the three months ended December 31, 2020 by the Company as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act:
|Period||Total Number of Shares Purchased||Average Price Paid Per Share||Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of the Publicly Announced Plan||Maximum Value that May Yet be Purchased Under the Publicly Announced Plan (in thousands)|
|October 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020||2,176 ||$||241.96 ||14,437,742 ||$||1,055,150 |
|November 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020||62,217 ||$||260.34 ||14,499,959 ||$||1,038,952 |
|December 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020||116,983 ||$||276.23 ||14,616,942 ||$||1,006,638 |
The following graph assumes $100 invested on December 31, 2015, at the closing price ($142.93) of our common stock on that day, and compares (a) the percentage change of our cumulative total stockholder return on the common stock (as measured by dividing (i) the difference between our share price at the end and the beginning of the period presented by (ii) the share price at the beginning of the periods presented) with (b) (i) the Russell 2000 Index, (ii) the S&P 500® Data Processing & Outsourced Services and (iii) S&P 500.
RECENT SALES OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES AND USE OF PROCEEDS
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The selected financial data set forth below should be read in conjunction with (i) "Item 7 ‑ Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," (ii) "Item 8 ‑ Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" and (iii) the historical consolidated financial statements of the FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc. and the related notes presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in any future period.
|(in thousands, except per share data)||2020|
|Income statement data:|
|Revenues, net||$||2,388,855 ||$||2,648,848 ||$||2,433,492 ||$||2,249,538 ||$||1,831,546 |
|Operating income||972,265 ||1,231,430 ||1,090,698 ||883,760 ||754,153 |
|Net income||$||704,216 ||$||895,073 ||$||811,483 ||$||740,200 ||$||452,385 |
|Per share data:|
|Basic earnings per share||$||8.38 ||$||10.36 ||$||9.14 ||$||8.12 ||$||4.89 |
|Diluted earnings per share||$||8.12 ||$||9.94 ||$||8.81 ||$||7.91 ||$||4.75 |
| ||As of December 31,|
|Balance sheet data:|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||934,900 ||$||1,271,494 ||$||1,031,145 ||$||913,595 ||$||475,018 |
|541,719 ||403,743 ||333,748 ||217,275 ||168,752 |
|Total assets||11,194,579 ||12,248,541 ||11,202,477 ||11,318,359 ||9,626,732 |
|Total debt||4,332,623 ||5,036,785 ||4,819,047 ||4,518,616 ||3,858,233 |
|Total stockholders’ equity||3,355,411 ||3,711,616 ||3,340,180 ||3,676,522 ||3,084,038 |
1Reflects the impact of the Company's adoption of ASU 2016-02 "Leases", on January 1, 2019, using a modified retrospective transition method. Under this method, financial results reported in periods prior to 2019 are unchanged.
2 Reflects the impact of the Company's adoption of Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) ("ASC 606") and related cost capitalization guidance, which was adopted by the Company on January 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective transition method. The adoption of ASC 606 resulted in an adjustment to retained earnings in our consolidated balance sheet for the cumulative effect of applying the standard, which included costs incurred to obtain a contract, as well as presentation changes in our statements of income, including the classification of certain amounts previously classified as merchant commissions and processing expense net with revenues. As a result of the application of the modified retrospective transition method, financial results reported in periods prior to 2018 are unchanged.
3 Restricted cash represents customer deposits repayable, as well as collateral received from customers for cross-currency transactions.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this report. In addition to historical information, this discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from management’s expectations. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those described in Item 1A “Risk Factors” appearing elsewhere in this report. All foreign currency amounts that have been converted into U.S. dollars in this discussion are based on the exchange rate as reported by Oanda for the applicable periods.
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations generally discusses 2020 and 2019 items and year-over-year comparisons between 2020 and 2019. A detailed discussion of 2018 items and year-over-year comparisons between 2019 and 2018 that are not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
FLEETCOR is a leading global provider of digital payment solutions that enables businesses to control purchases and make payments more effectively and efficiently. Since its incorporation in 2000, FLEETCOR has continued to deliver on its mission: to provide businesses with “a better way to pay”. FLEETCOR has been a member of the S&P 500 since 2018 and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker FLT.
Businesses spend an estimated $170 trillion each year. In many instances, they lack the proper tools to monitor what is being purchased, and employ manual, paper-based, disparate processes and methods to both approve and make payments for their purchases. This often results in wasted time and money due to unnecessary or unauthorized spending, fraud, receipt collection, data input and consolidation, report generation, reimbursement processing, account reconciliations, employee disciplinary actions, and more.
FLEETCOR’s vision is that every payment is digital, every purchase is controlled, and every related decision is informed. Digital payments are faster and more secure than paper-based methods such as checks, and provide timely and detailed data which can be utilized to effectively reduce unauthorized purchases and fraud, automate data entry and reporting, and eliminate reimbursement processes. Combining this payment data with analytical tools delivers powerful insights, which managers can use to better run their businesses. Our wide range of modern, digitized solutions generally provides control, reporting, and automation benefits superior to many of the payment methods businesses often used, such as cash, paper checks, general purpose credit cards, as well as employee pay and reclaim processes.
Our revenue is generally reported net of the cost for underlying products and services purchased through our payment products. In this report, we refer to this net revenue as “revenue". See “Results of Operations” for additional segment information.
Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic and recommended containment and mitigation measures worldwide. The pandemic and these containment and mitigation measures have created adverse impacts on the U.S. and global economies and it is unclear how long the pandemic and related economic impacts will continue. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our business operations in 2020 as described in more detail under “Results of Operations” below, due to a significant decrease in the level of business activity across industries worldwide, which reduced the volume of payment services provided to our customers and revenue generated beginning during the second half of March 2020 and continuing through the date of this Report.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and could continue to have, an adverse impact on our results of operations and liquidity; the operations of our suppliers, vendors and customers; and on our employees as a result of quarantines, facility closures, travel and logistics restrictions and general decreases in the level of consumer confidence and business activity. Our business operations and results of operations, including our revenues, earnings and cash flows, have been and may continue to be negatively impacted by certain factors arising from the pandemic including, but not limited to:
•changes in business and consumer confidence and spending habits, including negative trends in our customers’ purchasing patterns due to decreased levels of business activity, credit availability, high debt levels and financial distress;
•volatile fuel prices and fuel price spreads;
•lower volumes of commercial trucking;
•fluctuations in the dollar compared to other currencies around the world;
•reduction in the level of business travel;
•decreased productivity due to travel bans, work-from-home policies or shelter-in-place orders;
•slowdown in the U.S. and global economies, and an uncertain global economic outlook or a potential credit crisis; and
•customers experiencing financial distress or declaring bankruptcy, including seeking extended payment terms, which could create incremental credit loss expense.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world economy and our customers, in particular, by restricting day-to-day operations and business activity generally, which adversely impacted our financial performance in 2020. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business operations, financial results, and liquidity into 2021 will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict or assess, including the duration and scope of the pandemic; vaccine availability, distribution, efficacy to new strains of the virus and the public's willingness to get vaccinated; our response to the continued impact of the pandemic; the negative impact it has on global and regional economies and general economic activity, including the duration and magnitude of its impact on unemployment rates and business spending levels; its short- and longer-term impact on the levels of consumer confidence; the ability of our suppliers, vendors and customers to successfully address the continued impacts of the pandemic; actions governments, businesses and individuals take in response to the pandemic; and how quickly economies recover after the pandemic subsides.
We have taken steps to mitigate the potential risks related to the circumstances and impacts of COVID-19. We have been focused on addressing these challenges with proactive actions designed to protect our employees, provide uninterrupted service to our customers, and meet our near term liquidity needs. Such actions include, but are not limited to:
•Safety: ensuring the safety of our approximately 8,400 employees worldwide, with the vast majority of our employees working from home;
•Business Continuity: ensuring that our systems and payment solutions continue to operate efficiently for our customers;
•Liquidity: actively monitoring availability under our existing credit facilities;
•Expenses: slowing discretionary sales and technology spending, and furloughing contractors; and
•Credit: in select distressed verticals, tightening customer credit lines and payment terms, including closing inactive lines, reducing unused capacity, and reducing payment terms.
While we believe the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have an adverse effect on our revenues and earnings in 2021, we expect continued improvement throughout the year as economic activity recovers.
Revenues, net, Net Income and Net Income Per Diluted Share. Set forth below are revenues, net, net income and net income per diluted share for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions, except per share amounts).
| ||Year ended December 31,|
|Revenues, net||$||2,389 ||$||2,649 |
|Net income||$||704 ||$||895 |
|Net income per diluted share||$||8.12 ||$||9.94 |
Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Net Income Per Diluted Share. Set forth below are adjusted net income and adjusted net income per diluted share for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions, except per share amounts).
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
|Adjusted net income||$||962 ||$||1,062 |
|Adjusted net income per diluted share||$||11.09 ||$||11.79 |
Adjusted net income and adjusted net income per diluted share are supplemental non-GAAP financial measures of operating performance. See the heading entitled “Management’s Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for more information and a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP. We use adjusted net income and adjusted net income per diluted share to eliminate the effect of items that we do not consider indicative of our core operating performance on a consistent basis.
Sources of Revenue
FLEETCOR offers a variety of business payment solutions that help to simplify, automate, secure, digitize and effectively control the way businesses manage and pay their expenses. We provide our payment solutions to our business, merchant, consumer and payment network customers in more than 100 countries around the world today, although we operate primarily in 3 geographies, with approximately 87% of our business in the U.S., Brazil, and the U.K. Our customers may include
commercial businesses (obtained through direct and indirect channels), partners for whom we manage payment programs, as well as individual consumers.
FLEETCOR has three reportable segments, North America, International, and Brazil. We report these three segments as they reflect how we organize and manage our global employee base, manage operating performance, contemplate the differing regulatory environments across geographies, and help us isolate the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations on our financial results. However, to help facilitate an understanding of our expansive range of solutions around the world, we describe them in two categories: Corporate Payments solutions, which simplify and automate payments, and Expense Management solutions, which help control and monitor employee spending.
Our Corporate Payments solutions are designed to help businesses streamline the back-office operations associated with making outgoing payments. Companies save time, cut costs, and manage B2B payment processing more efficiently with our suite of corporate payment solutions, including accounts payable (AP) automation, virtual cards, cross-border, and purchasing and T&E cards. Our Expense Management solutions (Fuel, Tolls, and Lodging) are purpose-built to provide customers with greater control and visibility of employee spending when compared with less specialized payment methods, such as cash or general-purpose credit cards. FLEETCOR provides several other payments solutions that, due to their nature or size, are not considered within our Corporate Payments and Expense Management solutions.
Revenues, net, by Segment. The presentation of segment information has been recast for prior periods to align with our current segment presentation. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, our segments generated the following revenue (in millions):
| ||Year ended December 31,|
|% of Total|
|% of Total|
|North America||$||1,582 ||66 ||%||$||1,709 ||65 ||%|
|Brazil||344 ||14 ||%||428 ||16 ||%|
|International||463 ||19 ||%||512 ||19 ||%|
|$||2,389 ||100 ||%||$||2,649 ||100 ||%|
Revenues, net, by Geography and Solution. Revenue by geography and solution category for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions), was as follows:
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
|Revenue by Geography*||Revenues,|
|% of total|
|% of total|
|$||1,468 ||61 ||%||$||1,595 ||60 ||%|
|344 ||14 ||%||428 ||16 ||%|
|263 ||11 ||%||275 ||10 ||%|
|314 ||13 ||%||351 ||13 ||%|
|Consolidated revenues, net||$||2,389 ||100 ||%||$||2,649 ||100 ||%|
*Columns may not calculate due to rounding.
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
Revenue, net by Solution Category*1
|% of total revenues, net||Revenues,|
|% of total|
|$||1,057 ||44 ||%||$||1,173 ||44 ||%|
|434 ||18 ||%||450 ||17 ||%|
|292 ||12 ||%||357 ||13 ||%|
|207 ||9 ||%||213 ||8 ||%|
|154 ||6 ||%||180 ||7 ||%|
|244 ||10 ||%||276 ||10 ||%|
|Consolidated revenues, net||$||2,389 ||100 ||%||$||2,649 ||100 ||%|
*Columns may not calculate due to rounding.
1Reflects certain reclassifications of revenue between solution categories as the Company realigned its Corporate Payments solution, resulting in reclassification of Payroll Card revenue from Corporate Payments to Other.
Fuel solutions help businesses monitor and control fuel spend across multiple fuel networks, providing online analytical reporting to help customers managing the efficiency of their vehicles and drivers, while offering potential discounts off of the retail price of fuel. We generate revenue in our Fuel solution through a variety of program fees, including transaction fees, card fees, network fees and charges, as well as from interchange. These fees may be charged as fixed amounts, costs plus a mark-up, or based on a percentage of the transaction purchase amounts, or a combination thereof. Our programs also include other fees and charges associated with late payments and based on customer credit risk.
Corporate Payments solutions help streamline B2B payments for vendors and employees, both domestically and internationally. Our corporate payments products include Virtual Card solutions for invoice payments, corporate card programs, a fully-outsourced AP Automation solution, as well as a Cross-Border solution to facilitate customers making payments across differing currencies. In our Corporate Payments solutions, the primary measure of volume is spend, the dollar amount of payments processed on behalf of customers through our various networks. We primarily earn revenue from the difference between the amount charged to the customer and the amount paid to the third party for a given transaction, as interchange or spread revenue. Our programs may also charge fixed fees for access to the network and ancillary services provided.
Our Tolls solution is primarily delivered via an RFID sticker affixed to the windshield of a customer vehicle in Brazil. This RFID enables customers to utilize toll roads, toll parking lots, pay for gas at partner stations and pay for drive-through food, via automated access and payment upon scan while remaining in the vehicle. In our Tolls solution, the relevant measure of volume is average monthly tags active during the period. We primarily earn revenue from fixed fees for access to the network and ancillary services provided. We also earn interchange on certain services provided.
Lodging solutions provide customers, both workforce and airline/cruise line based, with a proprietary network of hotels with discounted room rates, centralized billing and robust reporting to help customers manage and control costs. In our Lodging solutions, we define a transaction as a hotel room night purchased by a customer. We primarily earn revenue from the difference between the amount charged to the customer and the amount paid to the hotel for a given transaction and commissions paid by hotels. We may also charge fees for access to the network and ancillary services provided.
Gift provides fully integrated gift card program management and processing services via plastic and digital gift cards to our customers. We primarily earn revenue from the processing of gift card transactions sold by our customers to end users, as well as from the sale of the plastic cards. We may also charge fixed fees for ancillary services provided.
The remaining revenues represents other products that due to their nature or size, are not considered primary products. These include payroll cards, fleet maintenance, food and transportation employee benefits related offerings, and telematics offerings.
The following table provides revenue per key performance metric by solution category for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions except revenues, net per key performance metric).*
Pro Forma and Macro Adjusted3
|Year Ended December 31,||Year Ended December 31,|
|2020||2019||Change||% Change||2020||2019||Change||% Change|
'- Revenues, net
|$||1,057 ||$||1,173 ||$||(116)||(10)||%||$||1,057 ||$||1,161 ||$||(104)||(9)||%|
|442 ||502 ||(60)||(12)||%||442 ||499 ||(57)||(11)||%|
'- Revenues, net per transaction
|$||2.39 ||$||2.34 ||$||0.05 ||2 ||%||$||2.39 ||$||2.33 ||$||0.06 ||3 ||%|
'- Revenues, net1
|$||434 ||$||450 ||$||(16)||(4)||%||$||435 ||$||454 ||$||(19)||(4)||%|
'- Spend volume
|$||64,740 ||$||73,437 ||$||(8,697)||(12)||%||$||64,740 ||$||73,829 ||$||(9,089)||(12)||%|
'- Revenues, net per spend $
|0.67 ||%||0.61 ||%||0.06 ||%||10 ||%||0.67 ||%||0.62 ||%||0.06 ||%||9 ||%|
| - Revenues, net||$||292 ||$||357 ||$||(65)||(18)||%||$||378 ||$||357 ||$||21 ||6 ||%|
| - Tags (average monthly)||5.4 ||5.1 ||0.3 ||6 ||%||5.4 ||5.1 ||0.3 ||6 ||%|
| - Revenues, net per tag||$||13.43 ||$||17.56 ||$||(4.13)||(24)||%||$||17.38 ||$||17.56 ||$||(0.17)||(1)||%|
'- Revenues, net
|$||207 ||$||213 ||$||(6)||(3)||%||$||207 ||$||272 ||$||(65)||(24)||%|
'- Room nights
|22 ||19 ||3 ||16 ||%||22 ||28 ||(7)||(23)||%|
'- Revenues, net per room night
|$||9.54 ||$||11.14 ||$||(1.60)||(14)||%||$||9.55 ||$||9.62 ||$||(0.08)||(1)||%|
'- Revenues, net
|$||154 ||$||180 ||$||(26)||(14)||%||$||154 ||$||180 ||$||(26)||(14)||%|
|1,045 ||1,274 ||(230)||(18)||%||1,045 ||1,274 ||(230)||(18)||%|
'- Revenues, net per transaction
|$||0.15 ||$||0.14 ||$||0.01 ||7 ||%||$||0.15 ||$||0.14 ||$||0.01 ||7 ||%|
'- Revenues, net1
|$||244 ||$||276 ||$||(32)||(11)||%||$||252 ||$||285 ||$||(33)||(12)||%|
|41 ||56 ||(15)||(27)||%||41 ||58 ||(17)||(29)||%|
'- Revenues, net per transaction
|$||5.99 ||$||4.94 ||$||1.05 ||21 ||%||$||6.18 ||$||4.93 ||$||1.24 ||25 ||%|
|FLEETCOR CONSOLIDATED REVENUES|
'- Revenues, net
|$||2,389 ||$||2,649 ||$||(260)||(10)||%||$||2,484 ||$||2,711 ||$||(227)||(8)||%|
1 Reflects certain reclassifications of revenue between solution categories as the Company realigned its Corporate Payments solution, resulting in reclassification of Payroll Card revenue from Corporate Payments to Other.
2 Other includes telematics, maintenance, food, transportation and payroll card related businesses.
3 See heading entitled "Managements' Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for a reconciliation of pro forma and macro adjusted revenue by product and metric non-GAAP measures to the comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP.
|* Columns may not calculate due to rounding.|
Revenue per relevant key performance indicator (KPI), which may include transaction, spend volume, monthly tags, room nights, or other metrics, is derived from the various revenue types as discussed above and can vary based on geography, the relevant merchant relationship, the payment product utilized and the types of products or services purchased, the mix of which would be influenced by our acquisitions, organic growth in our business, and the overall macroeconomic environment, including fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, fuel prices and fuel price spreads. Revenue per KPI per customer may change as the level of services we provide to a customer increases or decreases, as macroeconomic factors change and as adjustments are made to merchant and customer rates. See “Results of Operations” for further discussion of transaction volumes and revenue per transaction.
Sources of Expenses
We incur expenses in the following categories:
•Processing—Our processing expense consists of expenses related to processing transactions, servicing our customers and merchants, credit losses and cost of goods sold related to our hardware sales in certain businesses.
•Selling—Our selling expenses consist primarily of wages, benefits, sales commissions (other than merchant commissions) and related expenses for our sales, marketing and account management personnel and activities.
•General and administrative—Our general and administrative expenses include compensation and related expenses (including stock-based compensation) for our executives, finance and accounting, information technology, human resources, legal and other administrative personnel. Also included are facilities expenses, third-party professional services fees, travel and entertainment expenses, and other corporate-level expenses.
•Depreciation and amortization—Our depreciation expenses include depreciation of property and equipment, consisting of computer hardware and software (including proprietary software development amortization expense), card-reading equipment, furniture, fixtures, vehicles and buildings and leasehold improvements related to office space. Our amortization expenses include amortization of intangible assets related to customer and vendor relationships, trade names and trademarks, software and non-compete agreements. We are amortizing intangible assets related to business acquisitions and certain private label contracts associated with the purchase of accounts receivable.
•Other operating, net—Our other operating, net includes other operating expenses and income items that do not relate to our core operations or that occur infrequently.
•Investment (gain) loss, net—Our investment results primarily relate to impairment charges related to our investments and unrealized gains and losses related to a noncontrolling interest in a marketable security, which was disposed in 2020.
•Other expense (income), net—Our other expense (income), net includes gains or losses from the sale of assets, foreign currency transactions, and other miscellaneous operating costs and revenue.
•Interest expense, net—Our interest expense, net includes interest expense on our outstanding debt, interest income on our cash balances and interest on our interest rate swaps.
•Provision for income taxes—Our provision for income taxes consists primarily of corporate income taxes related to profits resulting from the sale of our products and services on a global basis.
Factors and Trends Impacting our Business
We believe that the following factors and trends are important in understanding our financial performance:
•Global economic conditions—Our results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the economy generally, in North America, Brazil, and internationally, including the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors affected by the economy include our transaction volumes, the credit risk of our customers and changes in tax laws across the globe. These factors affected our businesses in each of our segments.
•Foreign currency changes—Our results of operations are significantly impacted by changes in foreign currency exchange rates; namely, by movements of the Australian dollar, Brazilian real, British pound, Canadian dollar, Czech koruna, Euro, Mexican peso, New Zealand dollar and Russian ruble, relative to the U.S. dollar. Approximately 61%, and 60% of our revenue in 2020 and 2019, respectively, was derived in U.S. dollars and was not affected by foreign currency exchange rates. See “Results of Operations” for information related to foreign currency impact on our total revenue, net.
Our cross-border foreign currency trading business aggregates foreign exchange exposures arising from customer contracts and economically hedges the resulting net currency risks by entering into offsetting contracts with established financial institution counterparties. These contracts are subject to counterparty credit risk.
•Fuel prices—Our fleet customers use our products and services primarily in connection with the purchase of fuel. Accordingly, our revenue is affected by fuel prices, which are subject to significant volatility. A change in retail fuel prices could cause a decrease or increase in our revenue from several sources, including fees paid to us based on a percentage of each customer’s total purchase. Changes in the absolute price of fuel may also impact unpaid account balances and the late fees and charges based on these amounts. We believe approximately 11% and 13% of revenues, net were directly impacted by changes in fuel price in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
•Fuel price spread volatility—A portion of our revenue involves transactions where we derive revenue from fuel price spreads, which is the difference between the price charged to a fleet customer for a transaction and the price paid to the merchant for the same transaction. In these transactions, the price paid to the merchant is based on the wholesale cost of fuel. The merchant’s wholesale cost of fuel is dependent on several factors including, among others, the factors described above affecting fuel prices. The fuel price that we charge to our customer is dependent on several factors including, among others, the fuel price paid to the merchant, posted retail fuel prices and competitive fuel prices. We experience fuel price spread contraction when the merchant’s wholesale cost of fuel increases at a faster rate than the fuel price we charge to our customers, or the fuel price we charge to our customers decreases at a faster rate than the merchant’s wholesale cost of fuel. The inverse of these situations produces fuel price spread expansion. We believe approximately 8% and 5% of revenues, net were directly impacted by fuel price spreads in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
•Acquisitions—Since 2002, we have completed over 80 acquisitions of companies and commercial account portfolios. Acquisitions have been an important part of our growth strategy, and it is our intention to continue to seek opportunities to increase our customer base and diversify our service offering through further strategic acquisitions. The impact of acquisitions has, and may continue to have, a significant impact on our results of operations and may make it difficult to compare our results between periods.
•Interest rates—Our results of operations are affected by interest rates. We are exposed to market risk changes in interest rates on our cash investments and debt. On January 22, 2019, we entered into three swap contracts. The objective of these swap contracts is to reduce the variability of cash flows in the previously unhedged interest payments associated with $2.0 billion of variable rate debt, the sole source of which is due to changes in the LIBOR benchmark interest rate. For each of these swap contracts, we pay a fixed monthly rate and receive one month LIBOR.
•Expenses— Over the long term, we expect that our general and administrative expense will decrease as a percentage of revenue as our revenue increases. To support our expected revenue growth, we plan to continue to incur additional sales and marketing expense by investing in our direct marketing, third-party agents, internet marketing, telemarketing and field sales force.
•Taxes— We pay taxes in various taxing jurisdictions, including the U.S., most U.S. states and many non-U.S. jurisdictions. The tax rates in certain non-U.S. taxing jurisdictions are different than the U.S. tax rate. Consequently, as our earnings fluctuate between taxing jurisdictions, our effective tax rate fluctuates.
Acquisitions and Investments
Subsequent to 2020
On January 13, 2021, we acquired Roger, a global accounts payable (AP) cloud software platform for small businesses located in Denmark, for approximately $40 million. This acquisition is not expected to be material to the financial results of the Company.
2020 and 2019 Acquisitions
On November 30, 2020, we completed the acquisition of a fuel card provider in New Zealand for an immaterial amount.
On September 17, 2020, we signed a definitive agreement to acquire Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX), a U.S. based, cross-border payment solutions provider, for approximately $450 million. The transaction is expected to close in 2021, subject to regulatory approval and standard closing conditions.
On August 10, 2020, we completed the acquisition of a business in the lodging space in the U.S. for an immaterial amount.
During 2019, we completed acquisitions with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $417 million.
•On April 1, 2019, we completed the acquisition of NvoicePay, a provider of full accounts payable automation for business in the U.S. The aggregate purchase price of this acquisition was approximately $208 million, net of cash acquired.
•On April 1, 2019, we completed the acquisition of r2c, a fleet maintenance, compliance and workshop management software provider in the U.K.
•On July 3, 2019, we completed the acquisition of SOLE Financial, a payroll card provider in the U.S.
•On October 1, 2019, we completed the acquisition of Travelliance, an airline lodging provider in the U.S. The aggregate purchase price of this acquisition was approximately $110 million, net of cash acquired.
We report our results from our 2020 and 2019 U.S. acquisitions in our North America segment. We report our results from our 2020 New Zealand acquisition and our 2019 U.K. acquisition in our International segment. We report our results from all 2020 and 2019 acquisitions from the date of acquisition.
During the third quarter of 2020, we sold a trading security investment for $53.0 million.
As part of our plans to exit the telematics business, we sold our investment in Masternaut to Michelin Group during the second quarter of 2019. We impaired our investment in Masternaut by an additional $15.7 million during 2019, resulting in no gain or loss when the investment was sold.
Results of Operations
Year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019
The following table sets forth selected consolidated statements of income and selected operational data for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions, except percentages)*.
|% of total|
|% of total|
|North America||$||1,581.5 ||66.2 ||%||$||1,708.5 ||64.5 ||%||$||(127.0)||(7.4)||%|
|International||463.1 ||19.4 ||%||512.4 ||19.3 ||%||(49.3)||(9.6)||%|
|Brazil||344.2 ||14.4 ||%||427.9 ||16.2 ||%||(83.7)||(19.6)||%|
|Total revenues, net||2,388.9 ||100.0 ||%||2,648.8 ||100.0 ||%||(260.0)||(9.8)||%|
|Consolidated operating expenses:|
|Processing||596.4 ||25.0 ||%||530.7 ||20.0 ||%||65.7 ||12.4 ||%|
|Selling||192.7 ||8.1 ||%||204.8 ||7.7 ||%||(12.1)||(5.9)||%|
|General and administrative||374.7 ||15.7 ||%||407.2 ||15.4 ||%||(32.5)||(8.0)||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||254.8 ||10.7 ||%||274.2 ||10.4 ||%||(19.4)||(7.1)||%|
|Other operating (income) expense, net||(2.0)||(0.1)||%||0.5 ||— ||%||(2.5)||NM|
|Operating income||972.3 ||40.7 ||%||1,231.4 ||46.5 ||%||(259.2)||(21.0)||%|
|Investment (gain) loss, net||(30.0)||(1.3)||%||3.5 ||0.1 ||%||(33.5)||NM|
|Other (income) expense, net||(10.1)||(0.4)||%||0.1 ||— ||%||10.1 ||NM|
|Interest expense, net||129.8 ||5.4 ||%||150.0 ||5.7 ||%||(20.2)||(13.5)||%|
|Provision for income taxes||178.3 ||7.5 ||%||182.7 ||6.9 ||%||(4.4)||(2.4)||%|
|Net income||$||704.2 ||29.5 ||%||$||895.1 ||33.8 ||%||$||(190.9)||(21.3)||%|
|Operating income for segments:|
|North America||$||547.9 ||$||754.5 ||$||(206.6)||(27.4)||%|
|International||276.3 ||301.3 ||(25.0)||(8.3)||%|
|Brazil||148.1 ||175.6 ||(27.6)||(15.7)||%|
|Operating income||$||972.3 ||$||1,231.4 ||$||(259.2)||(21.0)||%|
|Operating margin for segments:|
|North America||34.6 ||%||44.2 ||%||(9.5)||%|
|International||59.7 ||%||58.8 ||%||0.9 ||%|
|Brazil||43.0 ||%||41.0 ||%||2.0 ||%|
|Total||40.7 ||%||46.5 ||%||(5.8)||%|
*The sum of the columns and rows may not calculate due to rounding.
NM - not meaningful
Consolidated revenues were $2,388.9 million in 2020, a decrease of $260.0 million, or 9.8%, from $2,648.8 million in 2019. Consolidated revenues and organic growth declined primarily due to decreases in transaction volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the negative impact of the macroeconomic environment on 2020 revenue. Organically, consolidated revenues were down only approximately 8%, due to the proforma impact of acquisitions and dispositions of $62 million.
Although we cannot precisely measure the impact of the macroeconomic environment, in total we believe it had a negative impact on our consolidated revenue for 2020 over 2019 of approximately $95 million. Foreign exchange rates had an unfavorable impact on consolidated revenues of approximately $112 million, due to unfavorable fluctuations in foreign exchange rates primarily in Brazil, Mexico and Russia, and lower fuel prices had an unfavorable impact of $31 million. These decreases were partially offset by the impact of favorable fuel price spreads of approximately $48 million.
North America segment revenues, net
North America revenues were $1,581.5 million in 2020, a decrease of $127.0 million, or 7.4%, from $1,708.5 million in 2019. North America revenues and organic growth declined primarily due to decreases in volumes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organically, North America segment revenues were down approximately 12%, which is higher due to the proforma impact of acquisitions and dispositions of $61 million.
This decrease was partially offset by the favorable impact of fuel price spreads. Although we cannot precisely measure the impact of the macroeconomic environment, in total we believe it had a positive impact on our North America segment revenue for 2020 over 2019 of approximately $17 million, driven primarily by favorable fuel price spreads of approximately $48 million, partially offset by lower fuel prices of approximately $30 million and the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates in Canada of $1 million.
International segment revenues, net
International segment revenues were $463.1 million in 2020, a decrease of $49.3 million, or 9.6%, from $512.4 million in 2019. International revenues declined primarily due to decreases in transaction volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates and lower fuel prices. Organically, International segment revenues were down approximately 8%. We believe unfavorable foreign exchange rates of approximately $10 million and lower fuel prices of approximately $1 million had a negative impact on our International segment revenues for 2020 over 2019.
Brazil segment revenues, net
Brazil segment revenues were $344.2 million in 2020, a decrease of $83.7 million or 19.6%, from $427.9 million in 2019. Organic growth in our Brazil segment was approximately 4%, which was offset by the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates. We believe unfavorable foreign exchange rates negatively impacted Brazil segment revenues for 2020 over 2019 by approximately $101 million.
Consolidated operating expenses
Processing. Processing expenses were $596.4 million in 2020, an increase of $65.7 million, or 12.4%, from $530.7 million in 2019. Increases in processing expenses were primarily due to a write-off of a significant customer receivable in our foreign currency trading business of approximately $90 million in the first quarter of 2020 and acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020 of approximately $26 million. These increases were partially offset by the favorable impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates of approximately $29 million and lower variable costs due to reduced sales volumes and expense reductions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Selling. Selling expenses were $192.7 million in 2020, a decrease of $12.1 million or 5.9% from $204.8 million in 2019. Decreases in selling expenses were primarily due to lower commissions and other variable costs due to reduced sales volumes and the favorable impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates of approximately $8 million. These decreases were partially offset by expenses related to acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020 of approximately $4 million.
General and administrative. General and administrative expenses were $374.7 million in 2020, a decrease of $32.5 million or 8.0% from $407.2 million in 2019. The decrease was primarily due to decreased discretionary spending, decreased stock based compensation expense of approximately $20 million, and the favorable impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates of approximately $10 million. These decreases were partially offset by the impact of acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020 of approximately $15 million and professional fees of $7 million over the prior year.
Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization expenses were $254.8 million in 2020, a decrease of $19.4 million or 7.1% from $274.2 million in 2019. The decrease was primarily due to the favorable impact of foreign exchange rates of approximately $16 million and the impact of fully amortized assets of $16 million, partially offset by expenses related to acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020 of approximately $10 million.
Investment (gain) loss. Investment gain of $30.0 million in 2020 relates to market value net gains recorded on an investment in a trading security, which we sold during the third quarter of 2020. In 2019, we recorded an impairment of our Masternaut investment of approximately $16 million, which was then sold in 2019 at an amount approximating carrying value. This loss was partially offset by an approximate $13 million unrealized gain related to a marketable security investment.
Other (income) expense, net. Other income, net was $10.1 million in 2020, primarily resulting from a $7 million favorable purchase price settlement from our Cambridge acquisition.
Interest expense, net. Interest expense was $129.8 million in 2020, a decrease of $20.2 million or 13.5% from $150.0 million in 2019. The decrease in interest expense is primarily due to decreases in LIBOR and lower borrowings on our Securitization Facility, partially offset by the impact of additional borrowings to repurchase our common stock. The average interest rates paid on borrowings under our Credit Facility, excluding the related unused credit facility fees and swaps was as follows in 2020 and 2019.
|Term loan A||2.09 ||%||3.70 ||%|
|Term loan B||2.37 ||%||4.23 ||%|
|Revolver line of credit A, B & C USD Borrowings||2.12 ||%||3.96 ||%|
|Revolver line of credit B GBP Borrowings||1.77 ||%||2.18 ||%|
|Foreign swing line||1.65 ||%||2.13 ||%|
There were no borrowings on the revolving D facility in 2020. The average unused facility fee for the Credit Facility excluding the revolving D facility was 0.29% and 0.29% in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The fixed unused facility fee for the revolving D facility was 0.375% in 2020. On August 20, 2020, we terminated the revolving D facility.
On January 22, 2019, we entered into three interest rate swap contracts. The objective of these interest rate swap contracts is to reduce the variability of cash flows in the previously unhedged interest payments associated with $2 billion of variable rate debt, tied to the one month LIBOR benchmark interest rate. During 2020, as a result of these swaps, we incurred additional interest expense of approximately $39 million or 1.94% over the average LIBOR rates on $2 billion of borrowings.
Provision for income taxes. The provision for income taxes and effective tax rate were $178.3 million and 20.2% in 2020, a decrease of $4.4 million, from $182.7 million and 17.0%, respectively, in 2019. Included in the 2019 provision for income taxes was the reversal of a valuation allowance and remeasurement of the related deferred tax asset, due to the capital loss realized upon the sale of our Masternaut investment that was carried back to when the U.S. federal tax rate was 35%, and also an impairment charge to this investment prior to disposal. Excluding these discrete items, our income taxes and effective rate for 2019 would have been approximately $248 million and 23.0%, respectively. Excluding these discrete items, 2020 reflects lower tax expense of $70 million and a lower effective rate compared to 2019, attributable primarily to lower book income and higher excess tax benefits related to share based compensation.
We pay taxes in different taxing jurisdictions, including the U.S., most U.S. states and many non-U.S. jurisdictions. The tax rates in certain non-U.S. taxing jurisdictions are different than the U.S. tax rate. Consequently, as our earnings fluctuate between taxing jurisdictions, our effective tax rate fluctuates.
Net income. For the reasons discussed above, our net income was $704.2 million in 2020, a decrease of $190.9 million or 21.3% from $895.1 million in 2019.
Operating income and operating margin
Consolidated operating income. Operating income was $972.3 million in 2020, a decrease of $259.2 million or 21.0% from $1,231.4 million in 2019. Consolidated operating margin was 40.7% in 2020 and 46.5% in 2019. The decrease in operating income and margin were primarily driven by the write-off of a significant customer receivable in our cross-border payments business of approximately $90 million, decreases in volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, lower fuel prices of approximately $31 million and the negative impact of acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020. Operating income was also negatively impacted by the unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates of approximately $50 million. The decreases in operating income and operating margin were partially offset by the favorable impact of fuel price spreads of approximately $48 million.
For the purpose of segment operating results, we calculate segment operating income by subtracting segment operating expenses from segment revenue. Segment operating margin is calculated by dividing segment operating income by segment revenue.
North America segment operating income. North America operating income was $547.9 million in 2020, a decrease of $206.6 million or 27.4% from $754.5 million in 2019. North America operating margin was 34.6% in 2020 and 44.2% in 2019. The decrease in operating income and operating margin was due primarily to the write-off of a significant customer receivable in our cross-border payments business of approximately $90 million, decreases in volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, lower fuel prices of approximately $30 million and the negative impact of acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020. These decreases in operating income and operating margin were partially offset by the favorable impact of fuel price spreads of approximately $48 million. Additionally, the decrease in operating income was partially offset by favorable movements in foreign exchange rates of approximately $3 million.
International segment operating income. International operating income was $276.3 million in 2020, a decrease of $25.0 million, or 8.3% from $301.3 million in 2019. International operating margin was 59.7% in 2020 and 58.8% in 2019. The decrease in operating income was primarily due to decreases in volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the
unfavorable impact of the macroeconomic environment of approximately $9 million, primarily driven by unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates. Operating margin increased primarily due to a reduction in operating expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil segment operating income. Brazil operating income was $148.1 million in 2020, a decrease of $27.6 million or 15.7% from $175.6 million in 2019. Brazil operating margin was 43.0% in 2020 and 41.0% in 2019. The decrease in operating income was due primarily to the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates of $45 million. The decrease was partially offset by organic growth in Brazil segment revenues of approximately 4%, which positively impacted our operating margin.
Liquidity and capital resources
Our principal liquidity requirements are to service and repay our indebtedness, make acquisitions of businesses and commercial account portfolios, repurchase shares of our common stock and meet working capital, tax and capital expenditure needs.
Sources of liquidity. We believe that our current level of cash and borrowing capacity under our Credit Facility and Securitization Facility (each defined below), together with expected future cash flows from operations, will be sufficient to meet the needs of our existing operations and planned requirements for the foreseeable future, based on our current assumptions. At December 31, 2020, we had approximately $1.9 billion in total liquidity, consisting of approximately $941 million available under our Credit Facility (defined below) and unrestricted cash of $935 million. Restricted cash primarily represents customer deposits in our Comdata business in the U.S., as well as collateral received from customers for cross-currency transactions in our cross-border payments business, which are restricted from use other than to repay customer deposits, as well as secure and settle cross-currency transactions.
We also utilize an accounts receivable Securitization Facility to finance a majority of our domestic receivables, to lower our cost of borrowing and more efficiently use capital. We generate and record accounts receivable when a customer makes a purchase from a merchant using one of our card products and generally pay merchants before collecting the receivable. As a result, we utilize the Securitization Facility as a source of liquidity to provide the cash flow required to fund merchant payments while we collect customer balances. These balances are primarily composed of charge balances, which are typically billed to the customer on a weekly, semimonthly or monthly basis, and are generally required to be paid within 14 days of billing. We also consider the undrawn amounts under our Securitization Facility and Credit Facility as funds available for working capital purposes and acquisitions. At December 31, 2020, we had no additional liquidity under our Securitization Facility.
The Company has determined that outside basis differences associated with our investment in foreign subsidiaries would not result in a material deferred tax liability, and consistent with our assertion that these amounts continue to be indefinitely reinvested, have not recorded incremental income taxes for the additional outside basis differences.
We cannot assure you that our assumptions used to estimate our liquidity requirements will remain accurate due to the unprecedented nature of the disruption to our operations and the unpredictability of the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a consequence, our estimates of the duration of the pandemic and the severity of the impact on our future earnings and cash flows could change and have a material impact on our results of operations and financial condition. The following have impacted or may impact our liquidity:
•The negative impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on our business as discussed above under “Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business”.
•We have principal and interest obligations under our debt and ongoing financial covenants under those debt facilities.
•During 2020, we repurchased 3.5 million common shares totaling $940.8 million in connection with our stock repurchase program (the "Program"). On October 22, 2020, our Board of Directors increased the aggregate size of the Program by $1.0 billion, to $4.1 billion. At December 31, 2020, we had approximately $1.0 billion remaining repurchase authorization under our current share repurchase program.
•We have never declared or paid any dividends on our common stock and do not anticipate paying cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future.
•While we intend to employ a disciplined and highly selective approach, we may pursue strategic business acquisitions in the future.