10-K 1 eeft1231201710k.htm 10-K Document
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
_________________________
FORM 10-K
_________________________
(Mark One)
þ
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended: December 31, 2017
 
 
 
OR
 
 
¨
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 001-31648

EURONET WORLDWIDE, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
________________________

DELAWARE
74-2806888
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3500 COLLEGE BOULEVARD
LEAWOOD, KANSAS
66211
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)

(913) 327-4200
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.02 par value
Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC
Preferred Stock Purchase Rights
Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
_________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ

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 þ No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 þ No ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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 þ
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer o (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company o
Emerging growth company o
 
 
 
 
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. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ¨ No þ

As of June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $4.4 billion. The aggregate market value was determined based on the closing price of the Common Stock on June 30, 2017.

As of February 27, 2018, the registrant had 51,419,512 shares of Common Stock outstanding.

Documents Incorporated By Reference

Portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after December 31, 2017, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 
 
 
 
 



Table of Contents
Item Number
Item Description
Page
 
 
 
 
Item 1.
Item IA.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
 
 
Item 15.
 
 
 
 




Part I

Item 1. Business

References in this report to “we,” “our,” “us,” the “Company” and “Euronet” refer to Euronet Worldwide, Inc. and its subsidiaries unless the context requires otherwise.


Business Overview

General Overview

Euronet is a leading electronic payments provider. We offer payment and transaction processing and distribution solutions to financial institutions, retailers, service providers and individual consumers. Our primary product offerings include comprehensive automated teller machine (“ATM”), point-of-sale (“POS”), card outsourcing, card issuing and merchant acquiring services; software solutions; electronic distribution of prepaid mobile airtime and other electronic payment products; foreign exchange services and global money transfer services.

Core Business Segments

We operate in the following three segments as of December 31, 2017:

The EFT Processing Segment processes transactions for a network of 37,133 ATMs and approximately 248,000 POS terminals across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. We provide comprehensive electronic payment solutions consisting of ATM cash withdrawal and deposit services, ATM network participation, outsourced ATM and POS management solutions, credit and debit card outsourcing, and card issuing and merchant acquiring services. In addition to our core business, we offer a variety of value added services, including ATM and POS dynamic currency conversion, advertising, customer relationship management (“CRM”), mobile top-up, bill payment, fraud management and foreign remittance payout. Through this segment, we also offer a suite of integrated electronic financial transaction (“EFT”) software solutions for electronic payment and transaction delivery systems. In 2017, the EFT Processing Segment accounted for approximately 28% of Euronet's consolidated revenues.

The epay Segment provides distribution and processing of prepaid mobile airtime and other electronic content and payment processing services for various prepaid products, cards and services throughout its worldwide distribution network. We operate a network that includes approximately 707,000 POS terminals that enable electronic processing of prepaid mobile airtime “top-up” services and other non-mobile content in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the United States and South America. We also provide vouchers and physical gift fulfillment services in Europe, gift card distribution and processing services in most of our markets and digital code distribution in a growing number of markets. In 2017, the epay Segment accounted for approximately 33% of Euronet's consolidated revenues.

The Money Transfer Segment provides global consumer-to-consumer money transfer services, primarily under the brand names Ria, AFEX Money Express, and IME, and global account-to-account money transfer services under the brand names HiFX and xe. We offer services under the brand names Ria, AFEX Money Express and IME through a network of sending agents, Company-owned stores (primarily in North America, Europe and Malaysia) and our websites (riamoneytransfer.com and imeremit.com), disbursing money transfers through a worldwide correspondent network that includes approximately 343,000 locations. xe is a provider of foreign currency exchange information and offers money transfer services on its currency data websites (xe.com and x-rates.com). We offer services under the brand name HiFX through our HiFX websites (www.hifx.com, www.hifx.co.uk and www.hifx.com.au) and HiFX customer service representatives. In addition to money transfers, we offer customers bill payment services (primarily in the U.S.), payment alternatives such as money orders, comprehensive check cashing services for a wide variety of issued checks, along with competitive foreign currency exchange services and mobile top-up. Through our HiFM brand, we offer cash management solutions and foreign currency risk management services to small-to-medium sized businesses. We are one of the largest global money transfer companies in terms of revenues and transaction volumes. In 2017, the Money Transfer Segment accounted for approximately 39% of Euronet's consolidated revenues.

Euronet conducts business globally, serving customers in approximately 160 countries. We have 13 transaction processing centers, including six in Europe, five in Asia Pacific and two in North America. We also maintain 61 business offices that are located in 41 countries. Our corporate offices are located in Leawood, Kansas, USA.

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Historical Perspective

Euronet was established in 1994 as Euronet Bank Access Kft., a Hungarian limited liability company. Operations began in 1995 when we established a processing center in Budapest, Hungary and installed our first ATMs in Hungary, followed by Poland and Germany in 1996. Euronet was reorganized in March 1997, in connection with its initial public offering, and at that time, our operating entities became wholly owned subsidiaries of Euronet Services, Inc., a Delaware corporation. We changed our name from Euronet Services, Inc. to Euronet Worldwide, Inc. in August 2001.

Initially, most of Euronet's resources were devoted to establishing and expanding the ATM network and ATM management services business in Europe. In December 1998, we acquired Arkansas Systems, Inc. (now known as "Euronet USA"), a U.S.-based company that produces electronic payment and transaction delivery systems software for retail banks internationally, which resulted in significant ongoing savings in third-party licensing, services and maintenance costs. By the end of 1998, we were doing business in Hungary, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Croatia. From 1998 until 2005, we developed networks in India, Slovakia, Serbia and Bulgaria.

In 2005, we expanded the product offerings of the EFT Processing Segment through the acquisition of Instreamline S.A., a Greek company that provides credit card and POS outsourcing services in addition to debit card and transaction gateway switching services in Greece and the Balkan region. In 2007, we combined our EFT and Software segments as both businesses are strategically aligned due to the fact that our software segment primarily supports our EFT service offerings and processing centers. In 2009 Euronet, through one of its group companies, was granted authorization as an e-money institution in the United Kingdom ("U.K.") under the E-Money Directive of the European Union ("E.U.").  Euronet obtained relevant memberships of Visa and MasterCard during 2011. In 2011, the Second E-Money Directive ("2EMD") came into effect. 2EMD enables authorized e-money institutions to provide payment services and issue e-money throughout the European Economic Area under a single regulatory framework.  By obtaining the status as an authorized e-money institution together with its principal memberships of Visa and MasterCard, Euronet has been able to expand its Independent ATM Deployed ("IAD") networks across Europe. By the end of 2017, Euronet's IAD network of ATMs had expanded to include 21 countries. Our product portfolio for the EFT Processing Segment operates in 86 countries.

In 2003, Euronet added a complementary business line through the acquisition of epay Limited (“epay”), which had offices in the U.K. and Australia. Through subsequent acquisitions between 2003 and 2011, the epay Segment continued to expand in Europe (Germany, Romania, Spain and the U.K.), the U.S., the Middle East, Asia and Brazil, and established new offices in New Zealand, Poland, India and Italy. We believe the epay Segment is the world's leading international network for distribution and processing of prepaid mobile airtime ("top-up") as well as other electronic payment products and services.

In 2007, we established the Money Transfer Segment after completing the acquisition of Los Angeles-based Ria, one of the largest global money transfer companies in terms of revenues and transaction volumes. Established in 1987, Ria originates and terminates transactions through a network of sending agents and Company-owned stores located around the world. In November 2009, Ria obtained a payment services license under the E.U.'s Payment Services Directive ("PSD") from the U.K. Financial Services Authority, which allowed Ria to operate under one license and one regulator for all European Economic Area Member States. The license also facilitated expansion into new markets through the sales of money transfers through agents in countries where the use of agents was not previously permitted. In 2014, Euronet added a complementary product to the money transfer portfolio through the acquisition of HiFX, which offers account-to-account international payment services to high-income individuals and small-to-medium sized businesses. In 2015, we completed the acquisition of IME (M) Sdn Bhd
("IME") which provided Euronet with immediate entry into the Asian and Middle East money transfer send markets. In 2015, we also added a complementary business line through the acquisition of xe Corporation ("xe"), which provides currency-related data and international payment services. In addition to expanding its money transfer network, the segment expanded its product portfolio to offer complementary non-money transfer products such as bill payment and check cashing, and prepaid services in conjunction with the epay Segment. In October 2016, the Company completed the acquisition of YourCash Europe Limited and its subsidiaries (“YourCash”). YourCash is a company incorporated in England that owns and operates primarily merchant filled ATMs in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.








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Business Segment Overview

For a discussion of operating results by segment, please see Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Note 16, Business Segment Information, to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

EFT Processing Segment

Overview

Our EFT Processing Segment provides comprehensive electronic payment solutions consisting of ATM cash withdrawal and deposit services, ATM network participation, outsourced ATM and POS management solutions, credit and debit card outsourcing; card issuing and merchant acquiring services. In addition to our core business, we offer a variety of value added services, including ATM and POS dynamic currency conversion, advertising, CRM, prepaid mobile top-up, bill payment, money transfer, fraud management and foreign remittance payout. We provide these services either through our Euronet-owned ATMs and POS terminals, through contracts under which we operate ATMs and POS terminals on behalf of our customers or, for certain services, as stand alone products. Through this segment, we also offer a suite of integrated EFT software solutions for electronic payment and transaction delivery systems.

The major sources of revenues generated by our ATM network are recurring monthly management fees, transaction-based fees and margins earned on dynamic currency conversion transactions. We receive fixed monthly fees under many of our outsourced management contracts. The EFT Processing Segment also generates revenues from POS operations and merchant management, card network management for credit, debit, prepaid and loyalty cards, prepaid mobile airtime recharge and other electronic content on ATMs and ATM advertising. We primarily service financial institutions in the developing markets of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Greece and Ukraine), the Middle East and Asia Pacific (India, China, Malaysia and Pakistan), as well as several developed countries of Western Europe. As of December 31, 2017, we operated 37,133 ATMs compared to 33,973 at December 31, 2016. The increase was largely due to the expansion of our ATM networks in India and several European countries, and the acquisition of YourCash.

We monitor the number of transactions made by cardholders on our network. These include cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, deposits, prepaid mobile airtime recharge purchases, dynamic currency conversion transactions and certain denied (unauthorized) transactions. We do not bill certain transactions on our network to financial institutions, and we have excluded these transactions for reporting purposes. The number of transactions processed over our networks has increased over the last five years at a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of approximately 18.6% as indicated in the following table:

(in millions)
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
EFT Processing transactions per year
1,188
1,262
1,523
1,885
2,352

Our processing centers for the EFT Processing Segment are located in Budapest, Hungary; Mumbai, India; Beijing, China; and Karachi, Pakistan. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and consist of production IBM iSeries computers or a combination of Windows and Linux servers, which run various proprietary software packages. Our processing centers run two types of proprietary transaction switching software: our legacy ITM software, which we have used and sold to banks since 1998 through our Software Solutions unit, and a new, innovative switching software package named “Renaissance” which has been rolled out to our processing center in Budapest, Hungary. We have transitioned all of our European networks to Renaissance and will progressively be transitioning all of our networks to Renaissance. 

EFT Processing Products and Services

Outsourced Management Solutions

Euronet offers outsourced management services to financial institutions, merchants, mobile phone operators and other organizations using our processing centers' electronic financial transaction processing software. Our outsourced management services include management of existing ATM networks, development of new ATM networks, management of POS networks, management of automated deposit terminals, management of credit and debit card databases and other financial processing services. These services include 24-hour monitoring of each ATM's status and cash condition, managing the cash levels in each ATM, coordinating the cash delivery and providing automatic dispatches for necessary service calls. We also provide real-time transaction authorization, advanced monitoring, network gateway access, network switching, 24-hour customer service, maintenance, cash settlement and reconciliation, forecasting and reporting. Since our infrastructure can support a significant

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increase in transactions, any new outsourced management services agreements should provide additional revenue with lower incremental cost.

Our outsourced management services agreements generally provide for fixed monthly management fees and, in most cases, fees payable for each transaction. The transaction fees under these agreements are generally lower than those under card acceptance agreements.

Euronet-Branded ATM Transaction Processing

Our Euronet-branded ATM networks, also known as IAD networks, are primarily managed by a processing center that uses our internally developed software solutions. The ATMs in our IAD networks are able to process transactions for holders of credit and debit cards issued by or bearing the logos of financial institutions and international card organizations such as American Express®, Visa®, MasterCard®, Diners Club International®, Discover® and UnionPay International©, as well as international ATM networks such as PULSE®. This is accomplished through our agreements and relationships with these institutions, international credit and debit card issuers and international card associations.

When a bank cardholder conducts a transaction on a Euronet-owned ATM or automated deposit terminal ("ADT"), we receive a fee from the cardholder's bank for that transaction. The bank pays us this fee either directly or indirectly through a central switching and settlement network. When paid indirectly, this fee is referred to as the “interchange fee.” All of the banks in a shared ATM and POS switching system establish the amount of the interchange fee by agreement. We receive transaction-processing fees for successful transactions and, in certain circumstances, for transactions that are not completed because they fail to receive authorization. The fees paid to us by the card issuers are independent of any fees charged by the card issuers to cardholders in connection with the ATM transactions.

We generally receive fees or earn margin from our customers for six types of ATM transactions:

Cash withdrawals;

Cash deposits;

Balance inquiries;

Transactions not completed because the relevant card issuer does not give authorization;

Dynamic currency conversion; and

Prepaid telecommunication recharges and other electronic content.

Card Acceptance or Sponsorship Agreements

Our agreements with financial institutions and international card organizations generally provide that all credit and debit cards issued by the customer financial institution or organization may be used at all ATMs that we operate in a given market. In most markets, we act under sponsorship by our own e-money licensed entity, E360. In a few markets, we have agreements with a financial institution under which we are designated as a service provider (which we refer to as “sponsorship agreements”) for the acceptance of cards bearing international logos, such as Visa and MasterCard. These card acceptance or sponsorship agreements allow us to receive transaction authorization directly from the card issuing institution or international card organization. Our agreements generally provide for a term of three to seven years and renew automatically unless either party provides notice of non-renewal prior to the termination date. In some cases, the agreements are terminable by either party upon six months' notice. We are generally able to connect a financial institution to our network within 30 to 90 days of signing a card acceptance agreement. Generally, the financial institution provides the cash needed to complete transactions on the ATM, but we do provide a portion of the cash to our IAD network to fund ATM transactions ourselves. Euronet is generally liable for the cash in the ATM networks.

Under our card acceptance agreements, the ATM transaction fees we charge vary depending on the type of transaction and the number of transactions attributable to a particular card issuer. Our agreements generally provide for payment in local currency. Transaction fees are sometimes denominated in euros or U.S. dollars. Transaction fees are billed to financial institutions and card organizations with payment terms typically no longer than one month.


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Dynamic Currency Conversion

We offer dynamic currency conversion (“DCC”) over our IAD networks, ATM networks that we operate on an outsourced basis for banks, and over banks' ATM networks or POS devices as a stand-alone service. DCC is a feature of the underlying ATM or POS transaction that is offered to customers completing transactions using a foreign debit or credit card issued in a country with a currency other than the currency where the ATM or POS is located. The customer is offered a choice between completing the transaction in the local currency or in the customer's home currency via a DCC transaction. If a cardholder chooses to perform a DCC transaction, the acquirer or processor performs the foreign exchange conversion at the time that the funds are delivered at an ATM or transactions completed through the POS terminal, which results in a pre-defined amount of the customer's home currency being charged to their card. Alternatively, the customer may have the transaction converted in the ordinary way, in which the amount of local currency is communicated to the card issuing bank and the card issuing bank makes the conversion to the customer's home currency.

When a customer chooses DCC at an ATM or POS device and Euronet acts as the acquirer or processor, we receive all or a portion of the foreign exchange margin on the conversion of the transaction. On our IAD ATMs, Euronet receives the entire exchange margin. If Euronet is not the acquirer or processor, we share the DCC revenue with the sponsor bank. On ATMs or POS devices that are operated for banks, or where we offer DCC as a stand-alone service to banks or merchants, we share the foreign exchange margin. The foreign exchange margin on a DCC transaction can substantially increase the amount Euronet earns from the underlying ATM or POS transaction and increase the profitability of those ATMs on which DCC is offered.

Other Products and Services

Our network of owned or operated ATMs allows for the sale of financial and other products or services at a low incremental cost. We have developed value added services in addition to basic cash withdrawal and balance inquiry transactions. These value added services include mobile top-up, fraud management, bill payment, CRM, foreign remittance payout, electronic content, merchant acquiring, and advertising. We are committed to the ongoing development of innovative new products and services to offer our EFT processing customers.

Euronet offers multinational merchants a Single European Payments Area (“SEPA”)-compliant cross-border transaction processing solution. SEPA is an area in which all electronic payments can be made and received in euros, whether between or within national boundaries, under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location. This single, centralized acquiring platform enables merchants to benefit from cost savings and faster, more efficient payments transfer. Although many European countries are not members of the eurozone, the platform can serve the merchants in these countries as well, through its multi-currency functionality.

Software Solutions

We also offer a suite of integrated software solutions for electronic payments and transaction delivery systems. We generate revenues for our software products from licensing, professional services and maintenance fees for software and sales of related hardware, primarily to financial institutions around the world.

Additionally, our software products are an integral part of the EFT Processing Segment product lines, and our investment in research, development, delivery and customer support reflects our ongoing commitment to an expanded customer base both internally and externally. Our proprietary software is used by processing centers in our EFT Processing Segment, resulting in cost savings and added value compared to third-party license and maintenance options. Our proprietary software consists of our legacy ITM software, which we have used and sold to banks since 1998 through our Software Solutions unit, and an innovative switching software package named “Renaissance” that we released in 2017.

EFT Processing Segment Strategy

The EFT Processing Segment maintains a strategy to expand the network of ATMs and POS terminals into developed and developing markets that have the greatest potential for growth. In addition, we follow a supporting strategy to increase the penetration of value added (or complementary) services across our existing customer base, including DCC, advertising, fraud management, bill payment, mobile top-up, CRM and foreign remittance payout.

We continually strive to make our own ATM networks more efficient by eliminating underperforming ATMs and installing ATMs in more desirable locations. We make selective additions to our own ATM network if we see market demand and profit opportunities. In tourist locations, we also shut down ATMs during the winter season when tourist activity is low.


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In recent years, the need for “all-in” services has increased. Banks, particularly smaller banks, are increasingly looking for integrated ATM, POS and card issuing processing and management services. Euronet is well positioned for this opportunity as it can offer a full end-to-end solution to the potential partners.

Additional growth opportunities are driven through financial institutions that are receptive to outsourcing the operation of their ATM, POS and card networks. The operation of these devices requires expensive hardware and software and specialized personnel. These resources are available to us, and we offer them to our customers under outsourcing contracts. The expansion and enhancement of our outsourced management solutions in new and existing markets will remain an important business opportunity for Euronet. Increasing the number of non-owned ATMs and POS terminals that we operate under management services agreements and continued development of our credit and debit card outsourcing business would provide continued growth while minimizing our capital investment.

Complementary services offered by our epay Segment, where we provide prepaid top-up services through POS terminals, strengthens the EFT Processing Segment's line of services. We plan to continue to expand our technology and business methods into other markets where we operate and further leverage our relationships with mobile phone operators and financial institutions to facilitate that expansion.

Seasonality

Our EFT Processing business experiences its heaviest demand for cash withdrawals and DCC during the third quarter of the fiscal year, coinciding with the tourism season. It is also impacted by seasonality during the fourth quarter and first quarter of each year due to higher transaction levels during the holiday season and lower levels after the holiday season. This seasonality is increased due to our practice of "winterizing" ATMs in tourist locations that experience significantly higher traffic during the summer. Winterizing involves shutting down the ATMs during the slower winter months and results in lower overall transaction volumes in the EFT Processing Segment during those months. As we have expanded our IAD network in tourist locations, the financial impact of winterization has increased, because we continue to bear the expense of winterized ATMs even though they do not generate transactions during the winter months.

Significant Customers and Government Contracts

No individual customer of the EFT Processing Segment makes up greater than 10% of total consolidated revenues. In India, we have contracts with government-owned banks to provide certain ATM driving and transaction switching services and mobile airtime recharge services. Additionally, certain government-owned banks are members of our shared ATM network in India. In Croatia, we lease land and other property for certain ATM sites from companies that are majority-owned by the government. In Pakistan, we have a contract with a government-owned bank to provide software support services.

Competition

Our principal EFT Processing competitors include ATM networks owned by financial institutions and national switches consisting of consortiums of local banks that provide outsourcing and transaction services to financial institutions and independent ATM deployers in a particular country. Additionally, large, well-financed companies that operate ATMs offer ATM network and outsourcing services, and those that provide card outsourcing, POS processing and merchant acquiring services also compete with us in various markets. Small local operators have also recently begun offering their services, particularly in the IAD market. None of these competitors has a dominant market share in any of our markets. Competitive factors in our EFT Processing Segment include breadth of service offering, network availability and response time, price to both the financial institution and to its customers, ATM location and access to other networks.

epay Segment

Overview

We currently offer prepaid mobile airtime top-up services and other non-mobile prepaid content and payment products on a network of approximately 707,000 POS terminals across approximately 323,000 retailer locations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the United States and South America. Our processing centers for the epay Segment are located in Billericay, U.K.; Martinsried, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Milan, Italy; Buena Park, California, USA; and Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Since 2003, we have expanded our prepaid business in new and existing markets by drawing upon our depth of experience to build and expand relationships with content providers, mobile phone operators and retailers. We offer a wide range of products across our retail networks, including prepaid mobile airtime, prepaid debit cards, prepaid gift cards, prepaid electronic content

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such as music, games and software, prepaid vouchers, transport payments, lottery payments, prepaid long distance and bill payment processing assistance through partnerships with various licensed money transmitters.

Sources of Revenues

The epay Segment generates commissions or processing fees from the distribution of electronic content and from telecommunications service providers for the sale and distribution of prepaid mobile airtime. In 2017, of the total revenues and gross profit for the epay Segment, approximately 70% of total revenues and approximately 60% of gross profit was from electronic content other than prepaid mobile airtime (non-mobile products).

Customers generally purchase non-mobile prepaid content as a gift or for self-use. Content is generally purchased in two ways:

Directly online from the content provider using an online payment method; or
Through physical retail stores, online retailers or other electronic channels, including payment wallets, online banking, mobile applications and other sources.

Customers using mobile phones generally pay for their usage in two ways:

Through “postpaid” accounts, where usage is billed at the end of each billing period; or
Through “prepaid” accounts, where customers pay in advance by crediting their accounts prior to usage.

Although mobile phone operators in the U.S. and certain European countries have provided service principally through postpaid accounts, the norm in many other countries in Europe and the rest of the world is to offer wireless service on a prepaid basis.

Prepaid mobile phone credits are generally distributed using personal identification numbers or "PINs." We distribute PINs in two ways. First, we establish an electronic connection to the mobile operator and the retailer. When the sale to a customer is initiated, the terminal requests the PIN from the mobile operator via our transaction processing platform. These transactions obtain the PIN directly from the mobile operator and, therefore, Euronet does not carry PIN inventory. The customer pays the retailer and the retailer becomes obligated to make settlement to us of the principal amount of the mobile airtime sold. We maintain systems that know the amount of mobile top-up sold by the retailer which allows us in turn to bill that retailer for the mobile top-up sold.

Second, we purchase PINs from the mobile operator which are electronically sent to our processing platform. We establish an electronic connection with the POS terminals in retailer locations and our processing platform provides the terminal with a PIN when the mobile top-up is purchased. We maintain systems that monitor transaction levels at each terminal. As sales of prepaid mobile airtime to customers are completed, the inventory on the platform is reduced by the PIN purchased. The customer payment and settlement with the retailer are the same as described above.

We expand our distribution networks through the signing of new contracts with retailers, and in some markets, through the acquisition of existing networks. We are continuing to focus on growing our distribution network through independent sales organizations that contract directly with retailers in their network to distribute prepaid mobile airtime or other non-mobile content from the retailers' POS terminals. We continue to increase our focus on direct relationships with chains of supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations, and other larger scale retailers, where we can negotiate agreements with the retailers on multi-year bases.

In addition to sale of traditional mobile top-up volume described above, we have expanded distribution into non-mobile products and other value-added services. We have leveraged our existing technology infrastructure to sell non-mobile products, which have been sold through our traditional retailer network and new retailer networks such as electronic channels. In the U.S., most prepaid non-mobile content is purchased for gifting; in markets outside the U.S., consumers generally purchase prepaid non-mobile content for self-use.

epay Products and Services

Prepaid Mobile Airtime Transaction Processing

We process prepaid mobile airtime top-up transactions on our POS network across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America for two types of clients: distributors and retailers. Both types of client transactions start with a consumer in a retail store. The retailer uses a specially programmed POS terminal in the store, the retailer's electronic cash

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register (ECR) system, or web-based POS device that is connected to our network to buy prepaid mobile airtime. The customer will select a predefined amount of mobile airtime from the carrier of choice, and the retailer enters the selection into the POS terminal. The consumer will pay that amount to the retailer (in cash or other payment methods accepted by the retailer). The POS device then transmits the selected transaction to our processing center. Using the electronic connection we maintain with the mobile phone operator or drawing from our inventory of PINs, the purchased amount of mobile airtime will be either credited to the consumer's account or delivered via a PIN printed by the terminal and given to the consumer. In the case of PINs printed by the terminal, the consumer must then call the mobile phone operator's toll-free number to activate the purchased airtime to the consumer's mobile account.

One difference in our relationships with various retailers and distributors is the way in which we charge for our services. For distributors and certain very large retailers, we charge a processing fee. However, the majority of our transactions occur with smaller retailers. With these clients, we receive a commission or discount on each transaction that is withheld from the payments made to the mobile phone operator, and we share that commission/discount with the retailers.

Closed Loop Gift Cards

Closed loop (private-branded) gift cards are generally described as merchant-specific prepaid cards, used for purchases exclusively at a particular merchant's locations. We distribute closed loop gift cards in various categories, including dining, retail, and digital media, such as music, games and software. Generally, the gift card is activated when a consumer loads funds (with cash, debit or credit card payment) or purchases a preloaded value gift card at a retail store location or online.

Open Loop Gift Cards

Open loop (network-branded) gift cards are prepaid gift cards associated with an electronic payment network (such as Visa or MasterCard) and are honored at multiple, unaffiliated locations (wherever cards from these networks are generally accepted). They are not merchant-specific. We distribute and issue single-use, non-reloadable open loop gift cards carrying the Visa brand in our retail channels. After the consumer purchases the preloaded value gift card at a retail store location or online, the consumer must call the toll-free number on the back of the card to activate it.

Open Loop Reloadable

We distribute Visa and MasterCard issued debit cards provided by Green Dot, NetSpend and other card issuers. We also manage and distribute a proprietary debit card that allows a retailer to issue its own reloadable store-branded card. Open loop reloadable cards have features similar to a bank checking account, including direct deposit, purchasing capability wherever a credit card is accepted, bill payment and ATM access. Fees are charged to consumers for the initial load and reload transactions, monthly account maintenance and other transactions.

Other Products and Services

Our POS network is used for the distribution of other products and services, including bill payment, lottery tickets and transportation products. Through our cadooz subsidiary, we also distribute vouchers and physical gifts into the business-to-business ("B2B") channel principally for the purposes of employee incentives and rewards. In certain locations, the terminals used for prepaid services can also be used for electronic funds transfer to process credit and debit card payments for retail merchandise. We provide promotion and advertising for content providers of their prepaid content throughout our retail distribution network. We also provide card production and processing services to some of our prepaid gift card partners and telecom content providers.

Retailer and Distributor Contracts

We provide our prepaid services through POS terminals or web-based POS devices installed in retail outlets or, in the case of major retailers, through direct connections between their ECR systems and our processing centers. In markets where we operate proprietary technology (the U.K., Germany, Australia, Poland, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, India, Italy, Brazil and the U.S.), we generally own and maintain the POS terminals. In certain countries in Europe, the terminals are sold to the retailers or to distributors who service the retailer. Our agreements with major retailers for the POS services typically have one to three-year terms. These agreements include terms regarding the connection of our networks to the respective retailer's registers or payment terminals or the maintenance of POS terminals, and obligations concerning settlement and liability for transactions processed. Generally, our agreements with individual or small retailers have shorter terms and provide that either party can terminate the agreement upon three to six months' notice.

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In Germany, distributors are key intermediaries in the sale of mobile top-up. As a result, our business in Germany is substantially concentrated in, and dependent upon, relationships with our major distributors. The termination of any of our agreements with major distributors could materially and adversely affect our prepaid business in Germany. However, we have been establishing agreements with independent German retailers in order to diversify our exposure to such distributors.

The number of transactions processed on our POS network has increased over the last five years at a CAGR of approximately 1.6% as indicated in the following table:

(in millions)
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
epay processing transactions per year
1,115
1,244
1,335
1,294
1,186

epay Segment Strategy

Mobile top-up transactions are declining in many developed markets and transaction fees for mobile transactions are being compressed by the mobile operators. epay's strategy is to defend margins in developing markets by providing value added services to mobile operators and to decrease our reliance on mobile top-up by increasing distribution of other electronic content. New product initiatives focus on products such as gift card malls, prepaid debit cards, transport and electronic content, including music, software and games. Strategic execution behind new products includes the development of relationships with global consumer product brands. This strategy leverages the global scale of the epay business allowing global brands to be sold in many or all of the countries in which we have a presence. Examples of global brands we distribute include iTunes, Google Play and Microsoft.

Telecommunications companies and other content providers have a substantial opportunity to increase revenues by diversifying the products and services currently offered to their retailers. epay is deploying additional content through its POS network to retailers and distributors all over the world. The reach, capabilities and quality of the epay network are appealing as a global distribution channel. We are one of the largest worldwide multi-country operators, and believe we have a distinct competitive advantage from the existing relationships that we maintain with prepaid content providers and retailers.

Seasonality

As the product mix continues to change, the epay business is impacted by seasonality during the fourth quarter and first quarter of each year due to the higher transaction levels during the holiday season and lower levels following the holiday season.

Significant Customers and Government Contracts

No individual customer of our epay Segment makes up greater than 10% of total consolidated revenues. epay has a contract for the technology and distribution infrastructure for six state-owned lotteries in Germany. In addition, epay has contracts with the state of Florida's (USA) Turnpike partners and Transurban Limited, the largest manager of toll road networks in Australia, Cubic supporting New South Wales Transport ticketing in Australia and with New Zealand Transport Authority, which operates all toll roads in New Zealand. In Germany, cadooz has a contract with Deutsche Bahn, which is majority owned by the German state. We also have a contract for the distribution of mobile airtime with a Saudi company, which is majority owned by the Saudi government. There are no other government contracts in the epay Segment.

Competition

We face competition in the prepaid business in all of our markets. We compete with a few multinational companies that operate in several of our markets. In other markets, our competition is from smaller, local companies. The mobile operators in all of our markets have retail distribution networks, and in some markets, on-line distribution of their own through which they offer top-up services for their own products.

We believe our size and market share are competitive advantages in many markets. In addition, we believe our processing platforms are a competitive advantage. We have extremely flexible technical platforms that enable us to tailor POS solutions to individual retailers and mobile operator and non-mobile content provider requirements where appropriate. Our platforms are also able to provide value added services other than processing which makes us a more valuable partner to the content providers and retailers. We have introduced new digital products into the marketplace such as digital payment for online media subscriptions. Many of these products are not offered by our competitors and in many countries, these are new products. We are capitalizing on being the first to market for these products.

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The principal competitive factors in the epay Segment include price (that is, the level of commission paid to retailers for each transaction), breadth of products and up-time offered on the system. Major retailers with high volumes are in a position to demand a larger share of the commission, which increases the amount of competition among service providers. We are seeing signs that some mobile operators are expanding their distribution networks to provide top-up services on-line or via mobile devices, which provides other alternatives for consumers to use.

Money Transfer Segment

Overview

We provide global money transfer services primarily under the brand names Ria, IME, xe and HiFX. Ria and IME provide consumer-to-consumer money transfer services through a global network of more than 343,000 locations and our websites riamoneytransfer.com and imeremit.com. Most of our money transfers are originated through sending agents in approximately 32 countries, with money transfer delivery completed in 147 countries. The initiation of a consumer money transfer occurs through retail agents, Company-owned stores or online, while the delivery of money transfers can occur with bank correspondents, retailer agents or from certain ATMs. Our websites allow consumers to send funds online, using a bank account or credit or debit card, for pay-out directly to a bank account or for cash pickup.

In addition, we provide global account-to-account money transfer services under the brand names HiFX and xe. We offer services via our HiFX websites (www.hifx.com, www.hifx.co.uk and www.hifx.com.au) and through HiFX customer service representatives. xe provides foreign currency exchange information and offers money transfer services on its currency data websites (www.xe.com and www.x-rates.com). Through our HiFM brand, we offer cash management solutions and foreign currency risk management services to small-to-medium sized businesses.

We monitor the number of transactions made through our money transfer networks. The number of transactions processed on our network has increased over the last five years at a CAGR of approximately 27.2% as indicated in the following table:

(in millions)
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
Money transfer transactions per year
35.2
48.5
68.7
82.3
92.2

Our sending agent network includes a variety of agents, including Walmart, large/medium size regional retailers, convenience stores, bodegas, multi-service shops and phone centers, which are predominantly found in areas with a large immigrant population. Each Ria money transfer transaction is processed using Euronet's proprietary software system and checked for security, completeness and compliance with federal and state regulations at every step of the process. Senders can track the progress of their transfers through Ria's customer service representatives, and funds are delivered quickly to their beneficiaries via our extensive payout network, which includes large banks and non-bank financial institutions, post offices and large retailers. Our processing centers for the Money Transfer Segment are located in Buena Park, California, USA; Bracknell, U.K.; Auckland, New Zealand; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We mainly operate Ria call centers in Buena Park, California; Antiguo Cuscatlán, El Salvador; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Dakar, Senegal; Mumbai, India and Madrid, Spain and provide multi-lingual customer service for both our agents and consumers. Additionally, we operate a HiFX call centers in Sydney, Australia.

We are one of the largest global money transfer companies in terms of revenues and transaction volumes. Our Money Transfer Segment processed approximately $38.8 billion in money transfers in 2017.

Money Transfer Products and Services

Money transfer products and services are sold primarily through three channels at agent locations, Company-owned stores and on internet enabled devices at riamoneytransfer.com, imeremit.com, www.hifx.com, www.hifx.co.uk, www.hifx.com.au and
xe.com (online transactions).

In an online transaction, customers send funds, using a bank account or credit or debit card, for pay-out at most of our agent locations around the world or directly to a bank account.


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Through our TeleRia service, customers connect to our call center from a telephone available at an agent location and a representative collects the information over the telephone and enters it directly into our secure proprietary system. As soon as the data capture is complete, our central system automatically faxes a confirmation receipt to the agent location for the customer to review and sign and the customer pays the agent the money to be transferred, together with a fee. The agent then faxes the signed receipt back to Ria to complete the transaction.

Through our Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service, which allows customers to transfer money to and from Walmart stores in the U.S., our Ria business executes the transfers with Walmart serving as both the sending agent and payout correspondent. Ria earns a significantly lower margin from these transactions than its traditional money transfers; however, the arrangement adds a significant number of transactions to Ria’s business. The agreement with Walmart establishes Ria as the only party through which Walmart will sell U.S. domestic money transfers branded with Walmart marks. The agreement had an initial term expiring in April 2017 and was renewed for an additional three-year period until April 2020. Thereafter, it will automatically renew for one year terms unless either party provides notice to the contrary. The agreement imposes certain obligations on each party, the most significant being service level requirements by Ria and money transfer compliance requirements by Walmart. Any violation of these requirements by Ria could result in an obligation to indemnify Walmart or termination of the contract by Walmart. However, the agreement allows the parties to resolve disputes by mutual agreement without termination of the agreement.

In addition to money transfers, Ria also offers customers bill payment services, payment alternatives such as money orders, comprehensive check cashing services for a wide variety of issued checks, along with competitive foreign currency exchange services and mobile top-up. These services are all offered through our Company-owned stores while select services are offered through our agents in certain markets.

Ria money orders are widely recognized and exchanged throughout the United States. Our check cashing services cover payroll and personal checks, cashier checks, tax refund checks, government checks, insurance drafts and money orders. Our bill payment services offer timely posting of customer bills for over 3000 companies, including electric and gas utilities and telephone/wireless companies. Bill payment services are offered primarily in the U.S.

HiFX offers account-to-account international payment service to high-income individuals and small-to-medium sized businesses, complementing our existing consumer-to-consumer money transfer business. HiFX has an innovative multi-channel platform which allows customers to make transfers, track payments and manage their international payment activity online or through a customer service representative. HiFM offers cash management solutions and foreign currency risk management services to small-to-medium sized businesses.

xe offers foreign currency exchange subscriptions, advertising on its websites and money transfer services on its websites. Until October 2016, xe used a third party provider to provide its money transfer services, and received only a share of the revenues from transactions. In October 2016, the provision of money transfer services over the xe website was migrated to HiFX, and we are now receiving all of the revenues from transactions over the xe websites.

Sources of Revenues

Revenues in the Money Transfer Segment are derived through the charging of a transaction fee, as well as a margin earned from purchasing foreign currency at wholesale exchange rates and selling the foreign currency to customers at retail exchange rates. Sending agents and receiving agents for consumer-to-consumer products each earn fees for cash collection and distribution services. Euronet recognizes these fees as direct operating costs at the time of sale.

Money Transfer Segment Strategy

The Money Transfer Segment's strategy is to increase the volume of money transfers processed by leveraging our existing banking and merchant/retailer relationships to expand our agent and correspondent networks in existing corridors. In addition, we pursue expansion into high-potential money transfer corridors from the U.S. and internationally beyond the traditional U.S. to Mexico corridor. Further, we expect to continue to take advantage of cross-selling opportunities with our epay and EFT Processing Segments by providing prepaid services through our stores and agents, and offering our money transfer services at select prepaid retail locations and ATMs we operate in key markets. We will continue to make investments in our systems to support this growth. Additionally, we are expanding our HiFX and xe businesses into new markets.


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Seasonality

Our money transfer business is significantly impacted by seasonality that varies by region. In most of our markets, we experience increased money transfer transaction levels during the month of May and in the fourth quarter of each year, coinciding with various holidays. Additionally, in the U.S. to Mexico corridor, we usually experience our heaviest volume during the May through October time frame, coinciding with the increase in worker migration patterns and various holidays, and our lowest volumes during the first quarter.

Significant Customers and Government Contracts

No individual customer of our Money Transfer Segment makes up greater than 10% of total consolidated revenues. The Money Transfer Segment maintains correspondent relationships with a number of financial institutions whose ownership includes governments of the correspondents' countries of origin. Those countries include Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, China, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Yemen and Zambia.

Competition

Our primary competitors in the money transfer and bill payment business include other large money transfer companies and electronic money transmitters, together with hundreds of smaller registered and unregistered money transmitters, as well as certain major national and regional banks, financial institutions and independent sales organizations. Our competition includes The Western Union Company, the leading competitor with revenue approximately three times greater than the next largest competitor. The Western Union Company has a significant competitive advantage due to its greater resources and access to capital for expansion. This may allow them to offer better pricing terms to customers, agents or correspondents, which may result in a loss of our current or potential customers or could force us to lower our prices. In addition to traditional money payment services, new technologies are emerging that compete with traditional money payment services, such as stored-value cards, debit networks and web-based services and digital currencies. Our continued growth also depends upon our ability to compete effectively with these alternative technologies.

Product Research, Development and Enhancement

In the EFT Processing Segment, development has historically focused on expanding the range of services offered to our bank customers from ATM and POS outsourcing to card processing and software services.

We are committed to the maintenance and improvement of our software products. We regularly engage in software product development and enhancement activities aimed at the development and delivery of new products, services and processes to our customers. Our research and development costs for software products to be sold, leased or otherwise marketed totaled $15.4 million, $12.0 million, and $7.8 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Development costs that were capitalized totaled $7.8 million, $6.6 million and $5.2 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

In our epay Segment, development has focused on expanding the types of electronic payment products and services available to consumers over our network to include, for example, prepaid vouchers, transport payments, lottery payments, gift and debit cards, and bill payment capabilities. This is intended to make our offerings more attractive to retailers.

In the Money Transfer Segment, development has focused on expanding our services to Internet enabled devices through our various websites. This is intended to expand our customer base in existing and new corridors.

Financial Information by Geographic Area

For information on results of operations, property and equipment, and total assets by geographic location, please see Note 16, Business Segment Information, to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Additionally, see Item 1A - Risk Factors, for risk factors related to foreign operations.


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Employees

We had approximately 6,600, 6,200 and 5,600 employees as of December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively. We believe our future success will depend in part on our ability to continue to recruit, retain and motivate qualified management, technical and administrative employees. Currently, no union represents any of our employees, except in one of our Spanish subsidiaries. We experienced no work stoppages or strikes by our workforce in 2017 and we consider relations with our employees to be good.

Government Regulation

As discussed below, many of our business activities are subject to regulation in our current markets. In the Money Transfer Segment, we are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations of the U.S., individual U.S. states and foreign governments. These include international, federal and state anti-money laundering laws and regulations, money transfer and payment instrument licensing laws, escheat laws, laws covering consumer privacy, data protection and information security and consumer disclosure and consumer protection laws. Our operations have also been subject to increasingly strict requirements intended to help prevent and detect a variety of illegal financial activity, including money laundering, terrorist financing, unauthorized access to personal customer data and other illegal activities. The more significant of these laws and regulations are discussed below. Noncompliance with these laws and requirements could result in the loss or suspension of licenses or registrations required to provide money transfer services through retail agents, Company owned stores or online. For more discussion, see Item 1A - Risk Factors.

Any further expansion of our activity into areas that are qualified as “financial activity” under local legislation may subject us to licensing and we may be required to comply with various conditions to obtain such licenses. Moreover, the interpretations of bank regulatory authorities as to the activity we currently conduct might change in the future. We monitor our business for compliance with applicable laws or regulations regarding financial activities.

Certain of our European product offerings, including in particular, our money transfer services, merchant acquiring and bill payment products are regulated services requiring a license under the PSD as implemented in each European country. The PSD requires a license to perform certain defined "payment services" in a European country, which may be extended throughout the European Economic Area Member States ("Member States") through passporting. Conditions for obtaining the license include minimum capital requirements, establishment of procedures for safeguarding of funds, and certain governance and reporting requirements. In addition, certain obligations relating to internal controls and the conduct of business, in particular, consumer disclosure requirements and certain rules regarding the timing and settlement of payments, must be met. We have payment institution licenses in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain and are complying with these requirements. To date, we have passported our U.K. authorization to fourteen host member states operating under the PSD and our Spanish authorization to one host member state operating under the PSD. Additionally, in the U.K., we have obtained an e-money license under the 2EMD. The e-money license allows Euronet to issue e-money and provide the same payment services as a PSD licensee.  The e-money license imposes certain requirements similar to those of the payment services license, including minimum capital requirements, consumer disclosure and internal controls and can be passported to Member States. Our e-money license holder is currently operating in twenty Member States.

The EU adopted the Second Payment Services Directive ("PSD2"), which came into effect on January 13, 2018 and requires any currently authorized payment institution or e-money institution to be reauthorized under the PSD2 by July 13, 2018. Key changes made by PSD2 to PSD include: extension of PSD rules on transparency to additional transactions not currently covered by PSD; enhanced cooperation and information exchange between authorities in the context of authorization and supervision of payment institutions; and increased obligations around the management of operational and security risk, increased obligations relating to complaints handling and additional requirements regarding payment security.

Failure to be reauthorized under PSD2 by July 13, 2018 means the provision of regulated services must cease after this date. Once reauthorized, an failure to comply with the requirements of PSD2 could result in the imposition of fines and penalties and/or the suspension of our authorization. Our failure to obtain re-authorization or comply with new requirements could materially and adversely affect our operations or results.

Money Transfer and Payment Instrument Licensing

Licensing requirements in the U.S. are generally driven by the various state banking departments regulating the businesses of money transfers and issuances of payment instruments. Typical requirements include the meeting of minimum net worth requirements, maintaining permissible investments (e.g., cash, agent receivables, and government-backed securities) at levels commensurate with outstanding payment obligations and the filing of a security instrument (typically in the form of a surety

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bond) to offset the risk of default of trustee obligations by the license holder. We are required by many state regulators to submit ongoing reports of licensed activity, most often on a quarterly or monthly basis, that address changes to agent and branch locations, operating and financial performance, permissible investments and outstanding transmission liabilities. These periodic reports are utilized by the regulator to monitor ongoing compliance with state licensing laws. A number of major state regulators also conduct periodic examinations of license holders and their authorized delegates, generally with a frequency of every one to two years. Examinations are most often comprehensive in nature, addressing both the safety and soundness and overall compliance by the license holder with regard to state and federal regulations. Such examinations are typically performed on-site at the license holder's headquarters or operations center; however, certain states may choose to perform examinations off-site as well.

Money transmitters, issuers of payment instruments and their agents are required to comply with U.S. federal, state and/or foreign anti-money laundering laws and regulations. In summary, our Money Transfer Segment, as well as our agent network, is subject to regulations issued by the different state and foreign national regulators who license us, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the Bank Secrecy Act as amended by the USA PATRIOT ACT (“BSA”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FINCEN”), as well as any existing or future regulations that impact any aspect of our money transfer business.

A similar set of regulations applies to our money transfer businesses in most of the foreign countries in which we originate transactions. These laws and regulations include monetary limits for money transfers into or out of a country, rules regarding the foreign currency exchange rates offered, as well as other limitations or rules for which we must maintain compliance.

Regulatory bodies in the U.S. and abroad may impose additional rules on the conduct of our Money Transfer Segment that could have a significant impact on our operations and our agent network. In this regard, the U.S. federal government has implemented U.S. federal regulations for electronic money transfers. Prior to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on July 21, 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), international money transfers were generally not addressed by existing federal consumer protection regulations. The Dodd-Frank Act expanded the scope of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to provide consumer protections for international remittance transfers. On January 20, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"), established under the Dodd-Frank Act with authority to implement the consumer protective measures, adopted a rule that increased protections for consumers who transmit money internationally. The CFPB's Rule for International Remittances became effective October 28, 2013. Included among the protections are disclosure requirements, cancellation rights and error resolution procedures for consumer complaints. The Dodd-Frank Act further protects consumers by making it unlawful for any provider of consumer financial products or services to engage in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (collectively, "UDAAPs") and grants the CFPB with rule making and enforcement authority to prevent UDAAPs in connection with transactions for consumer financial products or services. The CFPB audits our compliance with these rules, and we may be subject to fines or penalties for violations of any of such rules.

Escheat Regulations

Our Money Transfer Segment is subject to the unclaimed or abandoned property (i.e., “escheat”) regulations of the United States and certain foreign countries in which we operate. These laws require us to turn over property held by Euronet on behalf of others remaining unclaimed after specified periods of time (i.e., “dormancy” or “escheat” periods). Such abandoned property is generally attributable to the failure of beneficiary parties to claim money transfers or the failure to negotiate money orders, a form of payment instrument. We have policies and programs in place to help us monitor the required information relating to each money transfer or payment instrument for possible eventual reporting to the jurisdiction from which the order was originally received. In the U.S., reporting of unclaimed property by money service companies is performed annually, generally with a due date of on or before November 1. State banking department regulators will typically include a review of Euronet escheat procedures and related filings as part of their examination protocol.

Privacy and Information Security Regulations

Our Money Transfer Segment operations involve the collection and storage of certain types of personal customer data that are subject to privacy and security laws in the U.S. and abroad. In the United States, we are subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), which requires that financial institutions have in place policies regarding the collection, processing, storage and disclosure of information considered nonpublic personal information. Laws in other countries include those adopted by the member states of the E.U. under Directive 95/46 EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 (the “Directive”), which will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) ("GDPR") from May 25, 2018, as well as the laws of other countries.

The E.U. has passed a new regulation called the GDPR that establishes stringent requirements for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the E.U. The GDPR establishes certain rights of individuals regarding personal

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information processed by companies as well as requirements for information security, and imposes significant fines that may be revenue-based for violation of its requirements. The GDPR will come into effect across the E.U. on May 25, 2018. Any failure on our part to meet the requirements of the GDPR could result in the imposition of fines and penalties that could affect our financial results.

We comply with the GLBA and state privacy provisions. In October 2015, the European Court of Justice invalidated the European Commission’s decision of 2000 regarding the transfer of personal data from the E.U. to the United States (known as the "Safe Harbor Decision"). Despite the October 2015 ruling of the European Court of Justice, we believe we remain in compliance with E.U. regulations regarding the transfer of personal data to the United States.

Recently, as identity theft has been on the rise, there has been increased public attention to concerns about information security and consumer privacy, accompanied by laws and regulations addressing the issue. We believe we are compliant with these laws and regulations; however, this is a rapidly evolving area and there can be no assurance that we will continue to meet the existing and new regulations, which could have a material, adverse impact on our Money Transfer Segment business.

Anti-corruption and Bribery
 
We are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), which prohibits U.S. and other business entities from making improper payments to foreign government officials, political parties or political party officials. We are also subject to the applicable anti-corruption laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate, such as the U.K. Bribery Act, thus potentially exposing us to liability and potential penalties in multiple jurisdictions. The anti-corruption provisions of the FCPA are enforced by the United States Department of Justice. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") requires strict compliance with certain accounting and internal control standards set forth under the FCPA. Because our services are offered in many countries throughout the world, we face a higher risk associated with FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act and other similar laws than many other companies and we have policies and procedures in place to address compliance with the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act and other similar laws. Any determination that we have violated these laws could have an adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations. Failure to comply with our policies and procedures and the FCPA and other laws can expose Euronet and/or individual employees to potentially severe criminal and civil penalties. Such penalties could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Money Transfer Compliance Policies and Programs

We have developed risk-based policies and programs to comply with existing and new laws, regulations and other requirements outlined above, including having dedicated compliance personnel, training programs, automated monitoring systems and support functions for our offices and agents. To assist in managing and monitoring our money laundering and terrorist financing risks, we continue to have our compliance programs, in many countries, independently examined on an annual basis. In addition, we continue to enhance our anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing compliance policy, procedures and monitoring systems, as well as our consumer protection policies and procedures.

Intellectual Property

Each of our three operating segments utilizes intellectual property which is protected in varying degrees by a combination of trademark, patent and copyright laws, as well as trade secret protection, license and confidentiality agreements.

The brand names of “Ria,” “Ria Financial Services,” “Ria Envia,” “HiFX,” “HiFM,” “xe,” derivations of those brand names and certain other brand names are material to our Money Transfer Segment and are registered trademarks and/or service marks in most of the markets in which our Money Transfer Segment operates. Consumer perception of these brand names is important to the growth prospects of our money transfer business. We also hold a U.S. patent on a card-based money transfer and bill payment system that allows transactions to be initiated primarily through POS terminals and integrated cash register systems.

With respect to our EFT Processing Segment, we have registered or applied for registration of our trademarks, including the names “Euronet” and “Bankomat” and/or our blue diamond logo, as well as other trade names in most markets in which these trademarks are used. Certain trademark authorities have notified us that they consider these trademarks to be generic and, therefore, not protected by trademark laws. This determination does not affect our ability to use the Euronet trademark in those markets, but it would prevent us from stopping other parties from using it in competition with Euronet. We have registered the “Euronet” trademark in the class of ATM machines in Germany, the U.K. and certain other Western European countries. We have filed pending applications and/or obtained patents for a number of our new software products and our processing technology, including certain top-up services.


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With respect to our epay Segment, we have filed trademark applications for the “epay” brand in the U.S., U.K., the E.U. through a Community Trademark application, Brazil, India, Australia and New Zealand. The epay trademark has issued to registration in the U.S., U.K., the E.U., Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. The trademark applications in India is still pending. We cannot be certain that we are entitled to use the epay trademark in any markets other than those in which we have registered the trademark. We have filed patent applications for some of our POS top-up and certain other products in support of epay technology. Certain patents have been granted while others have been refused or are still pending. We also hold a patent license covering certain of epay's operations in the U.S.

Technology in the areas in which we operate is developing very rapidly, and we are aware that many other companies have filed patent applications for products, processes and services similar to those we provide. The procedures of the U.S. patent office make it impossible for us to predict whether our patent applications will be approved or will be granted priority dates that are earlier than other patents that have been filed for similar products or services. Moreover, many “process patents” have been filed in the U.S. over recent years covering processes that are in wide use in the money transfer, EFT and prepaid processing industries. If any of these patents are considered to cover technology that has been incorporated into our systems, we may be required to obtain additional licenses and pay royalties to the holders of such patents to continue to use the affected technology or be prohibited from continuing the offering of such services if licenses are not obtained. This could materially and adversely affect our business.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

The name, age, period of service and position held by each of our Executive Officers as of March 1, 2018 are as follows:

Name
Age
Served Since
Position Held
Michael J. Brown
61
July 1994
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Rick L. Weller
60
November 2002
Executive Vice President - Chief Financial Officer
Jeffrey B. Newman
63
December 1996
Executive Vice President - General Counsel
Kevin J. Caponecchi
51
July 2007
Executive Vice President - Chief Executive Officer, epay, Software and EFT Asia Pacific Division
Juan C. Bianchi
47
April 2007
Executive Vice President - Chief Executive Officer, Money Transfer Segment
Nikos Fountas
54
September 2009
Executive Vice President - Chief Executive Officer, EFT Europe, Middle East and Africa Division
Martin L. Bruckner
42
January 2014
Senior Vice President - Chief Technology Officer

MICHAEL J. BROWN, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr. Brown is one of the founders of Euronet and has served as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since 1996, and has served as President since December 2014. He also co-founded our predecessor company in 1994. Mr. Brown has been a Director of Euronet since our incorporation in December 1996 and previously served on the boards of Euronet's predecessor companies. In 1979, Mr. Brown founded Innovative Software, Inc., a computer software company that was merged in 1988 with Informix. Mr. Brown served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Informix from February 1988 to January 1989. He served as President of the Workstation Products Division of Informix from January 1989 until April 1990. In 1993, Mr. Brown was a founding investor of Visual Tools, Inc. Visual Tools, Inc. was acquired by Sybase Software in 1996. Mr. Brown received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 1979 and a M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Missouri - Kansas City in 1997.

RICK L. WELLER, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Weller has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Euronet since he joined Euronet in November 2002. From January 2002 to October 2002, he was the sole proprietor of Pivotal Associates, a business development firm. From November 1999 to December 2001, Mr. Weller held the position of Chief Operating Officer of ionex telecommunications, inc., a local exchange company. He is a certified public accountant and received his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Central Missouri.

JEFFREY B. NEWMAN, Executive Vice President, General Counsel. Mr. Newman has been Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Euronet since January 2000. He joined Euronet in December 1996 as Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to this, he practiced law with the Washington, D.C. based law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn and the Paris based law firm of Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn. He is a member of the District of Columbia, California and Paris, France bars.

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He received a B.A. in Political Science and French from Ohio University in 1976 and law degrees from Ohio State University and the University of Paris.

KEVIN J. CAPONECCHI, Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, epay, Software and EFT Asia Pacific Division. Mr. Caponecchi joined Euronet in July 2007 and served as President until assuming his current role in December 2014. Prior to joining Euronet, Mr. Caponecchi served in various capacities with subsidiaries of General Electric Company for 17 years. From 2003 until June 2007, Mr. Caponecchi served as President of GE Global Signaling, a provider of products and services to freight, passenger and mass transit systems. From 1998 through 2002, Mr. Caponecchi served as General Manager - Technology for GE Consumer & Industrial, a provider of consumer appliances, lighting products and electrical products. Mr. Caponecchi holds degrees in physics from Franklin and Marshall College and industrial engineering from Columbia University.

JUAN C. BIANCHI, Executive Vice President - Chief Executive Officer, Money Transfer Segment. Mr. Bianchi joined Euronet subsequent to the acquisition of Ria in 2007. Prior to the acquisition, Mr. Bianchi served as the Chief Executive Officer of Ria and has spent his entire career at either Ria or AFEX Money Express, a money transfer company purchased by Ria's founders. Mr. Bianchi began his career at AFEX in Chile in 1992, joined AFEX USA's operations in 1996, and became chief operating officer of AFEX-Ria in 2003. Mr. Bianchi studied business at the Universidad Andres Bello in Chile and completed the Executive Program in Management at UCLA's John E. Anderson School of Business.

NIKOS FOUNTAS, Executive Vice President - Chief Executive Officer, EFT Europe, Middle East and Africa Division. Mr. Fountas has been Executive Vice President of the Company's EFT Processing Segment in Europe since December 2012. Mr. Fountas joined Euronet subsequent to the Company's 2005 acquisition of Instreamline S.A. (now Euronet Card Services) in Greece. He served as managing director of the Company's Greece EFT subsidiary, responsible for Euronet's European card processing and cross-border acquiring operations until September 2009. In September 2009, Mr. Fountas took over responsibilities as managing director of Euronet's Europe EFT Processing Segment. Prior to joining Euronet, Mr. Fountas spent over 20 years working in management and executive-level positions in the IT field for several companies, including IBM for 12 years. He has a degree in computer science (Honors) from York University in Canada and post graduate studies in business administration from Henley Management School and IBM Business Professional Institute.

MARTIN L. BRUCKNER, Senior Vice President - Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Bruckner has been Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Euronet since January 2014. Mr. Bruckner joined Euronet in 2007 as head of software development and IT operations for Transact GmbH. In 2009, he was promoted to Chief Technology Officer of Euronet's epay segment. Prior to joining Euronet, Mr. Bruckner established his own IT company called MLB Development GmbH, where he developed software systems for various European companies. Mr. Bruckner has more than 20 years of software development experience and published his first software product (BBS systems) at the age of 15. He received a Doctorate of Law from the University of Rostock and a law degree from the University of Bielefeld.

Availability of Reports, Certain Committee Charters and Other Information

Our Website addresses are www.euronetworldwide.com and www.eeft.com. We make available all SEC public filings, including our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended ("Exchange Act") on our Websites free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after these documents are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The information on our Websites is not, and shall not be deemed to be, a part of this report or incorporated into any other filings we make with the SEC. In addition, our SEC filings are made available via the SEC's EDGAR filing system accessible at www.sec.gov.

The charters for our Audit, Compensation, and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committees, as well as the Code of Business Conduct & Ethics for our employees, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, are available on our Website at www.euronetworldwide.com in the “Investor Relations” section.


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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Our operations are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those described below. You should carefully consider the risks described below before making an investment decision. The risks and uncertainties described below are not necessarily organized in order of priority or probability.

If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our Common Stock could decline substantially.

This Annual Report also contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including the risks described below and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Our business may suffer from risks related to acquisitions and potential future acquisitions.

A substantial portion of our growth has been due to acquisitions, and we continue to evaluate and engage in discussions concerning potential acquisition opportunities, some of which could be material. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully integrate, or otherwise realize anticipated benefits from, our recent acquisitions or any future acquisitions. Failure to successfully integrate or otherwise realize the anticipated benefits of these acquisitions could adversely impact our long-term competitiveness and profitability. The integration of any future acquisitions will involve a number of risks that could harm our financial condition, results of operations and competitive position. In particular:

The integration plans for our acquisitions are based on benefits that involve assumptions as to future events, including our ability to successfully achieve anticipated synergies, leveraging our existing relationships, as well as general business and industry conditions, many of which are beyond our control and may not materialize. Unforeseen factors may offset components of our integration plans in whole or in part. As a result, our actual results may vary considerably, or be considerably delayed, compared to our estimates;

The integration process could disrupt the activities of the businesses that are being combined. The combination of companies requires, among other things, coordination of administrative and other functions. In addition, the loss of key employees, customers or vendors of acquired businesses could materially and adversely impact the integration of the acquired businesses;

The execution of our integration plans may divert the attention of our management from other key responsibilities;

We may assume unanticipated liabilities and contingencies; or

Our acquisition targets could fail to perform in accordance with our expectations at the time of purchase.

Future acquisitions may be effected through the issuance of our Common Stock or securities convertible into our Common Stock, which could substantially dilute the ownership percentage of our current stockholders. In addition, shares issued in connection with future acquisitions could be publicly tradable, which could result in a material decrease in the market price of our Common Stock.

A lack of business opportunities or financial or other resources may impede our ability to continue to expand at desired levels, and our failure to expand operations could have an adverse impact on our financial condition.

Certain factors on which our ability to expand each of our divisions is dependent are set forth at Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Opportunities and Challenges. If any of such factors impede our ability to expand our businesses, our financial results and condition could be materially and adversely affected.

We are subject to business cycles, seasonality and other outside factors that may negatively affect our business.

A recessionary economic environment in any of our markets or other outside factors could have a negative impact on banks, mobile phone operators, content providers, retailers and our individual customers and could reduce the level of transactions in all of our divisions, which would, in turn, negatively impact our financial results. If banks, mobile phone operators and content providers experience decreased demand for their products and services, or if the locations where we provide services decrease

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in number, we will process fewer transactions, resulting in lower revenues. In addition, a recessionary economic environment could reduce the level of transactions taking place on our networks, which will have a negative impact on our business.

Our experience is that the level of transactions on our networks is also subject to substantial seasonal variation. In the EFT Processing Segment, mostly in Europe, we usually experience our heaviest demand for dynamic currency conversion during the third quarter of the fiscal year, coinciding with the tourism season in Europe. As a result, our revenues earned in the third quarter of the year will usually be greater than other quarters of the fiscal year. Additionally, transaction levels have consistently been higher in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year due to increased use of ATMs, prepaid products and money transfer services during the holiday season. Generally, the level of transactions drops in the first quarter, during which transaction levels are generally the lowest we experience during the year, which reduces the level of revenues that we record. In the Money Transfer Segment, we experience increased transaction levels during the May through October timeframe, coinciding with certain holidays and the increase in worker migration patterns. As a result of these seasonal variations, our quarterly operating results may fluctuate materially and could lead to volatility in the price of our shares.

Additionally, economic or political instability, wars, civil unrest, terrorism and natural disasters may make money transfers to, from or within a particular country more difficult. The inability to timely complete money transfers could adversely affect our business.

The current U.S. presidential administration has proposed certain actions that could have an adverse effect on our money transfer business.

Our money transfer business relies on the free flow of funds along remittance corridors, and our largest corridor is the U.S. to Mexico. Our business benefits from free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"). On August 6, 2017, the U.S. Trade Representative opened the renegotiation of NAFTA with the governments of Canada and Mexico. The U.S. administration has periodically indicated a willingness to exercise its right to withdraw from NAFTA after a six month notice period. In addition, future tariffs, border taxes and other measures are currently under scrutiny by the current U.S. administration. Any withdrawal from, or significant renegotiation of, NAFTA or the adoption of other proposals that tax, restrict or otherwise limit remittances or transfers of money out of the U.S. could have a material adverse impact on our business.

A prolonged economic slowdown or lengthy or severe recession in the U.S. or elsewhere could harm our operations.

Concerns over slow economic growth, level of sovereign debt in many parts of the world, inflation levels, energy costs and geopolitical issues have contributed to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the world economy and the markets going forward. These factors, combined with volatile oil prices, reduced business and consumer confidence and slow recovery from high unemployment rates, have negatively impacted the world economy. A prolonged economic downturn or recession could materially impact our results from operations. A recessionary economic environment could have a negative impact on mobile phone operators, content providers, retailers and our other customers and could reduce the level of transactions processed on our networks, which would, in turn, negatively impact our financial results. If content providers and financial institutions experience decreased demand for their products and services, or if the locations where we provide services decrease in number, we will process fewer transactions, resulting in lower revenues.

Retaining the founder and key executives of our company, and of companies that we acquire, and finding and retaining qualified personnel is important to our continued success, and any inability to attract and retain such personnel could harm our operations.

The development and implementation of our strategy has depended in large part on the co-founder of our company, Michael J. Brown. The retention of Mr. Brown is important to our continued success. In addition, the success of the expansion of businesses that we acquire may depend in large part upon the retention of the founders or leaders of those businesses. Our success also depends in part on our ability to hire and retain highly skilled and qualified management, operating, marketing, financial and technical personnel. The competition for qualified personnel in the markets where we conduct our business is intense and, accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to hire or retain the required personnel.

Our officers and some of our key personnel have entered into service or employment agreements containing non-competition, non-disclosure and non-solicitation covenants, which grant incentive stock options and/or restricted stock with long-term vesting requirements. However, most of these contracts do not guarantee that these individuals will continue their employment with us. The loss of our key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, growth, financial condition or results of operations.

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We have a substantial amount of debt and other contractual commitments, and the cost of servicing those obligations could adversely affect our business, and such risk could increase if we incur more debt. We may be required to prepay our obligations under the secured syndicated credit facility.

We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. As of December 31, 2017, total liabilities were $1,940.6 million, of which $404.0 million represents long-term debt obligations, and total assets were $3,140.0 million. We may not have sufficient funds to satisfy all such obligations as a result of a variety of factors, some of which may be beyond our control. If the opportunity of a strategic acquisition arises or if we enter into new contracts that require the installation or servicing of infrastructure, such as processing centers, ATM machines or POS terminals on a faster pace than anticipated, we may be required to incur additional debt for these purposes and to fund our working capital needs, including ATM network cash, which we may not be able to obtain. The level of our indebtedness could have important consequences to investors, including the following:

our ability to obtain any necessary financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures, debt service requirements or other purposes may be limited or financing may be unavailable;

a portion of our cash flows must be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness and other obligations and will not be available for use in our business;

our level of indebtedness could limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the markets in which we operate;

our level of indebtedness will make us more vulnerable to changes in general economic conditions and/or a downturn in our business, thereby making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations; and

because a portion of our debt bears interest at a variable rate of interest, our actual debt service obligations could increase as a result of adverse changes in interest rates.

If we fail to make required debt payments, or if we fail to comply with other covenants in our debt service agreements, we would be in default under the terms of these agreements. This default would permit the holders of the indebtedness to accelerate repayment of this debt and could cause defaults under other indebtedness that we have.

Restrictive covenants in our credit facilities may adversely affect us. Our credit facility contains two financial covenants that we must meet as defined in the agreement: (1) Consolidated Total Leverage Ratio, and (2) Consolidated Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio. To remain in compliance with our debt covenants, we may be required to increase Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA"), repay debt, or both. We cannot assure you that we will have sufficient assets, liquidity or EBITDA to meet or avoid these obligations, which could have an adverse impact on our financial condition.

Our ability to secure additional financing for growth or to refinance any of our existing debt is also dependent upon the availability of credit in the marketplace, which has experienced severe disruptions in the past. If we are unable to secure additional financing or such financing is not available at acceptable terms, we may be unable to secure financing for growth or refinance our debt obligations, if necessary.

In the event that we need debt financing in the future, uncertainty in the credit markets could affect our ability to obtain debt financing on reasonable terms.

In the event we were to require additional debt financing in the future, uncertainty in the credit markets could materially impact our ability to obtain debt financing on reasonable terms. The inability to access debt financing on reasonable terms could materially impact our ability to make acquisitions, refinance existing debt or materially expand our business in the future.

Increases in interest rates will adversely impact our results of operations.

A portion of our existing indebtedness has variable interest rates. Increases in variable interest rates will increase the amount of interest expense that we pay for our borrowings and have a negative impact on our results of operations.


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We may be required to recognize impairment charges related to long-lived assets and goodwill recorded in connection with our acquisitions, which would adversely impact our results of operations.

Our total assets include approximately $867.9 million, or 28% of total assets, in goodwill and acquired intangible assets recorded as a result of acquisitions. We assess our goodwill, intangible assets and other long-lived assets as and when required by accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. to determine whether they are impaired. If operating results in any of our key markets, including Australia, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, India, New Zealand, the U.S., the U.K., Poland and Romania, deteriorate or our plans do not progress as expected when we acquired these entities, or if capital markets depress our value or that of similar companies, we may be required to record additional impairment write-downs of goodwill, intangible assets or other long-lived assets. This could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

The processes and systems we employ may be subject to patent protection by other parties, and any claims could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

In certain countries, including the U.S., patent protection legislation permits the protection of processes and systems. We employ processes and systems in various markets that have been used in the industry by other parties for many years, and which we or other companies that use the same or similar processes and systems consider to be in the public domain. However, we are aware that certain parties believe they hold valid patents that cover some of the processes and systems employed in our business lines in the U.S. and elsewhere. We believe the processes and systems we use have been in the public domain prior to the patents we are aware of. The question of whether a process or system is in the public domain is a legal determination, and if this issue is litigated we cannot be certain of the outcome of any such litigation. If a person were to assert that it holds a patent covering any of the processes or systems we use, we would be required to defend ourselves against such claim. If unsuccessful, we may be required to pay damages for past infringement, which could be trebled if the infringement was found to be willful. We may also be required to seek a license to continue to use the processes or systems. Such a license may require either a single payment or an ongoing license fee. No assurance can be given that we will be able to obtain a license which is reasonable in fee and scope. If a patent owner is unwilling to grant such a license, or we decide not to obtain such a license, we may be required to modify our processes and systems to avoid future infringement. Any such occurrences could materially and adversely affect one or more of our business lines in any affected markets and could result in our reconsidering the rate of expansion of business in those markets.

We conduct a significant portion of our business in Central and Eastern European countries, and we have subsidiaries in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America, where the risk of continued political, economic and regulatory change that could impact our operating results is greater than in the U.S. or Western Europe.

We have subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America. We expect to continue to expand our operations to other countries in these regions. Some of these countries have undergone significant political, economic and social change in recent years and the risk of new, unforeseen changes in these countries remains greater than in the U.S. or Western Europe. In particular, changes in laws or regulations or in the interpretation of existing laws or regulations, whether caused by a change in government or otherwise, could materially adversely affect our business, growth, financial condition or results of operations.

For example, currently there are no limitations in any of the countries in which we have subsidiaries on the repatriation of profits from these countries, but foreign currency exchange control restrictions, taxes or limitations may be imposed or tightened in the future with regard to repatriation of earnings and investments from these countries. If exchange control restrictions, taxes or limitations are imposed or tightened, our ability to receive dividends or other payments from affected subsidiaries could be reduced, which may have a material adverse effect on us. As discussed under "Liquidity and Capital Resources" in Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, under existing U.S. tax laws, repatriation of certain assets to the U.S. could have adverse tax consequences.

In addition, corporate, contract, property, insolvency, competition, securities and other laws and regulations in many of the countries in which we operate have been, and continue to be, substantially revised. Therefore, the interpretation and procedural safeguards of the new legal and regulatory systems are in the process of being developed and defined, and existing laws and regulations may be applied inconsistently. Also, in some circumstances, it may not be possible to obtain the legal remedies provided for under these laws and regulations in a reasonably timely manner, if at all.


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We conduct business in many international markets with complex and evolving tax rules, including value added tax rules, which subjects us to international tax compliance risks which could adversely affect our operating results.

While we obtain advice from legal and tax advisors as necessary to help assure compliance with tax and regulatory matters, most tax jurisdictions that we operate in have complex and subjective rules regarding the valuation of intercompany services, cross-border payments between affiliated companies and the related effects on income tax, value added tax (“VAT”), transfer tax and share registration tax. Our foreign subsidiaries frequently undergo VAT reviews, and from time to time undergo comprehensive tax reviews and may be required to make additional tax payments should the review result in different interpretations, allocations or valuations of our services.

Uncertainties in the interpretation and application of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 could materially affect our tax obligations and effective tax rate.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Act") was enacted on December 22, 2017, and it significantly affected U.S. tax law by, among other things, changing how the U.S. imposes income tax on multinational corporations. The Act contains several key tax provisions that affect us, including a one-time mandatory transition tax on previously undistributed foreign earnings, a reduction of the corporate income tax rate to 21% effective January 1, 2018, and new taxes on certain foreign sourced earnings, among others.

We are required to recognize the effect of the tax law changes in the period of enactment, including determining the transition tax, re-measuring our U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities and reassessing the net realizability of our deferred tax assets and liabilities. Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“SAB 118”) allows us to record provisional amounts during a measurement period not to extend beyond one year of the enactment date. We have recorded provisional estimates in our financial statements with respect to certain income tax effects of the Act for which the accounting is incomplete, but a reasonable estimate was able to be determined. We will continue to perform additional analysis on the application of the Act, taking into account any additional regulatory guidance that is issued by the applicable taxing authorities, which may result in adjustments to our previously reported provisional estimates. In accordance with the SEC's guidance, we will recognize any adjustments to our previously reported provisional estimates in the relevant future periods, which could materially affect our tax obligations and our effective tax rate.

In addition, the Act requires complex computations not previously provided in U.S. tax law, and the application of accounting guidance for such items is currently uncertain in some respects. Further, compliance with the Act and the accounting for such provisions require accumulation of information not previously required or regularly produced. The U.S. Department of Treasury has broad authority to issue regulations and interpretative guidance that may significantly impact how the law is applied and thus impact our results of operations in the period issued.

Increases in taxes could negatively impact our operating results.

As a result of economic downturns, tax receipts have decreased and/or government spending has increased in many of the countries in which we operate. Consequently, governments may increase tax rates or implement new taxes in order to compensate for gaps between tax revenues and expenditures. Additionally, governments may prohibit or restrict the use of certain legal structures designed to minimize taxes. Any such tax increases, whether borne by us or our customers, could negatively impact our operating results or the demand for our products.

We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other similar anti-corruption laws.
Our operations in countries outside the United States are subject to anti-corruption laws and regulations, including restrictions imposed by the FCPA. The FCPA and similar anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions, such as the U.K. Bribery Act, generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials or employees of commercial enterprises for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-corruption laws may conflict with local customs and practices.
Our employees and agents interact with government officials on our behalf, including as necessary to obtain licenses and other regulatory approvals necessary to operate our business, import or export equipment, employ expatriates and resolve tax disputes. We also have a number of contracts with foreign governments or entities owned or controlled by foreign governments. These interactions and contracts create a risk of violation of the FCPA or other similar laws.

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Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations as well as U.S. laws and regulations, including the FCPA, there can be no assurance that all of our employees, consultants, contractors and agents will abide by our policies. If we are found to be liable for violations of the FCPA or similar anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions, either due to our own or others' acts or inadvertence, we could suffer from criminal or civil penalties which could have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Because we are a multinational company conducting a complex business in many markets worldwide, we are subject to legal and operational risks related to staffing and management, as well as a broad array of local legal and regulatory requirements which could adversely affect our operations.

Operating outside of the U.S. creates difficulties associated with staffing and managing our international operations, as well as complying with local legal and regulatory requirements. We operate financial transaction processing networks that offer new products and services to customers, and the laws and regulations in the markets in which we operate evolve and are subject to rapid change. Although we have knowledgeable local staff in countries in which we deem it appropriate, we cannot assure you that we will continue to be found to be operating in compliance with all applicable customs, currency exchange control, data protection, employment, transfer pricing and other laws or regulations to which we may be subject. We also cannot assure you that these laws will not be modified in ways that may adversely affect our business.

Our business may be adversely affected if recent developments to applicable data protection regulations in the European Union require us to cease the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States.

In October 2015, the European Court of Justice invalidated the European Commission’s decision regarding the transfer of personal data from the E.U. to the United States (known as the "Safe Harbor Decision"). Prior to the ruling of the European Court of Justice, the Safe Harbor Decision provided a mechanism that facilitated personal data transfers to the United States in compliance with the E.U.’s Directive on Data Protection. Our money transfer business relies on the transfer of E.U. citizens’ personal information to the United States to enable payment of money remittance transactions to beneficiaries through our correspondent network. Despite the October 2015 ruling of the European Court of Justice, we believe we remain in compliance with E.U. regulations regarding the transfer of personal data to the United States. If we are unable to transfer personal data from the E.U. to the United States or other countries where we operate, then it could affect the manner in which we provide our services or adversely affect our financial results.

Because we derive our revenues from a multitude of countries with different currencies, our business may be adversely affected by local inflation and foreign currency exchange rates and policies.

We report our results in U.S. dollars, although a majority of our income is realized in foreign currencies. As exchange rates among the U.S. dollar, the euro, and other currencies fluctuate, the impact of these fluctuations may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition as reported in U.S. dollars.

During 2015, Greece experienced a sovereign debt crisis which led to speculation about the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone and adopting another currency. Developments in the latter part of 2015 resulted in Greece remaining a member of the European Union and the Eurozone. However, Greece's economy continues to struggle and in the future Greece could leave the E.U. The Company has considered the impact on its business in Greece should Greece adopt another currency. While there is a general risk of reporting net asset values and operating results in an adopted currency which may translate to U.S. dollars at different rates than the euro, we recognize there is a more specific economic risk associated with cash balances in Greece. We hold cash in Greece in banks as well as in our ATM network. A conversion of those cash amounts from euros to another currency could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations, either from initial conversion or from subsequent changes in currency exchange rates. The magnitude of this risk increases when cash balances in our ATM network increase during the tourism season. While such a currency change does not appear to be an immediate risk under current circumstances, the Company continues to monitor developments in this area and will attempt to mitigate any adverse effects where possible.

In November 2016, without advance warning, the Indian government announced that it would remove from circulation two of the most often used Indian banknotes, the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes. The government expected that the notes would rapidly be replaced with a new Rs 500 note and a new Rs 2000 note, retiring (or demonetizing) completely the Rs 1000 banknote. However, distribution of the new notes was delayed, and circulation of the new notes only commenced in February 2017.  While the cash supply has been restored progressively during the first months of 2017, the shortage of cash in November and December 2016 adversely impacted Euronet's 2016 fourth quarter revenue earned from ATM cash withdrawals on the more than 12,000 ATMs Euronet owns or operates as well as revenue earned from money transfer remittance payout in India. Any additional delay in restoring the cash supply will continue to adversely impact our results. The action by the Indian government

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was motivated by a desire to penalize Indians holding large quantities of money earned from illicit business. Any similar action by other governments in countries in which we do business could have an adverse effect on our business.

Our Money Transfer Segment is subject to foreign currency exchange risks because our customers deposit funds in one currency at our retail and agent locations worldwide or in an online account and we typically deliver funds denominated in a different, destination country currency. Although we use foreign currency derivative contracts to mitigate a portion of this risk, we cannot eliminate all of the exposure to the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates for the period between collection and disbursement of the money transfers.

We have various mechanisms in place to discourage takeover attempts, which may reduce or eliminate our stockholders' ability to sell their shares for a premium in a change of control transaction.

Various provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and of Delaware corporate law may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control or takeover attempt of our company by a third party which our management and board of directors opposes. Public stockholders who might desire to participate in such a transaction may not have the opportunity to do so. These anti-takeover provisions could substantially impede the ability of public stockholders to benefit from a change of control or change in our management and board of directors. These provisions include:

preferred stock that could be issued by our board of directors to make it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or to discourage a third party from acquiring, a majority of our outstanding voting stock;
classification of our directors into three classes with respect to the time for which they hold office;
supermajority voting requirements to amend the provision in our certificate of incorporation providing for the classification of our directors into three such classes;
non-cumulative voting for directors;
control by our board of directors of the size of our board of directors;
limitations on the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders; and
advance notice requirements for nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by our stockholders at stockholder meetings.
 
We are authorized to issue up to a total of 90 million shares of Common Stock, potentially diluting equity ownership of current holders and the share price of our Common Stock.

We believe that it is necessary to maintain a sufficient number of available authorized shares of our Common Stock in order to provide us with the flexibility to issue Common Stock for business purposes that may arise as deemed advisable by our Board. These purposes could include, among other things, (i) to declare future stock dividends or stock splits, which may increase the liquidity of our shares; (ii) the sale of stock to obtain additional capital or to acquire other companies or businesses, which could enhance our growth strategy or allow us to reduce debt if needed; (iii) use in additional stock incentive programs and (iv) other bona fide purposes. Our Board of Directors may issue the available authorized shares of Common Stock without notice to, or further action by, our stockholders, unless stockholder approval is required by law or the rules of the NASDAQ Global Select Market. The issuance of additional shares of Common Stock may significantly dilute the equity ownership of the current holders of our Common Stock. Further, over the course of time, all of the issued shares have the potential to be publicly traded, perhaps in large blocks. This may result in dilution of the market price of the Common Stock.

An additional 13.0 million shares of Common Stock, representing approximately 25% of the shares outstanding as of December 31, 2017, could be added to our total Common Stock outstanding through the exercise of options or the issuance of additional shares of our Common Stock pursuant to existing convertible debt and other agreements. Once issued, these shares of Common Stock could be traded into the market and result in a decrease in the market price of our Common Stock.

As of December 31, 2017, we had 3.2 million and 0.4 million options and restricted stock awards outstanding, respectively, held by our directors, officers and employees, which entitle these holders to acquire an equal number of shares of our Common Stock. Of this amount, 2.2 million options are vested and exercisable as of December 31, 2017. Approximately 3.7 million additional shares of our Common Stock may be issued in connection with our stock incentive and employee stock purchase plans.


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Accordingly, based on current trading prices of our Common Stock, approximately 2.6 million shares could potentially be added to our total current Common Stock outstanding through the exercise of options and the vesting of restricted stock awards, which could adversely impact the trading price for our stock.

Of the 3.7 million total options and restricted stock awards outstanding, an aggregate of 2.2 million options and restricted stock awards are held by persons who may be deemed to be our affiliates and who would be subject to Rule 144. Thus, upon exercise of their options or sale of shares for which restrictions have lapsed, these affiliates' shares would be subject to the trading restrictions imposed by Rule 144. The remainder of the common shares issuable under option and restricted stock award arrangements would be freely tradable in the public market. Over the course of time, all of the issued shares have the potential to be publicly traded, perhaps in large blocks.

Upon the occurrence of certain events, another 5.6 million shares of Common Stock could be issued upon conversion of the Company's convertible notes issued in October 2014; in certain situations, the number of shares issuable could be higher. While we have stated that we intend to settle any conversion of these notes by issuing cash for the principal value of the
notes and issuing shares of Common Stock for the conversion value in excess of the principal, which would significantly
reduce the number of shares issued upon conversion, if our financial condition significantly and adversely changes, we may not be able to settle as intended should the notes be converted.

Our competition in the EFT Processing Segment, epay Segment and Money Transfer Segment includes large, well-financed companies and financial institutions larger than us with earlier entry into the market. As a result, we may lack the financial resources and access to capital needed to capture increased market share.

EFT Processing Segment - Our principal EFT Processing competitors include ATM networks owned by banks and national switches consisting of consortiums of local banks that provide outsourcing and transaction services only to banks and independent ATM deployers in that country. Large, well-financed companies offer ATM network and outsourcing services that compete with us in various markets. In some cases, these companies also sell a broader range of card and processing services than we do, and are, in some cases, willing to discount ATM services to obtain large contracts covering a broad range of services. Competitive factors in our EFT Processing Segment include network availability and response time, breadth of service offering, price to both the bank and to its customers, ATM location and access to other networks.

epay Segment - We face competition in the epay business in all of our markets. A few multinational companies operate in several of our markets, and we therefore compete with them in a number of countries. In other markets, our competition is from smaller, local companies. Major retailers with high volumes are in a position to demand a larger share of commissions or to negotiate directly with the mobile phone operators, which may compress our margins. Additionally, certain of our content providers, including mobile phone operators have entered into direct contracts with retailers and/or have developed processing technology that diminishes or eliminates the need for intermediate processors and distributors.

Money Transfer Segment - Our primary competitors in the money transfer and bill payment business include other large money transfer companies and electronic money transmitters, as well as certain major national and regional banks, financial institutions and independent sales organizations. Our competitors include The Western Union Company and MoneyGram International Inc. The Western Union Company has a significant competitive advantage due to its greater resources and access to capital for expansion. This may allow them to offer better pricing terms to customers, which may result in a loss of our current or potential customers or could force us to lower our prices. Either of these actions could have an adverse impact on our revenues. In addition, our competitors may have the ability to devote more financial and operational resources than we can to the development of new technologies that provide improved functionality and features to their product and service offerings. If successful, their development efforts could render our product and service offerings less desirable, resulting in the loss of customers or a reduction in the price we could demand for our services. In addition to traditional money payment services, new technologies are emerging that may effectively compete with traditional money payment services, such as stored-value cards, debit networks, web-based services and digital currencies. Our continued growth depends upon our ability to compete effectively with these alternative technologies.

If processing fees and commissions in our epay business continue to decline, our financial results may be adversely affected.

Our epay Segment derives revenues based on processing fees and commissions from mobile phone operators and other content providers. Growth in our prepaid mobile business in any given market is driven by a number of factors, including the overall pace of growth in the prepaid mobile phone market which is impacted by competing postpaid services, our market share of the retail distribution capacity, the level of commission that is paid to the various intermediaries in the prepaid mobile airtime distribution chain, and the value provided to the retailers through the types of products offered and the level of integration with

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their systems. Also, competition among prepaid mobile distributors results in retailer churn and the reduction of commissions paid by prepaid content providers, although a portion of such reductions can be passed along to retailers. In recent years, processing fees and commissions per transaction have declined in most markets, and we expect that trend to continue. Additionally, the number of prepaid mobile top-up transactions we process has declined in certain markets. We have generally been able to mitigate these trends due to growth in the number of higher margin non-mobile product transactions, driven by acquisitions and organic growth. If we cannot continue to increase our transaction levels and per-transaction fees and commissions continue to decline, the combined impact of these factors could adversely impact our financial results.

Our epay and money transfer businesses may be susceptible to fraud and/or credit risks occurring at the retailer, correspondent and/or consumer level, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

In our epay Segment, we contract with retailers that accept payment on our behalf, which we then transfer to a trust or other operating account for payment to content providers. In the event a retailer does not transfer to us payments that it receives for prepaid content sales, whether as a result of fraud, insolvency, billing delays or otherwise, we are responsible to the content provider for the cost of the product sold. We can provide no assurance that retailer fraud or insolvency will not increase in the future or that any proceeds we receive under our credit enhancement or insurance policies will be adequate to cover losses resulting from retailer fraud, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

With respect to our money transfer business, we conduct the majority of our business through our agent network, which provides money transfer services directly to consumers at retail locations. Our agents collect funds directly from consumers and in turn, we collect from the agents the proceeds due to us resulting from the money transfer transactions. In addition, we advance funds to our correspondent banks to pay out money transfers and they may hold our funds for several days or more pending payment to beneficiaries. Therefore, we have credit exposure to our agents and correspondents. Additionally, our Company-owned stores transact a significant amount of business in cash. Although we have safeguards in place, cash transactions have a higher exposure to fraud and theft than other types of transactions. The failure of agents owing us significant amounts to remit funds to us or to repay such amounts, or the loss of cash in our stores could have a material adverse effect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Because we typically enter into short-term contracts with content providers and retailers, our epay business is subject to the risk of non-renewal of those contracts, or renewal under less favorable terms.

Our contracts with content providers to distribute and process content, including prepaid mobile airtime top-up services, typically have terms of less than three years. Many of those contracts may be canceled by either party upon three months' notice. Our contracts with content providers are not exclusive, so these providers may enter into contracts with other service providers. In addition, our service contracts with major retailers typically have terms of one to three years, and our contracts with smaller retailers typically may be canceled by either party upon three to six months' notice. The cancellation or non-renewal of one or more of our significant content provider or retail contracts, or of a large enough group of our contracts with smaller retailers, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The renewal of contracts under less favorable payment terms, commission terms or other terms could have a material adverse impact on our working capital requirements and/or results from operations. In addition, our contracts generally permit operators to reduce our fees at any time. Commission revenue or fee reductions by any of the content providers could also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

The growth and profitability of our epay business may be adversely affected by changes in state, federal or foreign laws, rules and regulations.

As we continue to expand our electronic payment product offerings, certain of those products may become regulated by state, federal or foreign laws, rules and regulations, including the U.S. CFPB. New product offerings may be considered to be money transfer related products which would require licensure for entities distributing or processing such products. If such products become more highly regulated and ultimately require licensure, our epay business may be adversely affected. Further, if regulations regarding the expiration of gift vouchers change in the countries where we offer them, the revenue epay recognizes from unredeemed vouchers may be negatively affected.

The growth in our epay business may be adversely affected if we are unable to expand and differentiate our offering of new electronic payment products.

The prepaid marketplace is currently experiencing high growth in the differentiation of product offerings. While our epay business is focused on expanding and differentiating its suite of prepaid product offerings on a global basis, there can be no

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assurance that we will be able to enter into relationships on favorable terms with additional content providers or renew or expand current relationships and contracts on favorable terms. Inability to continue to grow our suite of electronic payment product offerings could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The stability and growth of our EFT Processing Segment may be adversely affected if we are unable to maintain our current card acceptance and ATM management agreements with banks and international card organizations, and to secure new arrangements for card acceptance and ATM management.

The stability and future growth of our EFT Processing Segment depends in part on our ability to sign card acceptance and ATM management agreements with banks and international card organizations. Card acceptance agreements allow our ATMs to accept credit and debit cards issued by banks and international card organizations. ATM management agreements generate service income from our management of ATMs for banks.

These agreements have expiration dates, and banks and international card organizations are generally not obligated to renew them. Our existing contacts generally have terms of five to seven years and a number of them expire or are up for renewal each year. In some cases, banks may terminate their contracts prior to the expiration of their terms. We cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to sign or maintain these agreements on terms and conditions acceptable to us or that international card organizations will continue to permit our ATMs to accept their credit and debit cards. The inability to continue to sign or maintain these agreements, or to continue to accept the credit and debit cards of local banks and international card organizations at our ATMs in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our business, growth, financial condition or results of operations.

Our operating results depend, in part, on the volume of transactions on ATMs in our network and the fees we can collect from processing these transactions. We generally have little control over the ATM transaction fees established in the markets where we operate, and therefore, cannot control any potential reductions in these fees which may adversely affect our results of operations.

Transaction fees from banks, customers and international card organizations for transactions processed on our ATMs have historically accounted for a substantial portion of our revenues. These fees are set by agreement among all banks in a particular market. The future operating results of our ATM business depend on the following factors:

the acceptance of our ATM processing and management services in our target markets;

the maintenance of the level of transaction fees we receive;

the continued use of our ATMs by credit and debit cardholders; and

our ability to generate revenues from interchange fees and from other value added services, including dynamic currency conversion.

The amount of fees we receive per transaction is set in various ways in the markets in which we do business. We have card acceptance agreements or ATM management agreements with some banks under which fees are set. However, we derive a significant portion of our revenues in many markets from interchange fees, surcharges or cash withdrawal related services that are set by the central ATM processing switch or various card organizations. The banks that participate in these switches or the card organizations that enable the services or transactions set the interchange fee and/or establish the rules regarding the services allowed, and we are not in a position in any market to greatly influence these fees or rules, which may change over time. A significant decrease in the interchange fee, or limitations placed on our ability to offer value added services via our ATM network, in any market could adversely affect our results in that market.

Although we believe that the volume of transactions in developing countries may increase due to growth in the number of cards being issued by banks in these markets, we anticipate that transaction levels on any given ATM in developing markets will not increase significantly. We can attempt to improve the levels of transactions on our ATM network overall by acquiring good sites for our ATMs, eliminating poor locations, entering new, less-developed markets and adding new transactions, including new value added services, to the sets of transactions that are available on our ATMs. However, we may not be successful in materially increasing transaction levels through these measures. Per-transaction fees paid by international card organizations have declined in certain markets in the past and competitive factors have required us to reduce the transaction fees we charge customers. If we cannot continue to increase our transaction levels and per-transaction fees generally decline, our results would be adversely affected.


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Tightening of regulations may adversely affect our results.

The evolving regulatory environment may change the competitive landscape across various jurisdictions and adversely affect our financial results. If governments implement new laws or regulations, or organizations such as Visa and MasterCard issue new rules, that effectively limit our ability to provide DCC or set fees and/or foreign currency exchange spreads, then our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, changes in regulatory interpretations or practices could increase the risk of regulatory enforcement actions, fines and penalties and such changes may be replicated across multiple jurisdictions.

In October, 2017, the E.U. conducted a consultation on various payment practices, including DCC. In connection with that consultation and in response to consumer complaints concerning DCC, the E.U. is considering whether DCC should be regulated. If the E.U. determines that regulation is appropriate, the approach taken in such regulation could range from banning DCC altogether, which we consider unlikely, to requiring additional disclosures be made to customers performing DCC transactions. Any such regulation could materially and adversely impact our financial results, by reducing the number of DCC transactions performed over our networks and the level of profit we generate from such transactions.

The E.U. has passed a new regulation called the GDPR that establishes stringent requirements for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the E.U. The GDPR establishes certain rights of individuals regarding personal information processed by companies as well as requirements for information security, and imposes significant fines that may be revenue-based for violation of its requirements. The GDPR will come into effect across the E.U. on May 25, 2018. The GDPR will apply to transfers of personal information from the E.U. to U.S.-based companies. Any failure on our part to meet the requirements of the GDPR could result in the imposition of fines and penalties that could materially and adversely affect our financial results.

Developments in electronic financial transactions could materially reduce our transaction levels and revenues.

Certain developments in the field of electronic financial transactions may reduce the need for ATMs, prepaid product POS terminals and money transfer agents. An example of this type of development is the use of near field technology (NFC) in retail transactions, which if widely accepted in a market reduces the need for cash and can negatively impact the level of ATM transactions in that market. Advances in biometric payment solutions could have similar adverse impact. These developments may reduce the transaction levels that we experience on our networks in the markets where they occur. Financial institutions, retailers and agents could elect to increase fees to their customers for using our services, which may cause a decline in the use of our services and have an adverse effect on our revenues. If transaction levels over our existing network of ATMs, POS terminals, agents and other distribution methods do not increase, growth in our revenues will depend primarily on increased capital investment for new sites and developing new markets, which reduces the margin we realize from our revenues.

The mobile phone industry is a rapidly evolving area, in which technological developments, in particular the development of new billing models (such as "all you can eat" plans) and distribution methods or services, may affect the demand for other services in a dramatic way. The development of any new models or technology that reduce the need or demand for prepaid mobile airtime could materially and adversely affect our business.

In some cases, we are dependent upon international card organizations and national transaction processing switches to provide assistance in obtaining settlement from card issuers of funds relating to transactions on our ATMs, and any failure by them to provide the required cooperation could result in our inability to obtain settlement of funds relating to transactions.

Our ATMs dispense cash relating to transactions on credit and debit cards issued by banks. We have in place arrangements for the settlement to us of all of those transactions, but in some cases, we do not have a direct relationship with the card-issuing bank and rely for settlement on the application of rules that are administered by international card associations (such as Visa or MasterCard) or national transaction processing switching networks. If a bankcard association fails to settle transactions in accordance with those rules, we are dependent upon cooperation from such organizations or switching networks to enforce our right of settlement against such banks or card associations. Failure by such organizations or switches to provide the required cooperation could result in our inability to obtain settlement of funds relating to transactions and adversely affect our business. Moreover, international card associations and issuers of their cards (and, in the case of Visa, member banks) have the ability to change or apply their rules in ways that could negatively impact our business. As an example, DCC is not permitted on certain cards in certain geographic territories, and the scope of such restrictions could be extended. Any such change or application of the rules of international card associations could materially and adversely affect our business.


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Because our business is highly dependent on the proper operation of our computer networks and telecommunications connections, significant technical disruptions to these systems would adversely affect our revenues and financial results.

Our business involves the operation and maintenance of sophisticated computer networks and telecommunications connections with financial institutions, mobile phone operators, other content providers, retailers and agents. This, in turn, requires the maintenance of computer equipment and infrastructure, including telecommunications and electrical systems, and the integration and enhancement of complex software applications. There are operational risks inherent in this type of business that can result in the temporary shutdown of part or all of our processing systems, such as failure of electrical supply, failure of computer hardware, security breaches and software errors. Transactions in the EFT Processing Segment are processed through our Budapest, Beijing, Mumbai and Karachi processing centers. Transactions in the epay Segment are processed through our London, Martinsried, Hamburg, Milan, Buena Park, California and Kansas City, Missouri processing centers. Transactions in our Money Transfer Segment are processed through our Buena Park, California, Kansas City, Missouri, Bracknell, Auckland, and Kuala Lumpur processing centers. Any operational problem in these centers may have a significant adverse impact on the operation of our networks. Even with disaster recovery procedures in place, these risks cannot be eliminated entirely, and any technical failure that prevents operation of our systems for a significant period of time will prevent us from processing transactions during that period of time and will directly and adversely affect our revenues and financial results.

We are subject to security breaches of our systems. Any such breach may cause us to incur financial losses, liability, harm to our reputation, litigation, regulatory enforcement actions and limitations on our ability to conduct our businesses.
We capture, transmit, handle and store sensitive information in conducting and managing electronic, financial and mobile transactions, such as card information, PIN numbers and personal information of various types. These businesses involve certain inherent security risks, in particular: the risk of electronic interception and theft of the information for use in fraudulent or other card transactions by persons outside the Company, including third party vendors or by our own employees; and the use of fraudulent cards on our network of owned or outsourced ATMs and POS devices. We incorporate industry-standard encryption technology and processing methodology into our systems and software, and maintain controls and procedures regarding access to our computer systems by employees and others, to maintain high levels of security. Although this technology and methodology decreases security risks, they cannot be eliminated entirely as criminal elements apply increasingly sophisticated technology to attempt to obtain unauthorized access to the information handled by ATM, money transfer and electronic financial transaction networks. In addition, the cost and timeframes required for implementation of new technology may result in a time lag between availability of such technology and our adoption of it. Further, our controls, procedures and technology may not be able to detect when there is a breach, causing a delay in our ability to mitigate it. As previously disclosed in our SEC filings, we have been the subject of a computer security breach, and we cannot exclude the possibility of additional breaches in the future.
Any breach in our security systems could result in the perpetration of fraudulent financial transactions for which we may bear the liability. We are insured against various risks, including theft and negligence, but such insurance coverage is subject to deductibles, exclusions and limits that may leave us bearing some or all of any losses arising from security breaches.
We also collect, transfer and retain personal data as part of our money transfer business. These activities are subject to certain privacy laws and regulations in the U.S. and in other jurisdictions where our money transfer services are offered. We maintain technical and operational safeguards designed to comply with applicable legal requirements. Despite these safeguards, there remains a risk that these safeguards could be breached resulting in improper access to, and disclosure of, sensitive customer information. Breaches of our security policies or applicable legal requirements resulting in a compromise of customer data could expose us to regulatory enforcement action, subject us to litigation, limit our ability to provide money transfer services and/or cause harm to our reputation.
In addition to electronic fraud issues and breaches of our systems, the possible theft and vandalism of ATMs or cash in the ATMs present risks for our ATM business. We install ATMs at high-traffic sites and consequently our ATMs are exposed to theft and vandalism, and to a new form of attack whereby the security of the ATM is breached electronically by transmitting a command to the ATM to dispense cash without a card being present. We constantly monitor ATM security and take measures to protect our systems from such attacks and other breaches, but we cannot be certain that our measures will be effective against new, rapidly developing methods used by criminal elements. Although we are insured against such risks, deductibles, exclusions or limitations in such insurance may leave us bearing some or all of any losses arising from theft or vandalism of ATMs or loss of cash due to security breaches of our ATM networks. In addition, we have experienced increases in claims under our insurance, which has increased our insurance premiums.


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We could incur substantial losses if one of the third party depository institutions we use in our operations were to fail.

As part of our business operations, we maintain cash balances at third party depository institutions. We could incur substantial losses if a financial institution in which we have significant deposits fails.

We are required under certain national laws and the rules of financial transaction switching networks in many of our markets to have ''sponsors'' to operate ATMs and switch ATM transactions. Our failure to secure ''sponsor'' arrangements in any of our markets that require bank sponsors could prevent us from doing business in that market.

Under the laws of some countries, only a licensed financial institution may operate ATMs. Because we are not a licensed financial institution outside of the E.U. we are required to have a ''sponsor'' bank to conduct ATM operations in those countries. In addition, in all of our non-E.U. markets, the rules governing national transaction switching networks owned or operated by banks, and to other international financial transaction switching networks operated by organizations such as Citibank, Visa and MasterCard, require any company sending transactions through these switches to be a bank or a technical service processor that is approved and monitored by a bank. As a result, the operation of our ATM network in many of our markets depends on our ability to secure these ''sponsor'' arrangements with financial institutions.

To date, we have been successful in reaching contractual arrangements that have permitted us to operate in all of our target markets. However, we cannot assure you that we will continue to be successful in reaching these arrangements, and it is possible that our current arrangements will not continue to be renewed. If we are unable to secure “sponsor” arrangements in any market, we could be prevented from doing business in that market.

We rely on third party financial institutions to provide us with a portion of the cash required to operate our ATM networks in certain countries. If these institutions were unable or unwilling to provide us with the cash necessary to operate our ATM networks, we would be required to locate additional alternative sources of cash to operate these networks.
 
In our EFT Processing Segment, we primarily rely on third party financial institutions in certain countries in Europe and Asia Pacific to provide us with the cash required to operate our ATM networks. Under our agreements with these providers, we pay fees or interest, which is generally variable and could increase, based on the total amount of cash we are using from such provider at a given time, as well as other costs such as bank fees and cash transportation costs. As of December 31, 2017, the amount of cash used in our ATM networks under these supply agreements was approximately $385.9 million. Before the cash is disbursed to ATM customers, beneficial ownership of the cash is generally retained by the cash providers, and we have no access or proprietary rights to the cash.

Our existing agreements with cash providers are generally multi-year agreements that expire at various times. However, each provider may have the right to demand the return of all or any portion of its cash at any time upon the occurrence of certain events beyond our control, including certain bankruptcy events affecting us or our subsidiaries, or a breach of the terms of our cash provider agreements.

If any of our cash supply providers were to demand return of their cash or terminate their agreements with us and remove their cash from our ATM devices, or if they fail to provide us with the cash our operations require, our ability to operate the ATM networks to which the provider supplies cash would be jeopardized, and we would need to locate additional alternative sources of cash, including, potentially the increased use of our own cash. Under those circumstances, the terms and conditions of the new or renewed agreements could potentially be less favorable to us, which would negatively impact our results of operations. Furthermore, restrictions on our access to cash to supply our ATMs could severely restrict our ability to keep our ATMs operating, which could subject us to performance penalties under our contracts with our customers.

We have already encountered difficulty in obtaining cash supply arrangements in certain of our markets, including Greece, and have begun providing cash for our ATM transactions in those markets. While the amounts involved are currently well within our capabilities given our cash flows and available financing, any failure to renew a major cash supply arrangement could require that we commit significant financial resources to the supply of cash to our ATM networks, which could adversely impact our results of operations.

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Competition in our EFT Processing Segment has increased over the last several years, increasing the risk that certain of our long-term bank outsourcing contracts may be terminated or not renewed upon expiration.

The developing markets in which we have done business have matured over the years, resulting in increasing competition. In addition, as consolidation of financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe continues, certain of our customers have established or are establishing internal ATM management and processing capabilities. As a result of these developments, negotiations regarding renewal of contracts have become increasingly challenging and in certain cases we have reduced fees to extend contracts beyond their original terms. In certain other cases, contracts have been, and in the future may be, terminated by financial institutions resulting in a substantial reduction in revenue. Contract termination payments, if any, may be inadequate to replace revenues and operating income associated with these contracts. Although we have historically considered the risk of non-renewal of major contracts to be relatively low because of complex interfaces and operational procedures established for those contracts, the risk of non-renewal or early termination is increasing.

Our operating results in the money transfer business may be harmed if there are adverse changes in worker immigration patterns, our ability to expand our share of the existing electronic market and to expand into new markets and our ability to continue complying with regulations issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FINCEN”), PATRIOT Act regulations, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) or any other existing or future regulations that impact any aspect of our money transfer business.

Our money transfer business primarily focuses on workers who migrate to foreign countries in search of employment and then send a portion of their earnings to family members in their home countries. Changes in U.S. and foreign government policies or enforcement, including changes that have been, or maybe, implemented by the U.S. President or Congress, toward immigration may have a negative effect on immigration in the U.S. and other countries, which could also have an adverse impact on our money transfer revenues.

Both U.S. and foreign regulators have become increasingly aggressive in the enforcement of the various regulatory regimes applicable to our businesses and the imposition of fines and penalties in the event of violations. Our ability to continue complying with the requirements of OFAC, BSA, FINCEN, the PATRIOT Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulations (both U.S. and foreign) is important to our success in achieving growth and an inability to do this could have an adverse impact on our revenues and earnings. Anti-money laundering and consumer protection regulations require us to be responsible for the compliance by agents with such regulations. Although we have training and compliance programs in place, we cannot be certain our agents will comply with such regulations and we may be held responsible for their failure to comply, resulting in fines and penalties.

Future growth and profitability depend upon expansion within the markets in which we currently operate and the development of new markets for our money transfer services. Our expansion into new markets is dependent upon our ability to successfully apply our existing technology or to develop new applications to satisfy market demand. We may not have adequate financial and technological resources to expand our distribution channels and product applications to satisfy these demands, which may have an adverse impact on our ability to achieve expected growth in revenues and earnings.

Changes in state, federal or foreign laws, rules and regulations could impact the money transfer industry, making it more difficult for our customers to initiate money transfers which would harm our money transfer business.

Our money transfer services are subject to regulation by the U.S. states in which we operate, by the U.S. federal government and by the governments of the other countries in which we operate. Changes in the laws, rules and regulations of these governmental entities, and our ability to obtain or retain required licensure, could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flow.

Changes in banking industry regulation and practice could make it more difficult for us and our agents to maintain depository accounts with banks, which would harm our business.

The banking industry, in light of increased regulatory oversight, is continually examining its business relationships with companies that offer money transfer services and with retail agents that collect and remit cash collected from end consumers. Certain major national and international banks have already withdrawn from providing service to money services businesses ("MSBs"). Should our own banks decide to not offer depository services to companies engaged in processing money transfer transactions, or to retail agents that collect and remit cash from end customers, our ability to complete money transfers, and to administer and collect fees from money transfer transactions, could be adversely impacted.

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If we are unable to maintain our money transfer agent and correspondent networks, our business may be adversely affected.

Our consumer-to-consumer money transfer based revenues are primarily generated through the use of our agent and correspondent networks. If agents or correspondents decide to leave our network or if we are unable to sign new agents or correspondents, our revenue and profit growth rates may be adversely affected. Our agents and correspondents are also subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations that vary significantly, depending on the legal jurisdiction. Changes in these laws and regulations could adversely affect our ability to maintain the networks or the cost of providing money transfer services. In addition, agents may generate fewer transactions or less revenue due to various factors, including increased competition. Because our agents and correspondents are third parties that may sell products and provide services in addition to our money transfer services, they may encounter business difficulties unrelated to the provision of our services, which may cause the agents or correspondents to reduce their number of locations or hours of operation, or cease doing business altogether.

If consumer confidence in our money transfer business or brands declines, our business may be adversely affected.

Our money transfer business relies on customer confidence in our brands and our ability to provide efficient and reliable money transfer services. A decline in customer confidence in our business or brands, or in traditional money transfer providers as a means to transfer money, may adversely impact transaction volumes which would, in turn, be expected to adversely impact our business and possibly result in recording charges for the impairment of goodwill and/or other long-lived assets.

Our money transfer service offerings are dependent on financial institutions to provide such offerings, and any adverse change in such offerings would harm our money transfer business.

Our money transfer business involves transferring funds internationally and is dependent upon foreign and domestic financial institutions, including our competitors, to execute funds transfers and foreign currency transactions. Changes to existing regulations of financial institution operations, such as those designed to combat terrorism or money laundering, could require us to alter our operating procedures in a manner that increases our cost of doing business or to terminate certain product offerings. In addition, as a result of existing regulations and/or changes to those regulations, financial institutions could decide to cease providing the services on which we depend, requiring us to terminate certain product offerings.

The Dodd-Frank Act could have an adverse effect on our ability to hedge risks associated with our business.

The Dodd-Frank Act established federal oversight and regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities that participate in that market. The act requires the U.S. Commodity Futures Trade Commission ("CFTC") to institute broad new position limits for futures and options traded on regulated exchanges. As the law favors exchange trading and clearing, the Dodd-Frank Act also may require us to move certain derivatives transactions to exchanges where no trade credit is provided and also comply with margin requirements in connection with our derivatives activities that are not exchange traded, although the application of those provisions to us is uncertain at this time. The Dodd-Frank Act also requires many counterparties to our derivatives instruments to spin off some of their derivatives activities to a separate entity, which may not be as creditworthy as the current counterparty, or cause the entity to comply with the capital requirements, which could result in increased costs to counterparties such as us. The Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations could (i) significantly increase the cost of derivative contracts (including requirements to post collateral, which could adversely affect our available liquidity); (ii) reduce the availability of derivatives to protect against risks we encounter; and (iii) reduce the liquidity of foreign currency related derivatives.

If we reduce our use of derivatives as a result of the legislation and regulations, our results of operations may become more volatile and our cash flows may be less predictable, which could adversely affect our ability to plan for and fund capital expenditures and working capital. Increased volatility may make us less attractive to certain types of investors. Any of these consequences could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

The United Kingdom's referendum vote in favor of leaving the European Union could adversely affect us.
On June 23, 2016, the U.K. held a referendum in which voters approved an exit from the E.U., commonly referred to as Brexit. The announcement of the results of the referendum resulted in significant volatility in global stock markets and currency exchange rate fluctuations that resulted in the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies in which we conduct business.  The strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies negatively impacts the amount of our reported earnings outside the U.S. because foreign currencies translate into fewer U.S. dollars.  

34


As a result of the referendum, the British government has begun negotiating the terms of the U.K.’s future relationship with the E.U. Although it is unknown what those terms will be, it is possible that there will be greater restrictions on the terms of trade and immigration between the U.K. and E.U. countries, and increased regulatory complexities. The effects of Brexit will depend on any agreements the U.K. makes to retain access to E.U. markets either during a transitional period or more permanently.
Our EFT Processing Segment and our Money Transfer Segment operate subsidiaries that are licensed in the U.K. as payment institutions and have passported their licenses under the Electronic Money Directive and Payment Services Directive, respectively, across the E.U.  If the U.K. negotiates to leave the E.U. single market, then U.K. payment institutions may lose their passporting rights. These measures could potentially disrupt the markets we serve and cause us to use one of our other E.U. licenses or obtain new licenses in another E.U. member state to continue operating in the markets throughout the E.U. Obtaining such additional licenses would require additional investment of time and money, but would not be expected to materially and adversely affect our business or financial results.  
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
 
None.

Item 2. Properties

Our executive offices are located in Leawood, Kansas. As of December 31, 2017, we also have 35 principal offices in Europe, 11 in Asia Pacific, nine in North America, three in the Middle East, two in South America and one in Africa. Our office leases generally provide for initial terms ranging from two to twelve years.

Our processing centers for the EFT Processing Segment are located in Budapest, Hungary; Mumbai, India; Beijing, China; and Karachi, Pakistan. Processing centers we operate for the epay Segment are located in Billericay, U.K.; Martinsried, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Milan, Italy; Buena Park, California, USA; and Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Our processing centers for the Money Transfer Segment are located in Buena Park, California, USA; Bracknell, U.K.; Auckland, New Zealand; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

All of our processing centers are leased and have off-site real time backup processing centers that are capable of providing full or partial processing services in the event of failure of the primary processing centers.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The Company is, from time to time, a party to legal or regulatory proceedings arising in the ordinary course of its business.

The discussion regarding litigation in Part II, Item 8 - Financial Statements and Supplementary Data and Note 18, Litigation and Contingencies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this report is incorporated herein by reference.

Currently, there are no legal or regulatory proceedings that management believes, either individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect upon the consolidated financial statements of the Company. In accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("U.S. GAAP"), we record a liability when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. These liabilities are reviewed at least quarterly and adjusted to reflect the impacts of negotiations, settlements, rulings, advice of legal counsel, and other information and events pertaining to a particular case or proceeding.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

35



Part II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our Common Stock, $0.02 par value per share (“Common Stock”), is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol EEFT. The following table sets forth the high and low daily sales prices during the quarters indicated for our Common Stock:

 
 
2017
 
2016
For the quarters ended
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
December 31
 
$
101.07

 
$
83.15

 
$
84.81

 
$
70.57

September 30
 
$
99.53

 
$
85.67

 
$
82.20

 
$
68.04

June 30
 
$
90.23

 
$
81.19

 
$
82.12

 
$
65.33

March 31
 
$
85.97

 
$
70.51

 
$
79.78

 
$
52.00


Dividends

Since our inception, no dividends have been paid on our Common Stock or Preferred Stock. We do not intend to distribute dividends for the foreseeable future. Certain of our credit facilities consider payment of dividends a restricted payment which is a component in one of our financial covenants. Should we exceed the total amount allowed in the covenant, we would need to obtain lender consent prior to making any dividend payment.

Holders

At December 31, 2017, we had 45 stockholders of record of our Common Stock, and none of our Preferred Stock was outstanding. This figure does not include an estimate of the indeterminate number of beneficial holders whose shares may be held of record by brokerage firms and clearing agencies.

Private Placements and Issuances of Equity

During 2017, we did not issue any equity securities that were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, which have not been previously reported in a Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or a Current Report on Form 8-K.


36


Stock Performance Graph

Set forth below is a graph comparing the total cumulative return on our Common Stock from December 31, 2012 through December 31, 2017 with the Total Returns Index for U.S. companies traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (the “Market Group”) and an index group of peer companies, the Total Returns Index for U.S. NASDAQ Financial Stocks (the “Peer Group”). Returns are based on monthly changes in price and assume reinvested dividends. These calculations assume the value of an investment in the Common Stock, the Market Group and the Peer Group was $100 on December 31, 2012.

The following performance graph and related text are being furnished to and not filed with the SEC, and will not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C under the Exchange Act or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act and will not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate such information by reference into such filing.


stockgraph2017a01.jpg
NOTE: Index Data: Calculated (or Derived) based from CRSP NASDAQ Stock Market (US Companies) and CRSP NASDAQ Financial Index, Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP®), Graduate School of Business, The University of Chicago. Copyright 2018. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


37


Equity Compensation Plan Information

The table below sets forth information with respect to shares of Common Stock that may be issued under our equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2017.

 
 
(a)
 
(b)
 
(c)
Plan category
 
 
 Number of Securities to be
Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding
Options and Rights
 
Weighted Average
Exercise Price of
Outstanding Options and Rights (1)
 
Number of Securities Remaining Available for Future Issuance Under Equity Compensation
Plans (Excluding Securities Reflected in Column (a))(2)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders:
 
 
 
 
 
3,726,510

Stock option awards
 
3,231,493

 
$
42.42

 
 
Restricted stock unit awards
 
432,336

 

 
 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
 

 

 

Total
 
3,663,829

 
$
42.42

 
3,726,510

____________________________
(1)
The weighted average exercise price in this column does not take into account the restricted stock unit awards.
(2)
Included in this column is 0.3 million shares remaining under our employee stock purchase plan. During 2017, Euronet issued 21,547 shares to employees under the employee stock purchase plan.

Stock Repurchases

During the quarter ended December 31, 2017, the Company did not repurchase any common stock.
Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Programs (in thousands) (1)
October 1 - October 31, 2017
 

 
$

 

 
$
149,431

November 1 - November 30, 2017
 

 

 

 
149,431

December 1 - December 31, 2017
 

 

 

 
250,000

Total
 

 
$

 

 
 

(1) Amount remaining to be repurchased at the end of the period. In January 2016, the Company announced that its Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program ("2016 Program") allowing Euronet to repurchase up to $100 million in value or 5.0 million shares of its common stock through December 10, 2017 when the 2016 Program expired. In June 2016, the Board of Directors authorized an additional stock repurchase program ("Repurchase Program") with an effective date of July 28, 2016, allowing Euronet to repurchase up to $125 million in value or 3.0 million shares of its common stock through June 14, 2018. In December 2017, the Board of Directors amended the Repurchase Program, allowing Euronet to repurchase up to $250 million in value or 6.0 million shares of its common stock through December 31, 2019. Repurchases under the Repurchase Program may take place in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, including derivative transactions, and may be made under a Rule 10b5-1 plan.




38


Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following information should be read in conjunction with Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and our Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes contained in Item 8 - Financial Statements and Supplementary Data in this report. The historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in any future period.

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
(dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Income statement data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
 
$
2,252,422

 
$
1,958,615

 
$
1,772,262

 
$
1,664,150

 
$
1,413,169

Operating expenses (1)

1,891,395

 
1,628,313

 
1,497,396

 
1,433,964

 
1,229,705

Depreciation and amortization
 
95,030

 
80,529

 
70,025

 
71,455

 
65,053

Operating income (1)
 
265,997

 
249,773

 
204,841

 
158,731

 
118,411

Other expenses, net
 
(9,662
)
 
(16,880
)
 
(63,747
)
 
(17,228
)
 
(3,326
)
Income from continuing operations before income taxes
 
256,335

 
232,893

 
141,094

 
141,503

 
115,085

Income tax expense
 
(99,395
)
 
(58,795
)
 
(42,602
)
 
(40,015
)
 
(27,732
)
Income from continuing operations
 
$
156,940

 
$
174,098

 
$
98,492

 
$
101,488

 
$
87,353

Earnings per share from continuing operations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
2.99

 
$
3.34

 
$
1.89

 
$
1.96

 
$
1.76

Diluted
 
$
2.85

 
$
3.23

 
$
1.83

 
$
1.89

 
$
1.69

Balance sheet data (at period end):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Assets
 
$
3,140,029

 
$
2,712,872

 
$
2,192,714

 
$
2,038,447

 
$
1,595,158

Debt obligations, long-term portion
 
404,012

 
561,663

 
405,472

 
397,256

 
185,478

Capital lease obligations, long-term portion
 
9,753

 
6,969

 
4,147

 
2,148

 
2,872

Summary network data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of operational ATMs at end of period
 
37,133

 
33,973

 
21,360

 
20,364

 
18,311

EFT processing transactions during the period (millions)
 
2,352

 
1,885

 
1,523

 
1,262

 
1,188

Number of operational prepaid processing POS terminals at end of period (rounded)
 
707,000

 
661,000

 
674,000

 
681,000

 
665,000

Prepaid processing transactions during the period (millions)
 
1,186

 
1,294

 
1,335

 
1,244

 
1,115

Money transfer transactions during the period (millions)
 
92.2

 
82.3

 
68.7

 
48.5

 
35.2

___________________
(1)
The results of 2017 and 2013 include non-cash charges related to impairment of goodwill and acquired intangible assets of $34.1 million and $18.4 million, respectively. Additionally, 2013 results include a $19.3 million non-cash acquisition-related contingent consideration gain.




39


Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Company Overview, Geographic Locations and Principal Products and Services
Euronet is a leading electronic payments provider. We offer payment and transaction processing and distribution solutions to financial institutions, retailers, service providers and individual consumers. Our primary product offerings include comprehensive automated teller machine (“ATM”), point-of-sale (“POS”), card outsourcing, card issuing and merchant acquiring services, software solutions, electronic distribution of prepaid mobile airtime and other electronic payment products, foreign currency exchange services and global money transfer services. We operate in the following three segments:
The EFT Processing Segment, which processes transactions for a network of 37,133 ATMs and approximately 248,000 POS terminals across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. We provide comprehensive electronic payment solutions consisting of ATM cash withdrawal and deposit services, ATM network participation, outsourced ATM and POS management solutions, credit and debit card outsourcing, dynamic currency conversion ("DCC"), and other value added services. Through this segment, we also offer a suite of integrated electronic financial transaction software solutions for electronic payment and transaction delivery systems.
The epay Segment, which provides distribution, processing and collection services for prepaid mobile airtime and other electronic content. We operate a network of approximately 707,000 POS terminals providing electronic processing of prepaid mobile airtime top-up services and other electronic content in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the United States and South America. We also provide vouchers and physical gift fulfillment services in Europe.
The Money Transfer Segment, which provides global consumer-to-consumer money transfer services, primarily under the brand names Ria, IME and xe and global account-to-account money transfer services under the brand name HiFX. We offer services under the brand names Ria and IME through a network of sending agents, Company-owned stores (primarily in North America, Europe and Malaysia) and our websites (riamoneytransfer.com and imeremit.com), disbursing money transfers through a worldwide correspondent network that includes approximately 343,000 locations. xe is a provider of foreign currency exchange information and offers money transfer services on its currency data websites (xe.com and x-rates.com). We offer services under the brand name HiFX through our HiFX websites (www.hifx.com, www.hifx.co.uk and www.hifx.com.au) and HiFX customer service representatives. In addition to money transfers, we also offer customers bill payment services (primarily in the U.S.), payment alternatives such as money orders and prepaid debit cards, comprehensive check cashing services for a wide variety of issued checks, along with competitive foreign currency exchange services and prepaid mobile top-up. Through our HiFM brand, we offer cash management solutions and foreign currency risk management services to small-to-medium sized businesses.
We have six processing centers in Europe, five in Asia Pacific and two in North America. We have 35 principal offices in Europe, 11 in Asia Pacific, nine in North America, three in the Middle East, two in South America and one in Africa. Our executive offices are located in Leawood, Kansas, USA. With approximately 75% of our revenues denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, any significant changes in foreign currency exchange rates will likely have a significant impact on our results of operations (for a further discussion, see Item 1A - Risk Factors and Item 7A - Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk).

Sources of Revenues and Cash Flow
Euronet primarily earns revenues and income from ATM management fees, transaction fees, commissions and foreign currency exchange margin. Each operating segment’s sources of revenues are described below.
EFT Processing Segment — Revenues in the EFT Processing Segment, which represented approximately 28% of total consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017, are derived from fees charged for transactions made by cardholders on our proprietary network of ATMs, fixed management fees and transaction fees we charge to customers for operating ATMs and processing debit and credit cards under outsourcing and cross-border acquiring agreements, foreign currency exchange margin on DCC transactions, and other value added services such as advertising, prepaid telecommunication recharges, bill payment, and money transfers provided over ATMs. Revenues in this segment are also derived from license fees, professional services and maintenance fees for proprietary application software and sales of related hardware.

40


epay Segment — Revenues in the epay Segment, which represented approximately 33% of total consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017, are primarily derived from commissions or processing fees received from mobile phone operators for the processing and distribution of prepaid mobile airtime and commissions earned from the distribution of other electronic content, vouchers, and physical gifts. The proportion of epay Segment revenues earned from the distribution of prepaid mobile phone time as compared with other electronic products has decreased over time, and non-mobile content now produces approximately 70% of epay Segment revenues. Other electronic content offered by this segment includes digital content such as music, games and software, as well as, other products including prepaid long distance calling card plans, prepaid Internet plans, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, vouchers, transport payments, lottery payments, bill payment, and money transfer. Agreements with mobile operators and prepaid content providers are important to the success of our business, and these agreements permit us to distribute prepaid mobile airtime and other electronic payment products to retailers.
Money Transfer Segment — Revenues in the Money Transfer Segment, which represented approximately 39% of total consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017, are primarily derived from transaction fees, as well as the margin earned from purchasing foreign currency at wholesale exchange rates and selling the foreign currency to customers at retail exchange rates. We have a sending agent network in place comprised of agents, customer service representatives, Company-owned stores, primarily in North America, Europe and Malaysia, and Ria, xe and HiFX branded websites, along with a worldwide network of correspondent agents, consisting primarily of financial institutions in the transfer destination countries. Sending and correspondent agents each earn fees for cash collection and distribution services, which are recognized as direct operating costs at the time of sale.
Corporate Services, Eliminations and Other — In addition to operating in our principal operating segments described above, our “Corporate Services, Eliminations and Other” category includes non-operating activity, certain inter-segment eliminations and the cost of providing corporate and other administrative services to the operating segments, including most share-based compensation expense. These services are not directly identifiable with our reportable operating segments.

Opportunities and Challenges

Our expansion plans and opportunities are focused on eight primary areas:
increasing the number of ATMs in our independent ATM networks;
increasing transactions processed on our network of owned and operated ATMs and POS devices;
signing new outsourced ATM and POS terminal management contracts;
expanding value added services in our EFT Processing Segment, including the sale of DCC services to banks and retailers;
expanding our epay processing network and portfolio of electronic payment products;
expanding our money transfer services, cross-currency payments products and bill payment network;
expanding our cash management solutions and foreign currency risk management services; and
developing our credit and debit card outsourcing business.
EFT Processing Segment — The continued expansion and development of our EFT Processing Segment business will depend on various factors including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
the impact of competition by banks and other ATM operators and service providers in our current target markets;
the demand for our ATM outsourcing services in our current target markets;
our ability to develop products or services, including value added services, to drive increases in transactions and revenues;
the expansion of our various business lines in markets where we operate and in new markets;
our entry into additional card acceptance and ATM management agreements with banks;
our ability to obtain required licenses in markets we intend to enter or expand services;
our ability to enter into and renew ATM network cash supply agreements with financial institutions;
the availability of financing for expansion;
our ability to efficiently install ATMs contracted under newly awarded outsourcing agreements;
our ability to renew existing contracts at profitable rates;

41


our ability to maintain pricing at current levels or mitigate price reductions in certain markets;
the impact of reductions in ATM interchange fees;
our ability to expand and sign additional customers for the cross-border merchant processing and acquiring business; and
the continued development and implementation of our software products and their ability to interact with other leading products.

We consistently evaluate and add prospects to our list of potential ATM outsource customers. However, we cannot predict the increase or decrease in the number of ATMs we manage under outsourcing agreements because this depends largely on the willingness of banks to enter into outsourcing contracts with us. Due to the thorough internal reviews and extensive negotiations conducted by existing and prospective banking customers in choosing outsource vendors, the process of entering into or renewing outsourcing agreements can take several months. The process is further complicated by the legal and regulatory considerations of local countries. These agreements tend to cover large numbers of ATMs, so significant increases and decreases in our pool of managed ATMs could result from acquisition or termination of one or more of these management contracts. Therefore, the timing of both current and new contract revenues is uncertain and unpredictable.
Software products are an integral part of our product lines, and our investment in research, development, delivery and customer support reflects our ongoing commitment to an expanded customer base.
epay Segment — The continued expansion and development of the epay Segment business will depend on various factors, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
our ability to maintain and renew existing agreements, and to negotiate new agreements in additional markets with mobile operators, digital content providers, agent financial institutions and retailers;
our ability to use existing expertise and relationships with mobile operators, digital content providers and retailers to our advantage;
the continued use of third-party providers such as ourselves to supply electronic processing solutions for existing and additional digital content;
the development of mobile phone networks in the markets in which we do business and the increase in the number of mobile phone users;
the overall pace of growth in the prepaid mobile phone and digital content market, including consumer shifts between prepaid and postpaid services;
our market share of the retail distribution capacity;
the development of new technologies that may compete with POS distribution of prepaid mobile airtime and other products;
the level of commission that is paid to the various intermediaries in the electronic payment distribution chain;
our ability to fully recover monies collected by retailers;
our ability to add new and differentiated products in addition to those offered by mobile operators;
our ability to develop and effectively market additional value added services;
our ability to take advantage of cross-selling opportunities with our EFT Processing and Money Transfer Segments, including providing money transfer services through our distribution network; and
the availability of financing for further expansion.

In all of the markets in which we operate, we are experiencing significant competition which will impact the rate at which we may be able to grow organically. Competition among prepaid mobile airtime and electronic content distributors results in the increase of commissions paid to retailers and increases in retailer attrition rates. To grow, we must capture market share from other prepaid mobile airtime and electronic content distributors, offer a superior product offering and demonstrate the value of a global network. In certain markets in which we operate, many of the factors that may contribute to rapid growth (growth in electronic content, expansion of our network of retailers and access to products of mobile operators and other content providers) remain present.

42


Money Transfer Segment — The continued expansion and development of our Money Transfer Segment business will depend on various factors, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
the continued growth in worker migration and employment opportunities;
the mitigation of economic and political factors that have had an adverse impact on money transfer volumes, such as changes in the economic sectors in which immigrants work and the developments in immigration policies in the countries in which we operate;
the continuation of the trend of increased use of electronic money transfer and bill payment services among high-income individuals, immigrant workers and the unbanked population in our markets;
our ability to maintain our agent and correspondent networks;
our ability to offer our products and services or develop new products and services at competitive prices to drive increases in transactions;
the development of new technologies that may compete with our money transfer network;
the expansion of our services in markets where we operate and in new markets;
our ability to strengthen our brands;
our ability to fund working capital requirements;
our ability to recover from agents funds collected from customers and our ability to recover advances made to correspondents;
our ability to maintain compliance with the regulatory requirements of the jurisdictions in which we operate or plan to operate;
our ability to take advantage of cross-selling opportunities with our epay Segment, including providing prepaid services through our stores and agents worldwide;
our ability to leverage our banking and merchant/retailer relationships to expand money transfer corridors to Europe, Asia and Africa, including high growth corridors to Central and Eastern European countries;
the availability of financing for further expansion;
the ability to maintain banking relationships necessary for us to service our customers;
our ability to successfully expand our agent network in Europe using our payment institution licenses under the Payment Services Directive and in the United States; and
our ability to provide additional value-added products under the xe brand.

The accounting policies of each segment are the same as those referenced in the summary of significant accounting policies (see Note 3, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Practices, to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
For all segments, our continued expansion may involve additional acquisitions that could divert our resources and management time and require integration of new assets with our existing networks and services. Our ability to effectively manage our growth has required us to expand our operating systems and employee base, particularly at the management level, which has added incremental operating costs. An inability to continue to effectively manage expansion could have a material adverse effect on our business, growth, financial condition or results of operations. Inadequate technology and resources would impair our ability to maintain current processing technology and efficiencies, as well as deliver new and innovative services to compete in the marketplace.



43


Segment Revenues and Operating Income For The Years Ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015

 
 
Revenues
 
Operating Income (Expense)
(in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
EFT Processing
 
$
634,559

 
$
464,254

 
$
379,523

 
$
162,897

 
$
117,156

 
$
94,394

epay
 
733,998

 
693,986

 
708,373

 
38,101

 
68,242

 
66,439

Money Transfer
 
886,858

 
801,919

 
685,635

 
104,545

 
101,526

 
78,658

Total
 
2,255,415

 
1,960,159

 
1,773,531

 
305,543

 
286,924

 
239,491

Corporate services, eliminations and other
 
(2,993
)
 
(1,544
)
 
(1,269
)
 
(39,546
)
 
(37,151
)
 
(34,650
)
Total
 
$
2,252,422

 
$
1,958,615

 
$
1,772,262

 
$
265,997

 
$
249,773

 
$
204,841


Summary

Our annual consolidated revenues increased by 15% for 2017 compared to 2016 and by 11% for 2016 compared to 2015.
The increases in revenues for 2017 and 2016 were primarily due to an increase in the number of ATMs under management, along with an increase in demand for dynamic currency conversion ("DCC") and other value added services in our EFT Processing Segment, growth in the number of money transfers processed by the core Ria business and the continued growth of the Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer service in our Money Transfer Segment, and an increase in the number of non-mobile transactions processed by our epay subsidiaries. These increases were partly offset by decreases in the number of prepaid mobile transactions processed by our epay subsidiaries. The October 2016 acquisition of YourCash Europe Limited and its subsidiaries ("YourCash") contributed to the increase in number of ATMs and transactions processed in our EFT Processing Segment in 2017 and 2016. The increase in revenues for 2016 also was due to the inclusion of a full year of contribution from IME since its acquisition in June 2015.
The increases in operating income for 2017 and 2016 were primarily due to the increase in ATMs under management, along with the increase in demand for DCC and other value added services, the increase in the number of money transfer transactions processed, including Walmart-2-Walmart transactions and those of our businesses acquired in 2015, and the increase in the number of non-mobile transactions processed for epay. These increases were partly offset by a decrease in the number of prepaid mobile transactions processed. The increases in operating income for 2017 were partially offset by charges of $34.1 million for goodwill and acquired intangible assets impairments, the reduced rates charged for the Walmart-2-Walmart product beginning in the second quarter of 2017, and an increase in salaries and benefits and other costs to support growth in the Money Transfer Segment.
Net income attributable to Euronet for 2017, 2016 and 2015 was $156.8 million, or $2.85 per diluted share, $174.4 million, or $3.23 per diluted share, and $98.8 million, or $1.83 per diluted share, respectively.
Impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates
Our revenues and local expenses are recorded in the functional currencies of our operating entities, and then are translated into U.S. dollars for reporting purposes; therefore, amounts we earn outside the U.S. are negatively impacted by a stronger U.S. dollar and positively impacted by a weaker U.S. dollar. Considering the results by country and the associated functional currency, our 2017 consolidated operating income was approximately 3% more due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates when compared to 2016. We estimate that our reported consolidated operating income for 2016 was not significantly influenced by the changes in foreign currency exchange rates when compared to 2015. If significant, in our discussion we will refer to the impact of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates in our comparison of operating segment results.
To provide further perspective on the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, the following table shows the changes in values relative to the U.S. dollar during 2017, 2016 and 2015, of the currencies of the countries in which we have our most significant operations:

44


 
 
Average Translation Rate
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017 Increase (Decrease) Percent
 
 2016 Decrease Percent
 
 
 
 
Currency
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
Australian dollar
 
$
0.7668

 
$
0.7435

 
$
0.7521

 
3
 %
 
(1
)%
British pound
 
$
1.2886

 
$
1.3555

 
$
1.5283

 
(5
)%
 
(11
)%
euro
 
$
1.1297

 
$
1.1067

 
$
1.1102

 
2
 %
 
 %
Hungarian forint
 
$
0.0037

 
$
0.0036

 
$
0.0036

 
3
 %
 
 %
Indian rupee
 
$
0.0154

 
$
0.0149

 
$
0.0156

 
3
 %
 
(4
)%
Malaysian ringgit
 
$
0.2328

 
$
0.2418

 
$
0.2578

 
(4
)%
 
(6
)%
New Zealand dollar
 
$
0.7108

 
$
0.6968

 
$
0.7001

 
2
 %
 
 %
Polish zloty
 
$
0.2656

 
$
0.2538

 
$
0.2656

 
5
 %
 
(4
)%



45


Comparison of Operating Results For The Years Ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 - By Operating Segment

EFT Processing Segment

The following table summarizes the results of operations for our EFT Processing Segment for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Increase Amount
 
Increase Percent
Total revenues
 
$
634,559

 
$
464,254

 
$
170,305

 
37
%
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct operating costs
 
318,875

 
224,793

 
94,082

 
42
%
Salaries and benefits
 
61,683

 
51,822

 
9,861

 
19
%
Selling, general and administrative
 
33,158

 
30,399

 
2,759

 
9
%
Acquired intangible assets impairment
 
2,286

 

 
2,286

 
n/m

Depreciation and amortization
 
55,660

 
40,084

 
15,576

 
39
%
Total operating expenses
 
471,662

 
347,098

 
124,564

 
36
%
Operating income
 
$
162,897

 
$
117,156

 
$
45,741

 
39
%
Transactions processed (millions)
 
2,352

 
1,885

 
467

 
25
%
ATMs as of December 31
 
37,133

 
33,973

 
3,160

 
9
%
Average ATMs
 
36,658

 
27,795

 
8,863

 
32
%
____________________
n/m — Not meaningful.

Revenues
EFT Processing Segment total revenues for 2017 were $634.6 million, an increase of $170.3 million or 37% as compared to 2016. The increase in total revenues is primarily due to an increase in the number of ATMs under management in Europe. Specifically, the increase in the number of ATMs contributed to increases in the number of transactions processed, including DCC transactions, primarily in Europe. The acquisition of YourCash, completed during the fourth quarter of 2016, also contributed to the increase in total revenues for 2017. The increases were partially offset by the impact of a cash shortage in India due to the demonetization initiated in the fourth quarter of 2016. In the second half of 2017, the India cash supply was returned to near pre-demonetization levels. Foreign currency movements increased total revenues for 2017 by approximately $16.7 million as compared to 2016.
Average monthly revenues per ATM were $1,443 for 2017 compared to $1,392 for 2016. The increase in average monthly revenues per ATM was primarily due to the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies. Revenues per transaction were $0.27 for 2017 and $0.25 for 2016. The revenue growth from DCC, which earns higher revenues per transaction than other ATM or card based services, and the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies was partly offset by the impact of the low margin ATM transactions in India.
Direct operating costs
EFT Processing Segment direct operating costs were $318.9 million for 2017, an increase of $94.1 million or 42% as compared to 2016. Direct operating costs in the EFT Processing Segment consist primarily of site rental fees, cash delivery costs, cash supply costs, maintenance, insurance, telecommunications, data center operations-related personnel, as well as the processing centers’ facility-related costs and other processing center-related expenses and commissions paid to retail merchants, banks and card processors involved with POS DCC transactions. The increase in direct operating costs was primarily due to the increase in the number of ATMs under management, the impact of our acquisition of YourCash and the impact of the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies.

46


Gross profit
Gross profit, which is calculated as revenues less direct operating costs, was $315.7 million for 2017 compared to $239.5 million for 2016. The increase in gross profit was primarily due to the growth in revenues from the increases in ATMs under management and DCC transactions processed. Gross profit as a percentage of revenues (“gross margin”) was 49.7% and 51.6% for 2017 and 2016, respectively. The decrease in gross profits as a percentage of revenue was primarily due to increased operating costs due to the expansion of our ATM network, which includes fixed costs for our independent ATMs, the YourCash transactions which earn lower margins per transaction than other ATM or card-based services in Europe, along with growth in the India market where we earn lower revenue per transaction and have experienced a cash shortage in the first part of the year due to the demonetization initiative in the region.
Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits increased $9.9 million or 19% for 2017 compared to 2016. The increase in salaries and benefits was primarily attributable to additional headcount to support an increase in the number of ATMs and POS devices under management and our acquisition of YourCash. As a percentage of revenues, these costs decreased to 9.7% for 2017 from 11.2% for 2016, primarily due to growth in revenues earned from DCC and other value added service transactions on our ATMs under management, which require minimal incremental support costs.
Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2017 were $33.2 million, an increase of $2.8 million or 9% as compared to 2016. The increase was primarily due to the impact of our acquisition of YourCash and additional support costs as a result of the increase in the number of ATMs under management. As a percentage of revenues, these expenses decreased to 5.2% for 2017 from 6.5% for 2016. The decreases were primarily due to the growth in revenues from DCC and other value added service transactions on our ATMs under management, which require minimal support costs.
Acquired intangible assets impairment
The Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $2.3 million for 2017 related to certain customer relationships as a result of the closure of the Pure Commerce office in South Korea. No impairment charges were recorded in 2016.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense increased $15.6 million for 2017 compared to 2016. The increase was primarily attributable to the deployment of additional ATMs, including more expensive cash recycling ATMs, software assets, and the amortization of ATMs and intangible assets related to the acquisition of YourCash. As a percentage of revenues, depreciation and amortization expense was essentially flat at 8.8% for 2017 and 8.6% for 2016.
Operating income
EFT Processing Segment operating income for 2017 was $162.9 million, an increase of $45.7 million or 39% as compared to 2016. Operating income for 2017 increased primarily due to higher revenues from the additional number of ATMs under management, growth in revenues earned from DCC and other value added service transactions and the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies.
Operating income as a percentage of revenues (“operating margin”) was 25.7% for 2017 compared to 25.2% for 2016. Operating income per transaction increased to $0.07 for 2017 from $0.06 for 2016. Operating margin and operating income per transaction increased slightly for 2017 when compared to 2016. This increase is primarily attributable to higher operating revenues, partially offset by lower margin ATM transactions for YourCash and in India, and higher costs incurred to support the additional ATMs under management.


47


2016 Compared to 2015

The following table summarizes the results of operations for our EFT Processing Segment for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015:
 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
 
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2016
 
2015
 
Increase Amount
 
Increase
Percent
 
 
Total revenues
 
$
464,254

 
$
379,523

 
$
84,731

 
22
%
 
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct operating costs
 
224,793

 
182,136

 
42,657

 
23
%
 
Salaries and benefits
 
51,822

 
45,364

 
6,458

 
14
%
 
Selling, general and administrative
 
30,399

 
25,822

 
4,577

 
18
%
 
Depreciation and amortization
 
40,084

 
31,807

 
8,277

 
26
%
 
Total operating expenses
 
347,098

 
285,129

 
61,969

 
22
%
 
Operating income
 
$
117,156

 
$
94,394

 
$
22,762

 
24
%
 
Transactions processed (millions)
 
1,885

 
1,523

 
362

 
24
%
 
ATMs as of December 31
 
33,973

 
21,360

 
12,613

 
59
%
 
Average ATMs
 
27,795

 
21,395

 
6,400

 
30
%

Revenues
EFT Processing Segment total revenues for 2016 were $464.3 million, an increase of $84.7 million or 22% as compared to 2016. The increase in total revenues is primarily due to an increase in the number of ATMs under management. Specifically, the increase in the number of ATMs contributed to increases in the number of transactions processed, including DCC transactions, primarily in Europe. The acquisition of YourCash, completed during the fourth quarter of 2016, also contributed to the increase in total revenues for the year. The increases were partially offset by the impact of the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies. Foreign currency movements reduced total revenues for 2016 by approximately $8.1 million as compared to 2015.
Despite the ongoing economic crisis in Greece and the related capital controls implemented by the Greek government, our EFT Processing business has seen an increase in the number of transactions processed, specifically POS and DCC transactions. In mid-2015, the Greek government implemented restrictions on the transfer of funds and cash withdrawals, which shifted the consumer behavior towards POS card payments. As result, there was an increase in transactions processed on our network of POS devices in Greece, which contributed to an increase in POS revenues. The decline in prices in Greece has resulted in an increase in tourism in the country which contributed to an increase in DCC revenues.
Average monthly revenues per ATM were $1,392 for 2016 compared to $1,478 for 2015. The decrease in average monthly revenues per ATM was primarily due to the addition of approximately 5,300 low-margin ATMs in India. Revenues per transaction were $0.25 for both 2016 and 2015. The revenue growth from DCC, which earns higher revenues per transaction than other ATM or card based services, was largely offset by the impact of the low margin ATM transactions in India.
Direct operating costs
EFT Processing Segment direct operating costs were $224.8 million for 2016, an increase of $42.7 million or 23% as compared to 2015. The increase in direct operating costs was primarily due to the increase in the number of ATMs under management, partly offset by the impact of the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies.
Gross profit
Gross profit was $239.5 million for 2016 compared to $197.4 million for 2015. The increase in gross profit was primarily due to the growth in revenues from the increases in ATMs under management and DCC transactions processed. Gross margin was 51.6% and 52.0% for 2016 and 2015, respectively. The slight decrease in gross profit as a percentage of revenues was primarily due to increased operating costs due to the expansion of our ATM network, which includes fixed costs for our independent ATMs and increased site rental cost as we negotiate new locations and contracts, along with growth in the India market where we earn lower revenue per transaction.

48


Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits increased $6.5 million or 14% for 2016 compared to 2015. The increase in salaries and benefits was primarily attributable to additional headcount to support an increase in the number of ATMs and POS devices under management. As a percentage of revenues, these costs decreased slightly to 11.2% for 2016 from 12.0% for 2015, primarily due to growth in revenues earned from DCC and other value added service transactions on our ATMs under management, which require minimal incremental support costs.
Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2016 were $30.4 million, an increase of $4.6 million or 18% as compared to 2015. The increase was primarily due to the additional support costs as a result of the increase in the number of ATMs under management. As a percentage of revenues, these expenses decreased to 6.5% for 2016 from 6.8% for 2015.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense increased $8.3 million for 2016 compared to 2015. The increase was primarily attributable to the deployment of additional ATMs, including more expensive cash recycling ATMs, and software assets. As a percentage of revenues, depreciation and amortization expense was essentially flat at 8.6% for 2016 and 8.4% for 2015.
Operating income
EFT Processing Segment operating income for 2016 was $117.2 million, an increase of $22.8 million or 24% as compared to 2015. Operating income for 2016 increased primarily due to higher revenues from the additional number of ATMs under management and growth in revenues earned from DCC and other value added service transactions.
Operating income as a percentage of revenues (“operating margin”) was 25.2% for 2016 compared to 24.9% for 2015. Operating income per transaction remained at $0.06 for 2016 and 2015. Operating margin and operating income per transaction were essentially flat for 2016 when compared to 2015. This is primarily attributable to higher operating revenues, partially offset by low margin ATM transactions in India and higher costs incurred to support the additional ATMs under management.




49


epay Segment

The following table summarizes the results of operations for our epay Segment for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
 
 
 
 
 
 
Increase
(Decrease) Amount
 
Increase
(Decrease) Percent
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
Total revenues
 
$
733,998

 
$
693,986

 
$
40,012

 
6
 %
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct operating costs
 
564,032

 
528,774

 
35,258

 
7
 %
Salaries and benefits
 
54,459

 
51,378

 
3,081

 
6
 %
Selling, general and administrative
 
36,014

 
34,517

 
1,497

 
4
 %
Goodwill impairment
 
31,770

 

 
31,770

 
n/m

Depreciation and amortization
 
9,622

 
11,075

 
(1,453
)
 
(13
)%
Total operating expenses
 
695,897

 
625,744

 
70,153

 
11
 %
Operating income
 
$
38,101

 
$
68,242

 
$
(30,141
)
 
(44
)%
Transactions processed (millions)
 
1,186

 
1,294

 
(108
)
 
(8
)%
____________________
n/m — Not meaningful.

Revenues
epay Segment total revenues for 2017 were $734.0 million, an increase of $40.0 million or 6% as compared to 2016. The increase in total revenues was primarily due to an increase in the number of non-mobile transactions processed in Germany, an increase in vouchers distributed by our cadooz subsidiary following the acquisition of new customers and the net impact of the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies. Foreign currency movements increased total revenues by approximately $14.7 million as compared to the same period in 2016. The increases in total revenues were partially offset by a decrease in prepaid mobile transactions processed in the U.S. and U.K. due to competitive pressures on prepaid mobile carriers and the result of high promotion driven revenues from non-mobile transactions in a particular market during the prior year which did not recur in the current year.
Revenues per transaction increased to $0.62 for 2017 from $0.54 for 2016. The increase in revenues per transaction was primarily driven by the increase in the number of non-mobile transactions processed, for which we generally earn higher revenues per transaction than mobile transactions, and the net impact of the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies. The increase in revenues per transaction was also favorably impacted by the loss of a high-volume, low-margin customer in the Middle East.
Direct operating costs
epay Segment direct operating costs were $564.0 million for 2017, an increase of $35.3 million or 7% as compared to 2016. Direct operating costs in our epay Segment include the commissions we pay to retail merchants for the distribution and sale of prepaid mobile airtime and other prepaid products, expenses incurred to operate POS terminals and the cost of vouchers sold and physical gifts fulfilled. The increase in direct operating costs was primarily due to the increase in vouchers distributed by our cadooz subsidiary and non-mobile transactions processed in Germany as well as the net impact of the U.S. dollar weakening against key foreign currencies.
Gross profit
Gross profit was $170.0 million for 2017 compared to $165.2 million for 2016. The increase in gross profit was primarily due to growth in non-mobile transactions processed in Germany, partly offset by decreases in prepaid mobile transactions processed in the U.S. and promotional activities for non-mobile transactions processed in a particular market. Gross margin decreased to 23.2% for 2017 from 23.8% for 2016, mainly due to lower gross margins realized on voucher distributions and the result of high promotion-driven revenues from the non-mobile transactions in a particular market during the prior year which did not recur in the current year.

50


Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits increased $3.1 million or 6% for 2017 as compared to 2016. The increase was primarily due to higher headcount in an effort to grow the segment. As a percentage of revenues, salaries and benefits remained flat at 7.4% for 2017 and 2016.
Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2017 were $36.0 million, an increase of $1.5 million or 4% as compared to 2016. Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2017 increased mainly due to promotional costs for our non-mobile products in Germany and other costs related to the settlement of disputes in certain foreign markets. As a percentage of revenues, these expenses remained relatively flat at 4.9% for 2017 and 5.0% for 2016.
Goodwill impairment
During the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company completed its annual goodwill impairment testing and recorded non-cash goodwill impairment charges of $31.8 million related to the reporting units in the Middle East, the U.S. and the U.K.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense primarily represents depreciation of POS terminals we install in retail stores and amortization of acquired intangible assets. Depreciation and amortization expense decreased $1.5 million or 13% in 2017 as compared to 2016. The decrease is primarily due to certain intangible assets becoming fully amortized in 2017 and the business continuing to require fewer additional company-owned terminals. As a percentage of revenues, these expenses decreased to 1.3% for 2017 from 1.6% for 2016.
Operating income
epay Segment operating income for 2017 was $38.1 million, a decrease of $30.1 million or 44% as compared to 2016. Operating income for 2017 decreased primarily due to the goodwill impairment charge, partly offset by an increase in gross profit from non-mobile products in Germany. Operating margin decreased to 5.2% for 2017 from 9.8% for 2016. Operating income per transaction was $0.03 for 2017 and $0.05 for 2016. The decreases were mainly due to the goodwill impairment charged recorded. The decrease in operating income per transaction was partly offset by an increase in the portion of higher-margin non-mobile transactions.


51


2016 Compared to 2015

The following table summarizes the results of operations for our epay Segment for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2016
 
2015
 
Increase
(Decrease) Amount
 
Increase (Decrease) Percent
Total revenues
 
$
693,986

 
$
708,373

 
$
(14,387
)
 
(2
)%
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct operating costs
 
528,774

 
542,747

 
(13,973
)
 
(3
)%
Salaries and benefits
 
51,378

 
49,752

 
1,626

 
3
 %
Selling, general and administrative
 
34,517

 
38,272

 
(3,755
)
 
(10
)%
Depreciation and amortization
 
11,075

 
11,163

 
(88
)
 
(1
)%
Total operating expenses
 
625,744

 
641,934

 
(16,190
)
 
(3
)%
Operating income
 
$
68,242

 
$
66,439

 
$
1,803

 
3
 %
Transactions processed (millions)
 
1,294

 
1,335

 
(41
)
 
(3
)%

Revenues
epay Segment total revenues for 2016 were $694.0 million, a decrease of $14.4 million or 2% as compared to 2015. The decrease in total revenues was primarily due to the impact of the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies, and a decrease in prepaid mobile transactions processed in the U.S. and U.K. due to competitive pressures on prepaid mobile carriers. Foreign currency movements reduced total revenues by approximately $16.2 million as compared to the same period in 2015. The decrease was partially offset by the transaction growth of non-mobile products processed in Germany, U.K. and Australia. The decreased revenue was also the result of high promotional activities for non-mobile transactions in a particular market during 2015 which did not recur in 2016; however, this decrease was partly offset by an unexpected high volume of non-mobile transactions in another emerging market.
Revenues per transaction increased to $0.54 for 2016 from $0.53 for 2015. The increase in revenues per transaction was primarily driven by the increase in the number of non-mobile transactions processed, for which we generally earn higher revenues per transaction than mobile transactions, partially offset by the impact of the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies.
Direct operating costs
epay Segment direct operating costs were $528.8 million for 2016, a decrease of $14.0 million or 3% as compared to 2015. The decrease in direct operating costs was primarily due to the net impact of the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies. The decreases were partly offset by additional cost to support the transaction growth of our non-mobile products.
Gross profit
Gross profit was $165.2 million for 2016 compared to $165.6 million for 2015. The slight decrease in gross profit was due to the net impact of the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies and the decrease in prepaid mobile transactions processed in the U.S. and U.K, partially offset by the increase in non-mobile transactions. Gross margin increased to 23.8% for 2016 from 23.4% for 2015, mainly due to increase in non-mobile transactions processed, partly offset by lower gross margins realized on voucher redemptions.
Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits increased $1.6 million or 3% for 2016 as compared to 2015. The increase was primarily due to the increase in salaries, benefits and bonus expense, which was mainly driven by higher headcount in an effort to grow the segment. As a percentage of revenues, salaries and benefits increased slightly to 7.4% for 2016 from 7.0% for 2015, primarily due to the headcount growth.

52


Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2016 were $34.5 million, a decrease of $3.8 million or 10% as compared to 2015. Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2016 decreased due to management of cost. As a percentage of revenues, these expenses remained relatively flat at 5.0% for 2016 and 5.4% for 2015.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense was flat for 2016 as compared to 2015. As a percentage of revenues, these expenses were flat at 1.6% for 2016 and 2015.
Operating income
epay Segment operating income for 2016 was $68.2 million, an increase of $1.8 million or 3% as compared to 2015. Operating income for 2016 increased primarily due to lower support cost when compared to 2015. Operating margin was essentially flat at 9.8% for 2016 and 9.4% for 2015. Operating income per transaction was $0.05 for both 2016 and 2015. Despite the decrease in revenues and overall number of transactions processed, there was growth in non-mobile transactions which generally earn higher revenues per transaction than mobile transactions.

Money Transfer Segment

The following table summarizes the results of operations for our Money Transfer Segment for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Increase Amount
 
Increase Percent
Total revenues
 
$
886,858

 
$
801,919

 
$
84,939

 
11
%
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct operating costs
 
476,322

 
422,508

 
53,814

 
13
%
Salaries and benefits
 
168,371

 
155,471

 
12,900

 
8
%
Selling, general and administrative
 
108,022

 
93,219

 
14,803

 
16
%
Depreciation and amortization
 
29,598

 
29,195

 
403

 
1
%
Total operating expenses
 
782,313

 
700,393

 
81,920

 
12
%
Operating income
 
$
104,545

 
$
101,526

 
$
3,019

 
3
%
Transactions processed (millions)
 
92.2

 
82.3

 
9.9

 
12
%
Revenues
Money Transfer Segment total revenues were $886.9 million for 2017, an increase of $84.9 million or 11% as compared to 2016. The increase in revenues was primarily due to increases in the number of money transfers processed, driven by growth in our U.S. and foreign agent and correspondent payout networks, and an increase in transactions in our domestic Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer service. These increases were partly offset by reduced rates for our Walmart-2-Walmart product beginning in the second quarter of 2017, the effects of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in 2017, and a decrease in transactions processed by HiFX as a result of currency volatility from the Brexit vote during 2016 which did not recur in 2017.
Revenues per transaction decreased to $9.62 for 2017 from $9.74 for 2016. The decrease was primarily due to the impact of the increase in volume from our Walmart money transfer product, which earns lower revenues per transaction than other money transfer services and reduced rates charged for that product beginning in the second quarter of 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company took over the processing of xe money transfers from a third party and began recording the full customer fees as revenues, which partly offset the decreases in revenues per transaction.

53


Direct operating costs
Money Transfer Segment direct operating costs were $476.3 million for 2017, an increase of $53.8 million or 13% as compared to 2016. Direct operating costs in the Money Transfer Segment primarily consist of commissions paid to agents who originate money transfers on our behalf and correspondent agents who disburse funds to the customers’ destination beneficiaries, together with less significant costs, such as bank depository fees. The increase in direct operating costs in 2017 was primarily due to growth in the number of money transfer transactions processed in both the U.S. and foreign markets.
Gross profit
Gross profit was $410.5 million for 2017 compared to $379.4 million for 2016. The increase in gross profit was primarily due to growth in the number of money transfer transactions processed in both the U.S. and foreign markets. Gross margins decreased to 46.3% for 2017 compared to 47.3% for 2016. The decrease is primarily due to the growth of our Walmart money transfer product in the U.S., which earns a lower gross profit per transaction than other money transfer services and reduced rates charged for that product beginning in the second quarter of 2017.
Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits increased $12.9 million or 8% for 2017 compared to 2016. The increase in salaries and benefits was primarily due to the expansion of our operations in foreign markets, partly offset by lower bonus expense resulting from slower operating income growth. As a percentage of revenues, salaries and benefits improved to 19.0% for 2017 from 19.4% for 2016. The decrease is primarily due to the lower bonus expense.
Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2017 were $108.0 million, an increase of $14.8 million or 16% as compared to 2016. The increase was primarily due to expenses incurred to support the growth of our money transfer services and the expansion of new products in both the U.S. and foreign markets. As a percentage of revenues, selling, general and administrative expenses increased to 12.2% for 2017 from 11.6% for 2016, primarily due to the growth rate of support costs exceeding the growth rate of money transfer revenues as we develop and promote expanded payout locations and new products.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense increased $0.4 million for 2017 compared to 2016. Depreciation and amortization primarily represents amortization of acquired intangible assets and depreciation of money transfer terminals, computers and software, leasehold improvements and office equipment. For 2017, depreciation and amortization expense increased compared to 2016 primarily due to investments made to support the growth in the business. As a percentage of revenues, depreciation and amortization expense decreased to 3.3% for 2017 from 3.6% for 2016, primarily due to certain intangible assets becoming fully amortized in 2017 and the effect of revenues earned from our Walmart money transfer product, which requires less capital investment than other money transfer products.
Operating income
Money Transfer Segment operating income was $104.5 million for 2017, an increase of $3.0 million or 3% as compared to 2016. Operating income increased primarily due to the growth in the number of money transfers processed. The increase in operating income was partly offset by additional salaries and benefits and other costs incurred, reduced rates for Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer services as well as increased transactions processed by HiFX as a result of the Brexit vote in 2016, which did not recur in 2017.
Operating margin decreased to 11.8% for 2017 from 12.7% for 2016 and operating income per transaction decreased to $1.13 for 2017 from $1.23 for 2016. Operating margin and operating income per transaction decreased primarily due to the decrease in margin realized with the renewal of the the Walmart-2-Walmart agreement and the additional salaries and benefits and other costs incurred to support the growth in the business.


54


2016 Compared to 2015

The following table presents the results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 for the Money Transfer Segment.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2016
 
2015
 
Increase Amount
 
Increase Percent
Total revenues
 
$
801,919

 
$
685,635

 
$
116,284

 
17
%
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct operating costs
 
422,508

 
358,154

 
64,354

 
18
%
Salaries and benefits
 
155,471

 
137,077

 
18,394

 
13
%
Selling, general and administrative
 
93,219

 
85,096

 
8,123

 
10
%
Depreciation and amortization
 
29,195

 
26,650

 
2,545

 
10
%
Total operating expenses
 
700,393

 
606,977

 
93,416

 
15
%
Operating income
 
$
101,526

 
$
78,658

 
$
22,868

 
29
%
Transactions processed (millions)
 
82.3

 
68.7

 
13.6

 
20
%
Revenues
Money Transfer Segment total revenues were $801.9 million for 2016, an increase of $116.3 million or 17% as compared to 2015. The increase in revenues was primarily due to increases in the number of money transfers processed, driven by growth in our U.S. and foreign agent and correspondent payout networks. Our domestic Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer service and organic growth accounted for a significant portion of the growth during the year. The acquisition of IME (M) Sdn Bhd ("IME") and xe Corporation ("xe") completed during 2015 also contributed to the increase in total revenues. The increases were partly offset by the U.S. dollar strengthening against key foreign currencies.
Revenues per transaction decreased to $9.74 for 2016 from $9.98 for 2015. The decrease was primarily due to the impact of our Walmart money transfer product, which earns lower revenues per transaction than other money transfer services.
Direct operating costs
Money Transfer Segment direct operating costs were $422.5 million for 2016, an increase of $64.4 million or 18% as compared to 2015. Direct operating costs in the Money Transfer Segment primarily represent commissions paid to agents who originate money transfers on our behalf and correspondent agents who disburse funds to the customers’ destination beneficiaries, together with less significant costs, such as bank depository fees and cash handling costs. The increase in direct operating costs in 2017 was primarily due to growth in the number of money transfer transactions processed in both the U.S. and foreign markets and the impact of the acquisition of IME.
Gross profit
Gross profit was $379.4 million for 2016 compared to $327.5 million for 2015. The increase in gross profit was primarily due to growth in the number of money transfer transactions processed in both the U.S. and foreign markets. The impact of our acquisitions of IME and xe and the increased activity in our HiFX business also contributed to the increase in gross profits for 2016. Gross margins were essentially flat compared to the prior year which were 47.3% for 2016 and 47.8% for 2015.
Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits increased $18.4 million or 13% for 2016 compared to 2015. The increase in salaries and benefits was primarily due to the expansion of our operations in both U.S. and foreign markets. The acquisitions of IME and xe also contributed to the increase in salaries and benefits for 2016. As a percentage of revenues, salaries and benefits improved to 19.4% for 2016 from 20.0% for 2015. The decrease is primarily due to the increase in the number of money transfers processed, and the transaction growth exceeding headcount growth.

55


Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2016 were $93.2 million, an increase of $8.1 million or 10% as compared to 2015. The increase was primarily due to expenses incurred to support the expansion of our money transfer products in both the U.S. and foreign markets. The acquisitions of IME and xe also contributed to the increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses for 2016. As a percentage of revenues, selling, general and administrative expenses decreased to 11.6% for 2016 from 12.4% for 2015, primarily due to an increase in the number of money transfers processed, which did not require a similar increase in support costs.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense increased $2.5 million for 2016 compared to 2015. For 2016, depreciation and amortization expense increased compared to 2015 primarily due to the amortization of intangible assets related to the acquisition of IME and xe and investments made to support the growth in the business. As a percentage of revenues, depreciation and amortization expense decreased to 3.6% for 2016 from 3.9% for 2015, primarily due to certain intangible assets becoming fully amortized in the first quarter of 2015 and the effect of revenues earned from our Walmart money transfer product, which required less capital investment than other money transfer products.
Operating income
Money Transfer Segment operating income was $101.5 million for 2016, an increase of $22.9 million or 29% as compared to 2015. Operating income increased primarily due to the growth in the number of money transfers processed. The impact of our acquisition of IME also contributed to the increase in gross profits for 2016. The increase in operating income was partly offset by an increase in salaries and benefits and other costs to support the growth in the business.
Operating margin increased to 12.7% for 2016 from 11.5% for 2015 and operating income per transaction increased to $1.23 for 2016 from $1.14 for 2015. Operating margin and operating income per transaction improved for the current year primarily due to the increases in the number of money transfers processed partially offset by the additional salaries and benefits and other costs incurred to support the growth in the business, including cost incurred for the migration of the xe money transfers to HiFX's platform in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Corporate Services

The components of Corporate Services' operating expenses for 2017, 2016 and 2015 were as follows:

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016 Increase (Decrease) Percent
 
2015 Increase (Decrease) Percent
Salaries and benefits
 
$
26,274

 
$
29,749

 
$
26,969

 
(12
)%
 
10
 %
Selling, general and administrative
 
13,122

 
7,227

 
7,276

 
82
 %
 
(1
)%
Depreciation and amortization
 
150

 
175

 
405

 
(14
)%
 
(57
)%
Total operating expenses
 
$
39,546

 
$
37,151

 
$
34,650

 
6
 %
 
7
 %

Corporate operating expenses
Overall, operating expenses for Corporate Services increased 6% for 2017, as compared to 2016. The increase is primarily attributable to the increase in selling, general and administrative expenses mainly attributable to professional services and other costs incurred in connection with the proposed acquisition of MoneyGram International, Inc., partly offset by a decrease in salaries and benefits expense primarily due to a decrease in incentive compensation related to the Company's performance relative to its targets.
Operating expenses for Corporate Services increased 7% for 2016 compared to 2015. The increase is primarily attributable to an increase in salaries and benefits expense due to salary increases, an increase in headcount to support the growth in the Company and an increase in incentive and share-based compensation related to the improvement in Company results.

56


Other Expense, Net

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year-over-Year Change
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017
Increase (Decrease)
Percent
 
2016
Increase (Decrease)
Percent
Interest income
 
$
2,443

 
$
1,696

 
$
2,170

 
44
 %
 
(22
)%
Interest expense
 
(32,571
)
 
(28,332
)
 
(24,814
)
 
15
 %
 
14
 %
Income from unconsolidated affiliates
 
48

 

 

 
n/m

 
 %
Other gains, net
 
118

 
19,956

 
315

 
n/m

 
n/m

Foreign currency exchange gain (loss), net
 
20,300

 
(10,200
)
 
(41,418
)
 
n/m

 
(75
)%
Other expense, net
 
$
(9,662
)
 
$
(16,880
)
 
$
(63,747
)
 
(43
)%
 
(74
)%
____________________
n/m — Not meaningful.

Interest income
The increase in interest income for 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily due to interest earned on a tax refund received in India in 2017. The decrease in interest income for 2016 compared to 2015 was primarily due to a decrease in interest earned on settlement funds held in New Zealand, Brazil and Russia.
Interest expense
The increase in interest expense for 2017 compared to 2016 as well as for 2016 compared to 2015, was primarily related to the additional borrowings under our credit facilities to fund the operating cash for our IAD networks.
Other gains, net
The results for 2016 included an investment gain of $19.4 million, which resulted from our membership in Visa Europe Limited ("Visa Europe") that was sold to Visa, Inc. ("Visa") on June 21, 2016. Visa closed the transaction and provided consideration to the members of Visa Europe consisting of cash consideration of approximately €12.19 billion, issued (a) 2,480,466 shares of Series B Convertible Participating Preferred Stock and (b) 3,156,823 shares of Series C Convertible Participating Preferred Stock, and agreed to make an additional cash payment of €1.12 billion on the third anniversary of closing to Visa Europe members. Our portion of the consideration consisted of cash of $11.9 million, Visa Series B Preferred Shares which are convertible into Visa common shares with an approximate value of $6.4 million, and a long-term receivable of approximately $1.1 million.
Foreign currency exchange gain (loss), net
Foreign currency exchange activity includes gains and losses on certain foreign currency exchange derivative contracts and the impact of remeasurement of assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies. Assets and liabilities denominated in currencies other than the local currency of each of our subsidiaries give rise to foreign currency exchange gains and losses. Foreign currency exchange gains and losses that result from remeasurement of these assets and liabilities are recorded in net income. The majority of our foreign currency exchange gains or losses are due to the remeasurement of intercompany loans which are not considered a long-term investment in nature and are in a currency other than the functional currency of one of the parties to the loan. For example, we make intercompany loans based in euros from our corporate division, which is comprised of U.S. dollar functional currency entities, to certain European entities that use the euro as the functional currency. As the U.S. dollar strengthens against the euro, foreign currency exchange losses are recognized by our corporate entities because the number of euros to be received in settlement of the loans decreases in U.S. dollar terms. Conversely, in this example, in periods where the U.S. dollar weakens, our corporate entities will record foreign currency exchange gains.
We recorded a net foreign currency exchange gain $20.3 million in 2017, and losses of $10.2 million and $41.4 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively. These realized and unrealized foreign currency exchange gains and losses primarily reflect the respective weakening and strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of the countries in which we operate. Additionally, the 2015 loss includes the reclassification to the income statement of $0.8 million of accumulated other comprehensive loss related to translation adjustments resulting from the liquidation of a minor subsidiary.

57


Income Tax Expense

Our effective income tax rates as reported and as adjusted are calculated below:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
(dollar amounts in thousands)
 
2017