For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission file number 001-33977

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware 26-0267673
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
 (IRS Employer
Identification No.)
P.O. Box 8999 94128-8999
San Francisco,
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:    
Title of each classTrading Symbol Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, par value $0.0001 per shareVNew York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share
Class C common stock, par value $0.0001 per share
(Title of each Class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  
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. (Check one):
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, held by non-affiliates (using the New York Stock Exchange closing price as of March 31, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $272.7 billion. There is currently no established public trading market for the registrant’s class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, or the registrant’s class C common stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
As of November 13, 2020, there were 1,692,383,762 shares outstanding of the registrant’s class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, 245,513,385 shares outstanding of the registrant’s class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 10,684,539 shares outstanding of the registrant’s class C common stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
Portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended September 30, 2020.

Item 1
Item 1A
Item 1B
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Item 7A
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Item 9A
Item 9B
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Unless the context indicates otherwise, reference to “Visa,” “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” refers to Visa Inc. and its subsidiaries.
“Visa” and our other trademarks referenced in this report are Visa’s property. This report may contain additional trade names and trademarks of other companies. The use or display of other companies’ trade names or trademarks does not imply our endorsement or sponsorship of, or a relationship with these companies.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that relate to, among other things, the impact on our future financial position, results of operations, and cash flows as a result of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”); prospects, developments, strategies and growth of our business; anticipated expansion of our products in certain countries; industry developments; anticipated benefits of our acquisitions; expectations regarding litigation matters, investigations and proceedings; timing and amount of stock repurchases; sufficiency of sources of liquidity and funding; effectiveness of our risk management programs; and expectations regarding the impact of recent accounting pronouncements on our consolidated financial statements. Forward-looking statements generally are identified by words such as “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “projects,” “could,” “should,” “will,” “continue” and other similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made, are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control and are difficult to predict. We describe risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, any of these forward-looking statements in Item 1Business, Item 1ARisk Factors, Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and elsewhere in this report. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


ITEM 1.    Business

Visa is one of the world’s leaders in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payments network — enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We facilitate digital payments across more than 200 countries and territories among a global set of consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners and government entities through innovative technologies.

Since Visa’s inception in 1958, Visa has been in the business of facilitating payments between consumers and businesses. With new ways to pay, we have evolved into a global company that is a Trusted Engine of Commerce, providing payment solutions for everyone, everywhere. We are focused on extending, enhancing and investing in our proprietary network, VisaNet, while seeking new ways to offer products and services and become a single connection point for facilitating any payment transaction, both on the Visa network and beyond.
We facilitate secure, reliable and convenient transactions between financial institutions, merchants and consumers. We traditionally have referred to this as the “four-party” model. As the payments ecosystem continues to evolve, we have broadened this model to include digital banks, wallets and a range of financial technology companies (fintechs), governments and non-governmental organizations. We provide transaction processing services (primarily authorization, clearing and settlement) to our financial institution and merchant clients through VisaNet. During fiscal year 2020, we saw 204 billion payments and cash transactions with Visa’s brand, equating to an average of 559 million transactions a day. Of the 204 billion total transactions, 141 billion were processed by Visa.
We offer a wide range of Visa-branded payment products that our 15,400 financial institution clients use to develop and offer core business solutions, including credit, debit, prepaid and cash access programs for individual, business and government account holders. During fiscal year 2020, Visa’s total payments and cash volume was $11.3 trillion, and 3.5 billion credentials were available worldwide to be used at nearly 70 million merchant locations.
We take an open, partnership approach and seek to provide value by enabling access to our global network, including offering our technology capabilities through application programming interfaces (APIs). We partner with both traditional and emerging players to innovate and expand the payments ecosystem, allowing them to leverage the resources of our platform to scale and grow their businesses more quickly and effectively. It also creates a more inclusive ecosystem with products that could reach the under and unbanked populations.
We are accelerating the migration to digital payments and evolving Visa to be a “network of networks” to enable the movement of money on VisaNet and beyond. Visa’s network of networks approach creates opportunities by facilitating person-to-person (P2P), business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), business-to-small business (B2b) and government-to-consumer (G2C) payments.
We provide value added services to our clients, including issuer and consumer solutions, merchant and acquirer solutions, fraud management and security services, data solutions, and consulting through Visa Consulting & Analytics.
We invest in and promote our brand to the benefit of our clients and partners through advertising, promotional and sponsorship initiatives with FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the National Football League, among others. We also use these sponsorship assets to showcase our payment innovations.

(1)     Please see Item 7–Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for a reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial results.


Revenue Details
Net revenues consist of service revenues, data processing revenues, international transaction revenues, and other revenues minus costs incurred under client incentive arrangements. We have one reportable segment, which is Payment Services. Visa earns revenue by facilitating payments across more than 200 countries and territories among a global set of consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners and government entities through innovative technologies.

(1) Figures in the tables may not recalculate exactly due to rounding.


Visa is not a financial institution. We do not issue cards, extend credit, or set rates and fees for account holders of Visa products. That is the role of our financial institution clients. We do not earn revenues from, or bear credit risk with respect to, interest or fees paid by account holders on Visa products. Interchange reimbursement fees represent a transfer of value between the financial institutions participating in our payments network. We administer the collection and remittance of interchange reimbursement fees through the settlement process, but we generally do not receive any revenue related to interchange reimbursement fees. In addition, we do not receive as revenue the fees that merchants are charged directly for acceptance by their acquirers.
Fiscal year 2020 and COVID-19 have brought unprecedented challenges and widespread economic and social change. At the same time, the past fiscal year demonstrated the strength and resiliency of our strategy and the meaningful role we play at the center of the payments ecosystem. It has also accelerated progress, including accelerating the shift to ecommerce and the demand for contactless payments, providing significant opportunities for Visa that are aligned with our strategy. As we look to be a single point of connection for money movement globally, there are three primary levers to that growth — consumer payments, new flows and value added services. We are also building and acquiring new capabilities that can add value to our clients and strengthen the foundation of our business: technology, security, brand and talent.
1. Consumer Payments
For decades, Visa’s growth has been driven by the strength of our core business solutions — credit, debit and prepaid products — as well as our global ATM network. As the pace of change accelerates each year, helped by the advancement of technology and our focus on the user experience in payments for both the face-to-face and ecommerce environments, we see significant opportunity for continued growth. We are accelerating efforts to move approximately $18 trillion in consumer spending still done in cash and check to cards and digital credentials on the Visa network.
Core Business
Credit: Credit cards and digital credentials are issued by Visa’s clients and allow consumers and businesses to access credit to pay for goods and services. Credit cards are affiliated with programs operated by financial institution clients, co-brand partners, fintechs and affinity partners. Visa does not extend credit to account holders; however, we provide technology, authorization services, fraud tools and brand support that issuers use to enable their credit programs. We also work with our clients on product design, consumer segmentation and consumer experience design to help them deliver products and services that match their customers’ needs.
Debit: Debit cards and digital credentials are issued by financial institutions and allow consumers and small businesses to purchase goods and services using funds held in their bank accounts. Debit cards enable account holders to transact in person, online or via mobile without needing cash or checks and without accessing a line of credit. Visa provides a strong brand, network infrastructure (which includes processing, acceptance, product features and support, risk tools and services) and industry expertise to help issuers optimize their debit offerings.

Prepaid: Prepaid cards and digital credentials draw from a designated balance funded by individuals, businesses or governments. Prepaid cards address many use cases and needs, including general purpose reloadable, payroll, government and corporate disbursements, healthcare, gift and travel. Visa-branded prepaid cards also play an important part in financial inclusion, bringing payment solutions to those with limited or no access to traditional banking products.
Global ATM: The Visa/PLUS Global ATM network provides account holders with cash access, and other banking capabilities, in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide through issuing and acquiring partnerships with both financial institutions and independent ATM operators.

Ecommerce has evolved since the first online purchase was made on the Visa network more than 25 years ago. In fiscal year 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant acceleration in the shift away from cash to digital forms of payment. Ecommerce represents only about 14% of global retail spending, so there is still substantial opportunity for ecommerce growth. We are helping to transform the digital checkout experience by adding more security and removing friction with the launch of Visa Click to Pay. Enabled by the EMV® Secure Remote Commerce Specifications, Click to Pay simplifies the checkout experience, eliminating the need for a consumer to enter payment details each time they are paying online. This means greater consistency and fewer steps at checkout, regardless of one’s payment choice. Consumers can click to pay with Visa with confidence when they see the Click to Pay icon, a stylized depiction of a fast forward icon, where Visa is accepted. v-20200930_g5.jpg(1)
During fiscal year 2020, Click to Pay went live with select merchants and payment processors and platforms in the U.S., and was enabled in new geographies, including Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Tap to Pay
As we seek to improve the user experience in the face-to-face environment, tap to pay, which is tapping a contactless card or mobile device on a terminal to make a payment, has emerged as the preferred way to check out amongst consumers in many markets around the world. Contactless penetration grew to 43% of all face-to-face transactions around the world in fiscal year 2020. In addition, Visa has worked with payments industry partners and governments to support raising contactless payments limits in markets around the world that require cardholder verification on tap to pay transactions. More than 50 markets across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada have taken this step to help more individuals utilize this way to pay in fiscal year 2020.

The U.S. is one of the most significant opportunities for growth in tap to pay. Tap to pay awareness and adoption accelerated in the U.S. this year, and we expect that demand to continue to grow. More than 70% of face-to-face transactions at checkout in the U.S. occur at a merchant that has the ability to accept contactless payments, and more than 80 of the top 100 merchants by transactions are enabled for tap to pay.

(1) The SRC payment icon is available for use in connection with implementations of the EMV® Secure Remote Commerce Specification.


A key component of how we expand our business focuses on growing access and increasing acceptance of our products around the world. Mobile connectivity, new acceptance devices untethered to landline infrastructure and new partnerships are enabling Visa payments in categories where card acceptance has typically been low, such as rent, parking and vending machines. We accomplish this in a few ways:
Drive new acceptance categories to uncover additional growth. We continue to expand our acceptance footprint in both mature and emerging markets, so that businesses and devices are enabled to send and receive funds via the Visa network in categories such as vending, laundry, gaming, parking, electric vehicle charging, rent and tuition. For example, in emerging markets, while 40% of the national GDP is contributed by small and micro-sellers, fewer than 10% of these sellers currently accept digital payments. In January 2020, Visa announced Tap to Phone technology to help sellers accept digital payments without any additional hardware. This technology allows micro-businesses to use smartphones to accept digital payments instead of a software terminal.
Promote inclusive financial access. According to the World Bank, 1.7 billion adults worldwide still lack access to formal financial services, which means they do not have access to the services that can help facilitate the growth of their economic livelihood. In 2015, Visa made a commitment to provide first-time access to a digital payments account for 500 million people worldwide by 2020 in support of the World Bank’s goal of Universal Financial Access. We met this commitment ahead of schedule in 2019. We are continuing this work by supporting women’s advancement, small businesses, and the expansion of financial inclusion through programs that support skill development and access to networks and financial services for under and unbanked populations. For example, in June, we announced a global commitment to elevate 50 million small and micro businesses worldwide in an effort to help local businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the global commitment, Visa also formed the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute focused on economic and societal issues, including pandemic challenges small and micro businesses face and closing racial and gender opportunity gaps.
Fintech/Open Partnership Model
As the payment ecosystem grows, so too does Visa’s partnership model. Fintechs are key enablers of new payment experiences and new flows. Our work with fintechs helps to open new points of acceptance, create new digital banking experiences, move money across borders, embed Visa into B2B flows, speed up payroll and ensure digital wallet customers can access our services.

Fintechs prefer partnering with Visa because of the reach, capabilities, and security Visa offers. Today, Visa has partnered with fintechs across categories including digital wallets, neobanks, “Buy Now, Pay Later”, B2B payments, cross-border remittance, payments infrastructure, and P2P payments.

To better serve fintechs, Visa has created a suite of streamlined commercial programs and digital onboarding tools. Our Fintech Fast Track program enables qualifying fintechs to quickly launch and scale their programs. The program has grown 360% year-over-year and has welcomed hundreds of fintechs who are actively engaged in the program. With our startup engagement programs, the Visa Everywhere Initiative and the Inclusive Fintech 50, early stage companies can build payment solutions based on our capabilities. All of our fintech resources are available online on Visa Partner, which provides a comprehensive set of services and resources so that partners can access APIs, apply for programs, complete an online licensing process and find relevant partners to help construct new flows.


2. New Flows
New flows represent a $185 trillion opportunity. Visa’s network of networks approach creates opportunities to enable digital payments for consumers, businesses and governments around the world by facilitating P2P, B2C, B2B, B2b and G2C payments. Today, partners are increasingly using Visa’s network infrastructure and capabilities to enable Visa to unlock a growing market opportunity.
Visa Direct

Visa Direct is a global, real-time(2) push payments platform, which reverses the traditional card payment flow by allowing payment originators, through their acquirer, to push funds directly to cards, and with the acquisition of Earthport, Visa Direct can now also push directly to 1.5 billion additional bank accounts. In doing this, Visa Direct supports consumer and business money flows, which is estimated to be $65 trillion, for a variety of payment use cases, including corporate, government and worker payouts, P2P, real-time merchant settlement, and fast cross-border payment capabilities to more than 140 countries.

Visa Direct enables Visa to capture new flows with nearly 3.5 billion global transactions in 2020. This growth was fueled by the expansion of existing use cases, the extension of existing use cases to new countries, the development of new use cases, and the creation and deepening of partnerships worldwide. P2P continued to be a strong contributor, with more than 100 P2P providers globally, led by a 75% year-over-year growth in global P2P transactions. Additionally, we expanded P2P globally in domestic and cross-border capacities with many partners this year.

Many businesses also utilize Visa Direct to have real-time access to working capital to buy inventory, make payroll and service other cash flow needs to keep their businesses running, such as real-time merchant settlement and loan disbursements. During fiscal year 2020, Visa Direct enabled faster payouts to more than 2.35 million U.S. small businesses and sellers, helping to provide fast access to funds to improve cash flow. In the wake of COVID-19, we are seeing more governments adopt Visa Direct to distribute funds quickly, safely and broadly, often reaching the unbanked.
We are also extending our network with B2B payments. We offer a portfolio of business payment solutions, including small business, corporate (travel) cards, purchasing cards, virtual cards and digital credentials, non-card cross-border B2B payment options and disbursement accounts, covering most major industry segments around the world. Business solutions are designed to bring efficiency, controls and automation to small businesses, commercial and government payment processes, ranging from employee travel to fully integrated, invoice-based payables.
Businesses spend an estimated $120 trillion each year. Our three strategic areas of focus include investing and growing card-based payments, accelerating our efforts in non-card, cross-border payments and digitizing domestic accounts payable/accounts receivable processes.
(2) Actual fund availability varies by receiving financial institution, receiving account type, region and whether the transaction is domestic or cross-border.

Our existing commercial card solutions generated nearly $1 trillion in payments volume in fiscal year 2020. We continue to invest across our small business, travel and entertainment, purchasing, fleet and virtual card solutions to further digitize how businesses pay other businesses.
Visa B2B Connect is a multilateral network that operates separately from VisaNet and facilitates B2B cross-border transactions directly from an originating bank to the recipient bank. This network gives financial institutions the ability to quickly and securely process high-value corporate cross-border payments globally and helps simplify and speed up the way businesses pay other businesses around the world. Visa B2B Connect’s current reach includes 80 markets, and we expect that we will expand to 30 new markets over the next 18-24 months, aiming to reach scale by 2022. We are continuing to build out our capabilities and relationships to fuel future growth and to help our clients fulfill the international payments needs of their customers.
3. Value Added Services
As the payments category continues to evolve and expand in scope, size and complexity, our clients are increasingly looking for insights, and Visa is well positioned to support their needs. Value added services represent an opportunity for us to help our clients grow their businesses, often resulting in additional growth for our core business. In addition, they deepen our client relationships and deliver new sources of revenue. Today, we offer a suite of value added services, including issuer and consumer solutions, merchant and acquirer solutions, fraud management and security services, data products, and consulting and analytics.
Issuer and Consumer Solutions
Visa DPS provides a wide range of debit, prepaid and credit value added services to clients including call center services, data analytics, campaign management, fraud and risk solutions, and a white-label branded mobile app. Our U.S. client base includes national banks, community banks and credit unions, as well as a rapidly increasing number of fintechs. DPS continues to extend and expand our capabilities in modern, API-based issuer processing solutions, which will be used for the U.S. and international markets.

We also provide a range of other services and digital solutions to issuers, such as account controls, digital issuance, branded consumer experiences and installments. Installment payments allow shoppers the flexibility to pay for a purchase in equal payments over a defined period of time. Visa is investing in installments as a payments strategy — both by building our own solution, Visa Installments — and by partnering with innovative installments providers who leverage our assets to support a wider variety of installment options. Visa Installments enables issuing banks to offer Visa cardholders the option to divide their total purchase amount into smaller payments during or after checkout, at the store and online — with a Visa card they already have in their wallet. Through Cybersource, Visa’s global payment management platform, we are working with acquirers and fintech installment providers to enable this new way to pay for Cybersource’s merchant customers.


Merchant and Acquirer Solutions
The Cybersource platform provides payment services for more than 450,000 clients. Cybersource’s small business solutions are represented by the Authorize.Net brand in North America.
Through a single integration, Cybersource provides modular, digital capabilities beyond the traditional gateway function of connecting merchants to payment processing. Using Cybersource, merchants of all sizes can improve the way their consumers engage and transact, mitigate fraud and security risk, lower operational costs and adapt to changing business requirements. Cybersource’s global footprint lets merchants accept payments in more than 190 countries and territories around the world and includes a broad choice of acquirers and processors, payment types and hardware components.
Cybersource white-labeled capabilities continue to drive innovation in the payments ecosystem and enable better customer experiences. Cybersource also invested in new and enhanced payment integrations with commerce platforms, enabling sellers and acquirers to provide tailored commerce experiences with payments seamlessly embedded.
Cybersource enables an omni-channel solution with a cloud-based architecture to deliver more innovation at the point-of-sale. Our omni-channel solution has been adopted by multiple retailers in the U.S. and in Europe.
Decision Manager delivered through Cybersource supports transaction security for sellers. It leverages the power of network-wide fraud insights and combines it with hundreds of standard API elements, including IP addresses, device fingerprints, order details and analytics, to produce more than 260 detectors in addition to a score for every transaction to help sellers separate fraudulent transactions from non-fraudulent ones. Decision Manager helps merchants reduce exposure to fraud, which is critical for optimizing both revenue and profits for merchants.
Visa continues to invest in its dispute management services. In fiscal year 2019, we acquired Verifi, a leader in technology solutions to reduce chargebacks. With this acquisition, Visa has been able to offer a network agnostic value added solution, enabling merchants to manage disputes across all their payment methods with a single connection.
Fraud Management and Security Services 
Security and Identity
Trust is at the core of Visa. Through an evolving and multilayered approach, Visa strives to expect the unexpected, constantly monitoring our network and sharing intelligence with our partners. Our multi-prong security strategy is based on empowering consumers and clients through tools, resources and controls to make more informed risk decisions. To provide these tools, we invest in intelligence and technologies that improve fraud and authorization performance. In fiscal year 2020, Visa Advanced Authorization risk scored 141 billion Visa-processed transactions – each transaction across more than 500 risk factors in about one millisecond. In the last year, Visa’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered risk scoring engine helped financial institutions prevent nearly $25 billion in fraud. 
We believe security is an integral driver for growth and innovation. Several developments over the course of fiscal year 2020 help demonstrate our approach:

We continued to see the benefits of chip technology, where each transaction is accompanied by a one-time code that protects consumer information, in preventing counterfeit fraud and reducing fraud occurring in person at physical stores. In the U.S., for example, our most recent data shows an 87 percent decline in counterfeit fraud at chip-enabled merchants since 2015. Contactless-enabled payment cards use the same trusted security of chip cards. EMV® 3-D Secure (3DS) is a new generation of the protocol — developed by EMVCo’s members along with other industry participants — and is designed to protect accounts from unauthorized use across desktop, laptop, mobile or other connected devices, making online purchases easier and more secure.
A new digital tool was introduced to help U.S. financial institutions with their efforts to combat new account fraud and give consumers greater peace of mind. Advanced Identity Score combines Visa’s AI and predictive machine learning capabilities with application and identity related data to generate a risk score for new account applications to help reduce fraud, prevent negative impacts to brand loyalty and trust, and eliminate operational costs due to remediation. Advanced Identity Score can decrease the number of new

accounts opened with stolen identities, protect consumers against synthetic ID or account takeover fraud, save time and help eliminate a poor customer experience.
Visa is also committed to helping protect the broader payments ecosystem from growing cyber threats and fraud through continued investments in intelligence and technology. Visa operates a suite of programs to protect the safety and soundness of the payments ecosystem, investing in intelligence and technology to prevent, detect and mitigate security threats, and empowering our partners with the tools and data necessary to make better risk management decisions that are a core benefit of being part of the Visa network. Our security capabilities, programs and expertise help protect the integrity of the payments ecosystem by seeking to detect and disrupt fraud threats targeting financial institutions and merchants and removing bad actors from the ecosystem to provide the best possible consumer experience. This is achieved through the combined efforts of payment and cyber intelligence, insights and learnings from client/partner breach investigations, and law enforcement engagement to help financial institutions and merchants solve critical security challenges. 
Visa Token Service
Visa Token Service is a security technology that helps combat fraud for both face-to-face and ecommerce digital transactions, including mobile and “Internet of Things (IoT)” payments. The technology replaces a consumer’s card-related sensitive information, such as personal account number, with a unique, one-time use identifier, or token, which protects transactions in a number of ways, including when a card or shopper is not physically present. Launched in 2014, tokenization has been brought to scale over the last six years. We expanded tokenization globally this year, crossing the 1.4 billion tokens milestone and enabling more than 8,300 issuers across 192 markets.
Following the acquisition of Rambus Payments’ token services business, Visa rebranded the business unit to Token ID - A Visa Solution. Token ID will expand Visa’s tokenization capabilities beyond card-based payments on the Visa network to include domestic card, automated clearing house (ACH) and real-time payment networks to facilitate secure payments across a broader range of global commerce types.
Data Solutions

Data lies at the heart of strategic decisions that governments, financial institutions, fintechs and merchants make to help meet their customers' needs, create new products and experiences, enhance security and bolster customer loyalty. Visa harnesses the power of our rich global datasets to deliver insights, benchmarks and predictive models that benefit our ecosystem.

With Visa’s Benchmarking and Operations Solutions, clients can identify opportunities to increase spend and authorization rates and reduce fraud, disputes, chargebacks and operational costs. Visa’s suite of Marketing Solutions uses Visa data to help issuers and merchants plan, target, and measure marketing campaigns and communications. Through Visa’s Underwriting Solutions, Visa is helping clients harness data to improve portfolio management strategies such as credit line increase programs, cross sale of lending products and working capital management for small businesses.
Visa Consulting & Analytics

Visa Consulting & Analytics is the payments consulting advisory arm of Visa. This group is a client-facing global team of more than 550 payments consultants, data scientists and economists in more than 100 cities. The combination of our deep payments expertise, our breadth of data and our economic intelligence allows us to identify actionable insights, recommendations and solutions that drive better business decisions and measurable outcomes for clients. Visa Consulting & Analytics offers consulting services for issuers, acquirers, merchants, fintechs and others that span the entire customer journey.

4. Foundational
The foundation of our business is comprised of our technology, security, brand and talent.
Visa’s technology platform comprises software, hardware, data centers and a vast telecommunications infrastructure, each with a distinct architecture and operational footprint wrapped with several layers of security and protection technologies. Together, these systems deliver the secure, convenient and reliable service that our clients and consumers expect of the Visa brand.
As part of our global technology environment, we build and securely operate hundreds of commercial applications using a diverse set of technologies. Our software powers the core functions of our transaction processing — including authorization, clearing and settlement, and risk scoring — as well as our value added services. These applications together work to provide essential services to the payments ecosystem.
We rely on a diverse array of sophisticated infrastructure systems that are tailored to our services. Visa's infrastructure is designed and configured with layers of redundancies. We have multiple instances of our software running on separate pieces of hardware, which is designed to provide continuous availability. Our disaster recovery capabilities are tiered so that our real-time transaction processing services can be continuously available.
Data Centers 
Visa operates four data centers that are a critical part of our global processing environment and are built with the capacity to support Visa’s growing power, cooling and space needs. All of our data centers have high redundancy of network connectivity, power and cooling designed to provide continuous availability of systems. We are continuing to reduce the carbon footprint of our data centers by deploying efficiency improvement strategies, including LED lighting, variable airflow automation controls and hot-and-cold air containment technologies. 
We connect our clients and partners to Visa’s data centers through a massive telecommunications network covering more than 10 million route miles. Each network node is connected through redundant links, designed to provide high levels of security, availability and performance for our products and services. 
In parallel with our role in advancing the security of the broader payments ecosystem, Visa remains committed to championing cybersecurity. Our multifaceted security approach includes deploying security tools that help keep our clients and consumers safe, while providing solutions that make Visa the best way to pay and be paid.
We invest significantly in our comprehensive approach to cybersecurity at Visa. We deploy security technologies to protect against data confidentiality, integrity and availability risks, emphasizing core cybersecurity

capabilities to minimize risk exposure. Our in-depth security approach applies multiple layers of protection to reduce the risk of any single control failing. These measures include: 
A formal program to devalue sensitive and/or personal data through various cryptographic means
Embedded security in the software development lifecycle 
Identity and access management controls to protect against unauthorized access
Development of advanced cyber detection and response capabilities 
For example, Visa uses AI and deep learning technology to monitor our network and understand the threats aimed at our company. Our platform collects billions of security logs each day, providing insight across the network and within our infrastructure. We combine this data with external intelligence on attacks observed outside of our data centers and network. Using machine learning tools, we focus on the events that appear to pose a risk, enabling our cybersecurity team to intervene. We operate this platform globally, with teams in multiple time zones detecting and responding 24x7x365. 
In recognition of our strength among clients and consumers, the Visa brand consistently ranks highly in external brand studies, including #1 on Forbes World’s Best Regarded Companies (2019), #5 on BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands (2020), Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands and Interbrand’s Best Global Brands, among others.
Visa’s brand strength helps deliver added value to our clients and their customers, financial institutions, merchants and partners through compelling brand expressions, a wide range of products and services and innovative brand and marketing efforts.
In line with our commitment to an expansive and diverse range of partnerships for the benefit of all our stakeholders, Visa sponsors FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the National Football League. Visa is the only brand in the world that is a premier sponsor of all of these properties and also is the most active sponsor of women’s football around the world. At the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (postponed from 2020 to 2021), the Visa brand is expected to be on full display when Visa features our products and technology to bring Japan’s vision for the future of digital payments to life.
Central to our long-term strategy is attracting, developing and retaining the best talent globally with the right skills to drive our success. In fiscal year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on our human capital management. A large majority of our workforce worked remotely throughout the second half of 2020, and we instituted safety protocols and procedures for the essential employees who continued to work on site. Visa committed that no employee layoffs would occur in calendar year 2020 related directly to COVID-19. Visa’s workforce grew in 2020 at a slower pace than prior years, increasing from approximately 19,500 employees in fiscal year 2019 to approximately 20,500 employees in fiscal year 2020. Voluntary workforce turnover (rolling 12-month attrition) was 6.3% in September 2020. At the end of fiscal year 2020, Visa’s global workforce was 59% male and 41% female, and women represented 34% of Visa’s leadership (defined as vice president level and above). In the U.S., ethnicity of our workforce was 38% White, 42% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 6% Black and 3% other. For our U.S. leadership, the breakdown was 63% White, 19% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 4% Black and 2% other.
Our culture is underpinned by our core values, including an unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity. In 2020, we established goals to increase the number of employees from underrepresented groups at the vice president level and above in the U.S. by 50 percent in three years and to increase the number of employees from underrepresented groups in the U.S. by 50 percent in five years. Visa’s commitment to diversity recruiting includes partnering with a number of non-profit and community organizations to support and develop a diverse talent pipeline. For example, Visa established the Black Scholars and Job program, a $10 million fund to create a dedicated Visa scholarship assistance program over the next five years, specifically for college-bound Black students. Upon graduation, all recipients who have met their commitments will be guaranteed a full-time job with Visa. Visa is committed to pay equity, regardless of gender or race/ethnicity, and conducts pay equity analyses on an annual basis.

For additional information, please see the section titled “Talent and Human Capital Management” in Visa’s 2020 Proxy Statement.

Mergers and Acquisitions and Strategic Investments

Visa continually explores opportunities to augment our capabilities and provide meaningful value to our clients. Mergers and acquisitions and strategic investments complement our internal development and enhance our partnerships to align with Visa’s priorities. Visa applies a rigorous integration approach to our acquisitions and investments to ensure they will differentiate our network, provide value added services and accelerate growth.

Plaid Acquisition. In January 2020, Visa entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Plaid, a network that makes it easy for people to securely connect their financial accounts to the apps they use to manage their financial lives. Plaid’s products enable consumers to conveniently share their financial information with thousands of apps and services. Visa’s acquisition of Plaid represents both an entry into new businesses and complementary enhancements to Visa’s existing business. This acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews and approvals.

On November 5, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Visa from acquiring Plaid, alleging that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act and would constitute monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Visa intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.
We own and manage the Visa brand, which stands for acceptance, security, convenience, speed and reliability. Our portfolio of Visa-owned trademarks is important to our business. Generally, trademark registrations are valid indefinitely as long as they are in use and/or maintained. We give our clients access to these assets through agreements with our issuers and acquirers, which authorize the use of our trademarks in connection with their participation in our payments network. Additionally, we have filed patent applications in the U.S. and international jurisdictions covering certain aspects of our proprietary technology and new innovations, and own a number of patents, patent applications and other intellectual property relating to our business. We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions, to protect our proprietary technology.
The global payments industry continues to undergo dynamic change. Existing and emerging competitors compete with Visa’s network and payment solutions for consumers and for participation by financial institutions and merchants. Technology and innovation are shifting consumer habits and driving growth opportunities in ecommerce, mobile payments, blockchain technology and digital currencies. These advances are enabling new entrants, many of which depart from traditional network payment models. In certain countries, the evolving regulatory landscape is changing how we compete, creating local networks or enabling additional processing competition.
We compete against all forms of payment. This includes paper-based payments, primarily cash and checks, and all forms of electronic payments. Our electronic payment competitors principally include:
Global or Multi-Regional Networks: These networks typically offer a range of branded, general purpose card payment products that can be used at millions of merchant locations around the world. Examples include Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay. These competitors may be more concentrated in specific geographic regions, such as JCB in Japan and Discover in the U.S., or have a leading position in certain countries. For example, UnionPay is the largest player in China, since international card networks were not allowed to process domestic transactions in China until the market started to open up with the first license approval for an international network in fiscal year 2020. See Item 1A — Risk Factors — Regulatory Risks — Government-imposed obligations and/or restrictions on international payment systems may prevent us from competing against providers in certain countries, including significant markets such as China, India and Russia. Based on available data, Visa is

one of the largest retail electronic funds transfer networks used throughout the world. The following chart compares our network with these network competitors for calendar year 2019(1):
VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBDiners Club
Payments Volume ($B)8,9414,7671,225313179
Total Volume ($B)11,7576,4681,241320194
Total Transactions (B)207122943
Cards (M)3,4542,17211414066
(1) Mastercard, American Express, JCB and Diners Club / Discover data sourced from The Nilson Report issue 1178 (June 2020). Mastercard excludes Maestro and Cirrus figures. American Express, Diners Club / Discover, and JCB include business from third-party issuers. JCB figures include other payment-related products and some figures are estimates.
Local and Regional Networks: Operated in many countries, these networks often have the support of government influence or mandate. In some cases, they are owned by financial institutions. These networks typically focus on debit payment products, and may have strong local acceptance, and recognizable brands. Examples include STAR, NYCE, and Pulse in the U.S., Interac in Canada, EFTPOS in Australia and Mir in Russia.
Alternate Payment Providers: These providers often have a primary focus of enabling payments through ecommerce and mobile channels, but are expanding or may expand their offerings to the physical point of sale. These companies may process payments using in-house account transfers between parties, electronic funds transfer networks like the ACH, global or local networks like Visa, or some combination of the foregoing. In some cases, these entities are both a partner and a competitor to Visa.
ACH and Real Time Payment (RTP) Networks: These networks are often governed by local regulations. Primarily focused on interbank transfers, many are adding capabilities that may make them more competitive for retail payments. We also compete with closed-loop payment systems, emerging payments networks, wire transfers and electronic benefit transfers.
Payment Processors: We compete with payment processors for the processing of Visa transactions. These processors may benefit from mandates requiring them to handle processing under local regulation. For example, as a result of regulation in Europe under the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR), we may face competition from other networks, processors and other third-parties who could process Visa transactions directly with issuers and acquirers.
We believe our fundamental value proposition of acceptance, security, convenience, speed and reliability offers us a key competitive advantage. We succeed in part because we understand the needs of the individual markets in which we operate and partner with local financial institutions, merchants, fintechs, governments, non-governmental organizations and business organizations to provide tailored solutions. We believe Visa is well-positioned competitively due to our global brand, our broad set of Visa-branded payment products, and our proven track record of processing payment transactions securely and reliably through VisaNet.
We generally do not experience any pronounced seasonality in our business. No individual quarter of fiscal year 2020 or fiscal year 2019 accounted for more than 30 percent of our net revenues in those years.
In fiscal year 2020, we had two clients that accounted for 11% and 10% of our total net revenues, respectively. We believe this is the result of an unprecedented shift in revenue mix, including the decline in cross-border revenue as a result of the pandemic. In fiscal year 2019 and 2018, no client generated greater than 10% of our total net revenues.
Payments settlement due to and from our financial institution clients can represent a substantial daily working capital requirement. Most U.S. dollar settlements are settled within the same day and do not result in a receivable or payable balance, while settlement in currencies other than the U.S. dollar generally remain outstanding for one to two business days, which is consistent with industry practice for such transactions.

As a global payments technology company, we are subject to complex and evolving global regulations in the various jurisdictions in which our products and services are used. The most significant government regulations that impact our business are discussed below. For further discussion of how global regulations may impact our business, see Item 1A-Risk Factors-Regulatory Risks.
Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism and Sanctions: We are subject to anti-corruption laws and regulations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act and other laws that generally prohibit the making or offering of improper payments to foreign government officials and political figures for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or to gain an unfair business advantage. We are also subject to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations, including the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. In addition, we are subject to economic and trade sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Therefore, we do not permit financial institutions or other entities that are domiciled in countries or territories subject to comprehensive OFAC trade sanctions (currently, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Crimea), or that are included on OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, to issue or acquire Visa cards or engage in transactions using our services.
Government-Imposed Market Participation Restrictions: Certain governments, including China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, have taken actions to promote domestic payments systems and/or certain issuers, payments networks or processors, by imposing regulations that favor domestic providers, impose local ownership requirements on processors, require data localization or mandate domestic processing be done in that country.
Interchange Rates and Fees: An increasing number of jurisdictions around the world regulate or influence debit and credit interchange reimbursement rates in their regions. For example, the U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act (Dodd-Frank Act) limits interchange reimbursement rates for certain debit card transactions in the U.S., the European Union (EU) IFR limits interchange rates in Europe (as discussed below), and the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Central Bank of Brazil regulate average permissible levels of interchange.
Internet Transactions: Many jurisdictions have adopted regulations that require payments system participants to monitor, identify, filter, restrict or take other actions with regard to certain types of payment transactions on the Internet, such as gambling and the purchase of cigarettes or alcohol.
Network Exclusivity and Routing: In the U.S., the Dodd-Frank Act limits network exclusivity and preferred routing arrangements for the debit and prepaid market segments. Other jurisdictions impose similar limitations, such as the IFR’s prohibition in Europe on restrictions that prevent multiple payment brands or functionality on the same card.
No-surcharge Rules: We have historically enforced rules that prohibit merchants from charging higher prices to consumers who pay using Visa products instead of other means. However, merchants’ ability to surcharge varies by geographic market as well as Visa product type, and continues to be impacted by litigation, regulation and legislation.
Privacy and Data Protection: Aspects of our operations or business are subject to privacy, data use and data security regulations, which impact the way we use and handle data, operate our products and services and even impact our ability to offer a product or service. In addition, regulators are proposing new laws or regulations that could require Visa to adopt certain cybersecurity and data-handling practices, create new individual privacy rights and impose increased obligations on companies handling personal data.
Supervisory Oversight of the Payments Industry: Visa is subject to financial sector oversight and regulation in substantially all of the jurisdictions in which we operate. In the U.S., for example, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has supervisory oversight over Visa under applicable federal banking laws and policies as a technology service provider to U.S. financial institutions. The federal banking agencies comprising the FFIEC are the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration. Visa also may be separately examined by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection as a service provider to the banks that issue Visa-branded consumer credit and debit card products. Central banks in other countries/regions, including Europe, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom (as discussed below), have recognized or designated Visa as a retail payment system under various types of financial stability regulations. Visa is also subject to oversight by banking and financial sector authorities in other jurisdictions, such as Brazil and Hong Kong.

European and United Kingdom Regulations and Supervisory Oversight: Visa in Europe continues to be subject to complex and evolving regulation in the European Economic Area (EEA). Visa Europe is designated as a Recognized Payment System in the United Kingdom, bringing it within the scope of the Bank of England’s supervisory powers and subject to various requirements, including on issues such as governance and risk management designed to maintain the stability of the United Kingdom’s financial system. Visa Europe is also subject to the European Central Bank’s oversight, whose main focus is on the smooth operation of payment systems in the Euro area, including the security, operational reliability and business continuity of payment systems. Furthermore, Visa Europe is regulated by the United Kingdom’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which has wide-ranging powers and authority to review our business practices, systems, rules and fees with respect to promoting competition and innovation in the United Kingdom, and ensuring payments meet account holder needs. The PSR is also the regulator responsible for monitoring Visa Europe’s compliance with the IFR in the United Kingdom. The IFR regulates interchange rates within Europe, requires Visa Europe to separate its payment card scheme activities from processing activities for accounting, organization, and decision-making purposes within the EU and imposes limitations on network exclusivity and routing. National competent authorities in the EU are responsible for monitoring and enforcing the IFR in their markets.
There are other regulations in the European Union that impact our business, as discussed above, including regulations governing privacy and data protection, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism and sanctions. Other regulations in Europe, such as the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), require, among other things, that our financial institution clients provide certain customer account access rights to emerging non-financial institution players. PSD2 also includes strong customer authentication requirements for certain transactions that could impose both operational complexity on Visa and negatively impact consumer payment experiences.
As discussed in Item 1A Risk Factors Business Risks The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union could harm our business and financial results, and Brexit could lead to further legal and regulatory complexity in Europe.
Additional Regulatory Developments: Various regulatory agencies across the world also continue to examine a wide variety of other issues, including mobile payment transactions, tokenization, access rights for non-financial institutions, money transfer, identity theft, account management guidelines, disclosure rules, security and marketing that could affect our financial institution clients and us. Furthermore, following the passage of PSD2 in Europe, several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong and Mexico, are contemplating granting or have already granted various types of access rights to third-party processors, including access to consumer account data maintained by our financial institution clients, which could have negative implications for our business depending on how the regulations are framed and implemented.
Our corporate website is usa.visa.com/about-visa.html. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, can be viewed at http://www.sec.gov and our investor relations website at http://investor.visa.com as soon as reasonably practicable after these materials are electronically filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In addition, we routinely post financial and other information, which could be deemed to be material to investors, on our investor relations website. Information regarding our corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives are also available on our website at http://www.visa.com/responsibility. The content of any of our websites referred to in this report is not incorporated by reference into this report or any other filings with the SEC.
ITEM 1A. Risk Factors
Regulatory Risks
We are subject to complex and evolving global regulations that could harm our business and financial results.
As a global payments technology company, we are subject to complex and evolving regulations that govern our operations. See Item 1BusinessGovernment Regulation for more information on the most significant areas of regulation that affect our business. The impact of these regulations on us, our clients, and other third parties could limit our ability to enforce our payments system rules; require us to adopt new rules or change existing rules; affect our existing contractual arrangements; increase our compliance costs; require us to make our technology or

intellectual property available to third parties, including competitors, in an undesirable manner; and reduce our revenue opportunities. As discussed in more detail below, we may face differing rules and regulations in matters like interchange reimbursement rates, preferred routing, domestic processing requirements, currency conversion, point-of-sale transaction rules and practices, privacy, data use or protection, licensing requirements, and associated product technology. As a result, the Visa operating rules and our other contractual commitments may differ from country to country or by product offering. Complying with these and other regulations increases our costs and could reduce our revenue opportunities.
If widely varying regulations come into existence worldwide, we may have difficulty rapidly adjusting our product offerings, services, fees and other important aspects of our business in the regions where we operate. Our compliance programs and policies are designed to support our compliance with a wide array of regulations and laws, such as anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, competition, privacy and sanctions, and we continually enhance our compliance programs as regulations evolve. However, we cannot guarantee that our practices will be deemed compliant by all applicable regulatory authorities. In the event our controls should fail or we are found to be out of compliance for other reasons, we could be subject to monetary damages, civil and criminal penalties, litigation, investigations and proceedings, and damage to our global brands and reputation. Furthermore, the evolving and increased regulatory focus on the payments industry could negatively impact or reduce the number of Visa products our clients issue, the volume of payments we process, our revenues, our brands, our competitive positioning, our ability to use our intellectual property to differentiate our products and services, the quality and types of products and services we offer, the countries in which our products are used, and the types of consumers and merchants who can obtain or accept our products, all of which could harm our business.
Increased scrutiny and regulation of the global payments industry, including with respect to interchange reimbursement fees, merchant discount rates, operating rules, risk management protocols and other related practices, could harm our business.
Regulators around the world have been establishing or increasing their authority to regulate certain aspects of the payments industry. See Item 1Business —Government Regulation for more information. In the U.S. and many other jurisdictions, we have historically set default interchange reimbursement fees. Even though we generally do not receive any revenue related to interchange reimbursement fees in a payment transaction (in the context of credit and debit transactions, those fees are paid by the acquirers to the issuers; the reverse is true for certain transactions like ATM), interchange reimbursement fees are a factor on which we compete with other payments providers and are therefore an important determinant of the volume of transactions we process. Consequently, changes to these fees, whether voluntarily or by mandate, can substantially affect our overall payments volumes and revenues.
Interchange reimbursement fees, certain operating rules and related practices continue to be subject to increased government regulation globally, and regulatory authorities and central banks in a number of jurisdictions have reviewed or are reviewing these fees, rules, and practices. For example, regulations adopted by the U.S. Federal Reserve cap the maximum U.S. debit interchange reimbursement rate received by large financial institutions at 21 cents plus 5 basis points per transaction, plus a possible fraud adjustment of 1 cent. The Dodd-Frank Act also limits issuers’ and our ability to adopt network exclusivity and preferred routing in the debit and prepaid area, which also impacts our business. The EU’s IFR places an effective cap on consumer credit and consumer debit interchange fees for both domestic and cross-border transactions within the EEA (30 basis points and 20 basis points, respectively). EU member states have the ability to further reduce these interchange levels within their territories. The European Commission concluded its impact assessment of the IFR, indicating that while it does not intend to expand the legislation at this time, it will continue to monitor market dynamics. Countries in other parts of the world, including the Latin America region, have either adopted or are exploring interchange caps. For example, in March 2017, Argentina’s central bank passed regulations that cap interchange fees on credit and debit transactions. In March 2018, Brazil adopted interchange caps on debit transactions and in March 2020, the Congress in Costa Rica passed legislation allowing the Central Bank to regulate interchange and other fees. Finally, in Australia, the Reserve Bank is in the process of reviewing the country’s payment system regulations, which could potentially result in lower and/or additional interchange caps and other restrictions on our business.
When we cannot set default interchange reimbursement rates at optimal levels, issuers and acquirers may find our payments system less attractive. This may increase the attractiveness of other payments systems, such as our competitors’ closed-loop payments systems with direct connections to both merchants and consumers. We believe some issuers may react to such regulations by charging new or higher fees, or reducing certain benefits to consumers, which make our products less appealing to consumers. Some acquirers may elect to charge higher merchant discount rates (MDR) regardless of the Visa interchange reimbursement rate, causing merchants not to

accept our products or to steer customers to alternate payments systems or forms of payment. In addition, in an effort to reduce the expense of their payment programs, some issuers and acquirers have obtained, and may continue to obtain, incentives from us, including reductions in the fees that we charge, which may directly impact our revenues.
In addition to the regulation of interchange reimbursement fees, a number of regulators impose restrictions on other aspects of our payments business. For example, many governments including, but not limited to governments in India and Turkey are using regulation to further drive down MDR, which could negatively affect the economics of our transactions. Some countries in Latin America, like Peru and Chile are relying on antitrust-driven regulatory actions that can have implications for how the payments ecosystem and four party model operate. The PSR’s review of the acquiring market in the United Kingdom could lead to additional regulatory pressure on our business. With increased merchant lobbying, we could also begin to see regulatory interest in network fees. Government regulations or pressure may also require us to allow other payments networks to support Visa products or services, or to have the other network’s functionality or brand marks on our products. As innovations in payment technology have enabled us to expand into new products and services, they have also expanded the potential scope of regulatory influence. For instance, new products and capabilities, including tokenization, push payments, and non-card based payment flows (e.g., B2B Connect) could bring increased licensing or authorization requirements in the countries where the product or capability is offered. In addition, the European Union’s requirement to separate scheme and processing adds costs and impacts the execution of our commercial, innovation and product strategies.
We are also subject to central bank oversight in some markets, including, Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom and within the European Union. This oversight could result in new governance, reporting, licensing, cybersecurity, processing infrastructure, capital, or credit risk management requirements. We could also be required to adopt policies and practices designed to mitigate settlement and liquidity risks, including increased requirements to maintain sufficient levels of capital and financial resources locally, as well as localized risk management or governance. They could also include new criteria for member participation and merchant access to our payments system. Additionally, regulators in other jurisdictions are considering or adopting approaches based on similar regulatory principles.
Regulators around the world increasingly take note of each other’s approaches to regulating the payments industry. Consequently, a development in one jurisdiction may influence regulatory approaches in another. The risks created by a new law, regulation or regulatory outcome in one jurisdiction have the potential to be replicated and to negatively affect our business in another jurisdiction or in other product offerings. For example, our settlement with the European Commission on cross-border interchange rates has drawn some preliminary attention of regulators in other parts of the world. Similarly, new regulations involving one product offering may prompt regulators to extend the regulations to other product offerings. For example, credit payments could become subject to similar regulation as debit payments (or vice versa). For instance, the Reserve Bank of Australia initially capped credit interchange, but subsequently capped debit interchange as well.
Government-imposed obligations and/or restrictions on international payment systems may prevent us from competing against providers in certain countries, including significant markets such as China, India and Russia.
Governments in a number of jurisdictions shield domestic payment card networks, brands, and processors from international competition by imposing market access barriers and preferential domestic regulations. To varying degrees, these policies and regulations affect the terms of competition in the marketplace and undermine the competitiveness of international payments networks. Public authorities may impose regulatory requirements that favor domestic providers or mandate that domestic payments or data processing be performed entirely within that country, which could prevent us from managing the end-to-end processing of certain transactions.
In Russia, legislation effectively prevents us from processing domestic transactions. The central bank controlled national payment card system (NSPK) is the only entity allowed to process domestically. In China, UnionPay remains the sole processor of domestic payment card transactions and operates the sole domestic acceptance mark. Although we have filed an application with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to operate a Bank Card Clearing Institution (BCCI) in China, the timing and the procedural steps for approval remain uncertain. The approval process might require several years, and there is no guarantee that the license to operate a BCCI will be approved or, if we obtain such license, that we will be able to successfully compete with domestic payments networks.


Regulatory initiatives in India also suggest growing nationalistic priorities, including a data localization mandate passed by the government, which has cost implications for us and could affect our ability to effectively compete with domestic payment providers. In Europe, with the support of the European Central Bank, a group of European banks have announced their intent to launch a pan-European payment system, the European Payments Initiative or EPI, with the purported intent to reduce the risks of disintermediation by international technology companies and continued reliance on international payments networks for intra-Europe card transactions. Furthermore, regional groups of countries, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and a number of countries in Southeast Asia, are considering, or may consider, efforts to restrict our participation in the processing of regional transactions. The African Development Bank has also indicated an interest in supporting national payment systems in its efforts to expand financial inclusion and strengthen regional financial stability. Finally, some countries such as South Africa are mandating on-shore processing of domestic transactions. Geopolitical events, including sanctions, trade tensions or other types of activities could potentially intensify any or all of these activities, which could adversely affect our business.
Due to our inability to manage the end-to-end processing of transactions for cards in certain countries (e.g., Russia and Thailand), we depend on our close working relationships with our clients or third-party processors to ensure transactions involving our products are processed effectively. Our ability to do so may be adversely affected by regulatory requirements and policies pertaining to transaction routing or on-shore processing.
Co-badging and co-residency regulations may pose additional challenges in markets where Visa competes with national networks for issuance and routing. For example, in China, certain banks have issued dual-branded cards for which domestic transactions in China are processed by UnionPay and transactions outside of China are processed by us or other international payments networks. The PBOC is contemplating that dual-branded cards could be phased out over time as new licenses are issued to international companies to participate in China’s domestic payments market. Accordingly, we have been working with Chinese issuers to issue Visa-only branded cards for international travel, and later for domestic transactions after we obtain a BCCI license. However, notwithstanding such efforts, the phase out of dual-branded cards may decrease our payment volumes and impact the revenue we generate in China.
Mir and UnionPay have grown rapidly in Russia and China, respectively, and are actively pursuing international expansion plans, which could potentially lead to regulatory pressures on our international routing rule (which requires that international transactions on Visa cards be routed over VisaNet). Furthermore, although regulatory barriers shield Mir and UnionPay from competition in Russia and China, respectively, alternate payment providers such as Alipay and WeChat Pay have rapidly expanded into ecommerce, offline, and cross-border payments, which could make it difficult for us to compete even if our license is approved in China. Recently, with strong backing from China’s government, a new digital transaction routing system known as NetsUnion was established. The PBOC allowed Alipay and other digital payment providers to invest in NetsUnion. It and other such systems could have a competitive advantage in comparison with international payments networks.
Finally, central banks, including those in Australia, Brazil and Russia, are in the process of developing or expanding national real-time payments networks with the goal of driving a greater number of domestic transactions onto these systems. Similarly, an increasing number of jurisdictions are exploring the concept of building central bank digital currencies for retail payments. If successfully deployed, these national payment platforms and digital currencies could have significant implications for Visa’s domestic and cross-border payments, including potential disintermediation.
In general, national laws that protect or otherwise support domestic providers or processing may increase our costs; decrease our payments volumes and impact the revenue we generate in those countries; decrease the number of Visa products issued or processed; impede us from utilizing our global processing capabilities and controlling the quality of the services supporting our brands; restrict our activities; limit our growth and the ability to introduce new products, services and innovations; force us to leave countries or prevent us from entering new markets; and create new competitors, all of which could harm our business.
Laws and regulations regarding the handling of personal data and information may impede our services or result in increased costs, legal claims, or fines against us.
Our business relies on the processing of data in many jurisdictions and the movement of data across national borders. Legal requirements relating to the collection, storage, handling, use, disclosure, transfer, and security of personal data continue to evolve, and regulatory scrutiny in this area is increasing around the world. For example, in July 2020 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled to invalidate the U.S./EU Privacy Shield - a legal

framework that allowed participating companies to transfer personal data from EU member states to the U.S. Visa has never used the Privacy Shield framework for its transfers, and relies instead on Standard Contractual Clauses. However, the CJEU ruling made clear that these transfer mechanisms will be subject to additional scrutiny as well. Significant uncertainty exists as privacy and data protection laws may be interpreted and applied differently from country to country and may create inconsistent or conflicting requirements. For example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) extends the scope of the EU data protection law to all companies processing data of EU residents, regardless of the company’s location. The law requires companies to comply with a broad range of requirements regarding the handling of personal data. Although we have a global data privacy program that addresses the requirements applicable to our international business, our ongoing efforts to comply with GDPR and rapidly emerging privacy and data protection laws (such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and the Brazilian General Data Protection Law) may increase the complexity of our compliance operations, entail substantial expenses, divert resources from other initiatives and projects, and could limit the services we are able to offer. Inconsistent local and regional regulations restricting location, movement, collection, use and management of data may limit our ability to innovate or compete in certain jurisdictions. For example, India has adopted a data localization law that requires all payment system operators to store domestic transaction data only in India. Such data localization requirements have cost implications for us, impact our ability to utilize the efficiencies and value of our global network, and could affect our strategy. Furthermore, enforcement actions and investigations by regulatory authorities related to data security incidents and privacy violations continue to increase. The enactment of more restrictive laws, rules, regulations, or future enforcement actions or investigations could impact us through increased costs or restrictions on our business, and noncompliance could result in regulatory penalties and significant legal liability.
We may be subject to tax examinations or disputes, or changes in tax laws.
We exercise significant judgment in calculating our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, many factors may limit their accuracy. We are currently under examination by, or in disputes with, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs as well as tax authorities in other jurisdictions, and we may be subject to additional examinations or disputes in the future. Relevant tax authorities may disagree with our tax treatment of certain material items and thereby increase our tax liability. Failure to sustain our position in these matters could harm our cash flow and financial position. In addition, changes in existing laws in the U.S. or foreign jurisdictions, which may be more likely if there is a change in the U.S. administration, or changes resulting from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Programme of Work, related to the revision of profit allocation and nexus rules and design of a system to ensure multinational enterprises pay a minimum level of tax, may also materially affect our effective tax rate. A substantial increase in our tax payments could have a material, adverse effect on our financial results. See also Note 19—Income Taxes to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Litigation Risks
We may be adversely affected by the outcome of litigation or investigations, despite certain protections that are in place.
We are involved in numerous litigation matters, investigations, and proceedings asserted by civil litigants, governments, and enforcement bodies investigating or alleging, among other things, violations of competition and antitrust law, consumer protection law, privacy law, and intellectual property law (these are referred to as “actions” in this section). Details of the most significant actions we face are described more fully in Note 20—Legal Matters to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report. These actions are inherently uncertain, expensive, and disruptive to our operations. In the event we are found liable in any material action, particularly in a large class action lawsuit, such as one involving an antitrust claim entitling the plaintiff to treble damages in the U.S., or we incur liability arising from a government investigation, we may be required to pay significant awards, settlements, or fines. In addition, settlement terms, judgments, or pressures resulting from actions may harm our business by requiring us to modify, among other things, the default interchange reimbursement rates we set, the Visa operating rules or the way in which we enforce those rules, our fees or pricing, or the way we do business. These actions or their outcomes may also influence regulators, investigators, governments, or civil litigants in the same or other jurisdictions, which may lead to additional actions

against Visa. Finally, we are required by some of our commercial agreements to indemnify other entities for litigation brought against them, even if Visa is not a defendant.
For certain actions like those that are U.S. covered litigation or VE territory covered litigation, as described in Note 5—U.S. and Europe Retrospective Responsibility Plans and Note 20—Legal Matters to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report, we have certain financial protections pursuant to the respective retrospective responsibility plans. The two retrospective responsibility plans are different in the protections they provide and the mechanisms by which we are protected. The failure of one or both of the retrospective responsibility plans to adequately insulate us from the impact of such settlements, judgments, losses, or liabilities could materially harm our financial condition or cash flows, or even cause us to become insolvent.
Business Risks
The extent to which the COVID-19 outbreak and measures taken in response thereto impact our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict.
The global impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and related government actions taken to reduce the spread of the virus have been weighing on the macroeconomic environment, and have significantly increased economic uncertainty and reduced economic activity. The outbreak has resulted in authorities implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place or total lock-down orders and business limitations and shutdowns that began in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020.
The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices (including restricting employee travel, implementing office closures, having our employees work remotely for the rest of 2020 and cancelling physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or as we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers and business partners. The COVID-19 outbreak has also impacted scheduled events in which Visa is a sponsor as event organizers consult with health experts, government authorities and other stakeholders to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our global community. This has caused us to make modifications to some of our planned activities and has impacted some of our marketing initiatives.
Cross-border volume continues to be heavily impacted by the decline in travel. International cross-border transaction revenues represent a significant part of our revenue. In addition, we may experience financial losses due to a number of operational factors, including:
merchant, acquirer and issuer failures and credit settlement risk, particularly with respect to the retail, travel and hospitality industries which have been impacted especially hard by the pandemic, including airlines, cruise ships, hotels, restaurants and entertainment events. The closings and/or failures of a large number of these businesses could result in financial stress on our acquiring partners, and potentially lead to settlement failures, triggering Visa’s indemnification obligations. It could also lead to bankruptcies that may result in impairments to our assets or our receivables to be written-off;
clients may re-negotiate existing agreements or seek early renewal of agreements due to the impact of the outbreak on their business, payments volume and incentives;
the mix of Visa’s clients or the amount of business we do with certain clients may change;
third party disruptions, including potential outages at network providers, call centers and other suppliers;
increased cyber and payment fraud risk related to COVID-19, as cybercriminals attempt DDoS related attacks, phishing scams and other disruptive actions, given the shift to online banking, e-commerce and other online activity, as well as more employees working remotely as a result of the outbreak;
challenges to the availability and reliability of our network due to changes to normal operations, including the possibility of one or more clusters of COVID-19 cases occurring at our data centers, affecting our employees, or affecting the systems or employees of our issuers, acquirers or merchants; and
additional regulatory requirements, including, for example, government initiatives or requests to reduce or eliminate payments fees or other costs. A number of countries have taken steps to temporarily cap

interchange or other fees on electronic payments as part of their COVID-19 economic relief measures. It is possible that some or all of these caps may become permanent over time, or that we see governments introduce additional and/or new pricing caps in future economic relief initiatives. In addition, proponents of interchange and/or MDR regulation may try to position government intervention as necessary to support recovery efforts. In an overall soft global economy, such pricing measures could result in additional financial pressures on our business.
There are no comparable recent events that provide guidance as to the effect COVID-19 may have on our business, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the outbreak is highly uncertain and subject to change. While we have taken measures to modify our business practices and reduce operating expenses, including scaling back hiring plans, restricting travel, lowering marketing spend and the use of external resources, the impact that COVID-19 will have on our business, results of operations and financial condition in the longer term remains difficult to predict due to numerous uncertainties, including the transmissibility, severity and duration of the outbreak, the effectiveness of social distancing measures or actions that are voluntarily adopted by the public or required by governments or public health authorities, the development and availability of effective treatments or vaccines, and the impact to our employees and our operations, the business of our clients, supplier and business partners, and other factors.
Consumers affected by COVID-19 may continue to demonstrate changed behavior even after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided. For example, consumers may decrease discretionary spending on a permanent or long-term basis, certain industries may take longer to recover (particularly those that rely on travel or large gatherings) as consumers may be hesitant to return to full social interaction, and we may continue to see consumers decrease spending on credit products as economic worries continue, all of which may have adverse implications for our business.
As a result, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of the virus’ global economic impact, including lower domestic and cross border spending trends, the availability of credit, adverse impacts on our liquidity, and any recessionary conditions that persist, and exacerbate many of the other known risks described in this “Risk Factors” section.
We face intense competition in our industry.
The global payments space is intensely competitive. As technology evolves, new competitors or methods of payment emerge, and existing clients and competitors assume different roles. Our products compete with cash, checks, electronic funds, virtual currency payments, global or multi-regional networks, other domestic and closed-loop payments systems, and alternative payment providers primarily focused on enabling payments through ecommerce and mobile channels. As the global payments space becomes more complex, we face increasing competition from our clients, other emerging payment providers such as fintechs, other digital payments, technology companies that have developed payments systems enabled through online activity in ecommerce and mobile channels, as well as governments in a number of jurisdictions (e.g. Brazil, India and Russia), that are developing, supporting and/or operating national schemes, real time payment networks, and other payment platforms.
Our competitors may develop substantially better technology, have more widely adopted delivery channels or have greater financial resources. They may offer more effective, innovative or a wider range of programs, products, and services. They may use more effective advertising and marketing strategies that result in broader brand recognition, and greater use, including with respect to issuance and merchant acceptance. They may also develop better security solutions or more favorable pricing arrangements. Moreover, even if we successfully adapt to technological change and the proliferation of alternative types of payment services by developing and offering our own services in these areas, such services may provide less favorable financial terms for us than we currently receive from VisaNet transactions, which could hurt our financial results and prospects.
Certain of our competitors operate with different business models, have different cost structures, or participate in different market segments. Those business models may ultimately prove more successful or more adaptable to regulatory, technological, and other developments. In some cases, these competitors have the support of government mandates that prohibit, limit, or otherwise hinder our ability to compete for transactions within certain countries and regions. Some of our competitors, including American Express, Discover, private-label card networks, virtual currency providers, technology companies that enable the exchange of digital assets, and certain alternate payments systems like Alipay and WeChat Pay, operate closed-loop payments systems, with direct connections to both merchants and consumers. Government actions or initiatives such as the Dodd-Frank Act, the IFR in Europe, or real time payment initiatives by governments such as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s FedNow or the Central Bank of

Brazil’s Pix system may provide competitors with increased opportunities to derive competitive advantages from these business models, and may create new competitors, including in some cases the government itself. Similarly, regulation in Europe under PSD2 and the IFR may require us to open up access to, and allow participation in, our network to additional participants, and reduce the infrastructure investment and regulatory burden on competitors. We also run the risk of disintermediation due to factors such as emerging technologies, including mobile payments, alternate payment credentials, other ledger technologies or payment forms, and by virtue of increasing bilateral agreements between entities that prefer not to use our payments network for processing transactions. For example, merchants could process transactions directly with issuers, or processors could process transactions directly with issuers and acquirers.
We expect the competitive landscape to continue to shift and evolve. For example:
We, along with our competitors, clients, network participants, and others are developing or participating in alternate payment networks or products, such as mobile payment services, ecommerce payment services, P2P payment services, real-time and faster payment initiatives, and payment services that permit ACH or direct debits from or to consumer checking accounts, that could either reduce our role or otherwise disintermediate us from the transaction processing or the value added services we provide to support such processing. Examples include initiatives from The Clearing House, an association consisting of large financial institutions that has developed its own faster payments system; Early Warning Services, which operates Zelle, a bank-offered alternative network that provides another platform for faster funds or real-time payments across a variety of payment types, including P2P, corporate and government disbursement, bill pay and deposit check transactions; and crypto-currency or stablecoin-based payments initiatives.
similarly, many countries are developing or promoting domestic networks, switches and real-time payment systems (e.g. India, Russia, as well as Europe). To the extent these governments mandate local banks and merchants to use and accept these systems for domestic or other transactions, prohibit international payments networks, like Visa, from participating on those systems, and/or impose restrictions or prohibitions, on international payments networks from offering payment services on such transactions, we could face the risk of our business being disintermediated in those countries. For example, in Argentina, the government recently issued a regulation that mandates local acquirers to use debit card credentials to initiate payment transactions on a government-sponsored national real-time payment system. Furthermore, in some regions (e.g., Southeast Asia; the Middle East), through intergovernmental organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the GCC, some countries are looking into cross-border connectivity of such domestic systems;
parties that process our transactions may try to minimize or eliminate our position in the payments value chain;
parties that access our payment credentials, tokens and technologies, including clients, technology solution providers or others might be able to migrate account holders and other clients to alternate payment methods or use our payment credentials, tokens and technologies to establish or help bolster alternate payment methods and platforms;
participants in the payments industry may merge, form joint ventures or enable or enter into other business combinations that strengthen their existing business propositions or create new, competing payment services; and
new or revised industry standards related to online checkout and web payments, cloud-based payments, tokenization or other payments-related technologies set by individual countries, regions or organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization, American National Standards Institute, World Wide Web Consortium, European Card Standards Group, PCI Co, Nexo and EMVCo may result in additional costs and expenses for Visa and its clients, or otherwise negatively impact the functionality and competitiveness of our products and services.
As the competitive landscape is quickly evolving, we may not be able to foresee or respond sufficiently to emerging risks associated with new businesses, products, services and practices. We may be asked to adjust our local rules and practices, develop or customize certain aspects of our payment services, or agree to business arrangements that may be less protective of Visa’s proprietary technology and interests in order to compete and we may face increasing operational costs and risk of litigation concerning intellectual property. Our failure to compete effectively in light of any such developments could harm our business and prospects for future growth.

Our revenues and profits are dependent on our client and merchant base, which may be costly to win, retain, and maintain.
Our financial institution clients and merchants can reassess their commitments to us at any time or develop their own competitive services. While we have certain contractual protections, our clients, including some of our largest clients, generally have flexibility to issue non-Visa products. Further, in certain circumstances, our financial institution clients may decide to terminate our contractual relationship on relatively short notice without paying significant early termination fees. Because a significant portion of our net revenues is concentrated among our largest clients, the loss of business from any one of these larger clients could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition. For more information, please see Note 14—Enterprise-wide Disclosures and Concentration of Business to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
In addition, we face intense competitive pressure on the prices we charge our financial institution clients. In order to stay competitive, we may need to adjust our pricing or offer incentives to our clients to increase payments volume, enter new market segments, adapt to regulatory changes, and expand their use and acceptance of Visa products and services. These include up-front cash payments, fee discounts, rebates, credits, performance-based incentives, marketing, and other support payments that impact our revenues and profitability. In addition, we offer incentives to certain merchants or acquirers to win routing preference in situations where other network functionality is enabled on our products and there is a choice of network routing options. Market pressures on pricing, incentives, fee discounts, and rebates could moderate our growth. If we are not able to implement cost containment and productivity initiatives in other areas of our business or increase our volumes in other ways to offset or absorb the financial impact of these incentives, fee discounts, and rebates, it may harm our net revenues and profits.
In addition, it may be difficult or costly for us to acquire or conduct business with financial institutions or merchants that have longstanding exclusive, or nearly exclusive, relationships with our competitors. These financial institutions or merchants may be more successful and may grow more quickly than our existing clients or merchants. In addition, if there is a consolidation or acquisition of one or more of our largest clients or co-brand partners by a financial institution client or merchant with a strong relationship with one of our competitors, it could result in our business shifting to a competitor, which could put us at a competitive disadvantage and harm our business.
Merchants’ and processors’ continued push to lower acceptance costs and challenge industry practices could harm our business.
We rely in part on merchants and their relationships with our clients to maintain and expand the acceptance of Visa products. Certain merchants and merchant-affiliated groups have been exerting their influence in the global payments system in certain jurisdictions, such as the U.S., Canada and Europe, to attempt to lower their acceptance costs by lobbying for new legislation, seeking regulatory intervention, filing lawsuits and in some cases, refusing to accept Visa products. If they are successful in their efforts, we may face increased compliance and litigation expenses, issuers may decrease their issuance of our products, and consumer usage of our products could be adversely impacted. For example, in the U.S., certain stakeholders have raised concerns regarding how payment security standards and rules may impact debit routing choice and the cost of payment card acceptance. In addition to ongoing litigation related to the U.S. migration to EMV-capable cards and point-of-sale terminals, U.S. merchant-affiliated groups and processors have expressed concerns regarding the EMV certification process and some policymakers have expressed concerns about the roles of industry bodies such as EMVCo and the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council in the development of payment card standards. Additionally, some merchants and processors have advocated for changes to industry practices and Visa acceptance requirements at the point of sale, including the ability for merchants to accept only certain types of Visa products, to mandate only PIN authenticated transactions, to differentiate or steer among Visa product types issued by different financial institutions, and to impose surcharges on customers presenting Visa products as their form of payment. If successful, these efforts could adversely impact consumers’ usage of our products, lead to regulatory enforcement and/or litigation, increase our compliance and litigation expenses, and harm our business.
We depend on relationships with financial institutions, acquirers, processors, merchants, and other third parties.
As noted above, our relationships with industry participants are complex and require us to balance the interests of multiple third parties. For instance, we depend significantly on relationships with our financial institution clients and on their relationships with account holders and merchants to support our programs and services, and

thereby compete effectively in the marketplace. We engage in discussions with merchants, acquirers, commerce platforms and processors to provide incentives to promote routing preference and acceptance growth. We also engage in many payment card co-branding efforts with merchants, who receive incentives from us. As emerging participants such as fintechs enter the payments industry, we engage in discussions to address the role they may play in the ecosystem, whether as, for example, an issuer, merchant, commerce platform or digital wallet provider. As these and other relationships become more prevalent and take on a greater importance to our business, our success will increasingly depend on our ability to sustain and grow these relationships. In addition, we depend on our clients and third parties, including network partners, vendors and suppliers, to submit, facilitate and process transactions properly, provide various services associated with our payments network on our behalf, and otherwise adhere to our operating rules and applicable laws. To the extent that such parties fail to perform or deliver adequate services, it may result in negative experiences for account holders or others when using their Visa-branded payment products, which could harm our business and reputation.
Our business could be harmed if we are not able to maintain and enhance our brand, if events occur that have the potential to damage our brand or reputation, or if we experience brand disintermediation.
Our brand is globally recognized and is a key asset of our business. We believe that our clients and account holders associate our brand with acceptance, security, convenience, speed, and reliability. Our success depends in large part on our ability to maintain the value of our brand and reputation of our products and services in the payments ecosystem, elevate the brand through new and existing products, services and partnerships, and uphold our corporate reputation. The popularity of products that we have developed in partnership with technology companies and financial institutions may have the potential to cause consumer confusion or brand disintermediation at the point-of-sale and decrease the value of our brand. Our brand reputation may be negatively impacted by a number of factors, including authorization, clearing and settlement service disruptions; data security breaches; compliance failures by Visa, including our employees, agents, clients, partners or suppliers; failure to meet our environmental, social and governance goals, negative perception of our industry, the industries of our clients or Visa-accepting merchants; ill-perceived actions by clients, partners or other third parties, such as sponsorship or co-brand partners; and fraudulent, risky, controversial or illegal activities using our payment products. If we are unable to maintain our reputation, the value of our brand may be impaired, which could harm our relationships with clients, account holders, and the public, as well as impact our business.
Global economic, political, market, health and social events or conditions may harm our business.
More than half of our net revenues are earned outside the U.S. International cross-border transaction revenues represent a significant part of our revenue and are an important part of our growth strategy. Our revenues are dependent on the volume and number of payment transactions made by consumers, governments, and businesses whose spending patterns may be affected by prevailing economic, political, market, health and social events or conditions. Adverse macroeconomic conditions, including recessions, inflation, high unemployment, currency fluctuations, actual or anticipated large-scale defaults or failures, or a slowdown of global trade could decrease consumer and corporate confidence and reduce consumer, small business, government, and corporate spending which have a direct impact on our revenues. In addition, outbreaks of illnesses, pandemics, or other local or global health issues, political uncertainties, international hostilities, armed conflict, or unrest, climate-related events, including the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and natural disasters could have similar impacts on our operations, clients, third-party suppliers, activities in a particular location or globally, and cross-border travel and spend. Geopolitical trends towards nationalism, protectionism, and restrictive visa requirements, as well as continued activity and uncertainty around economic sanctions, tariffs or trade restrictions could limit the expansion of our business in those regions. As a result of any of these factors, any decline in cross-border travel and spend could impact the number of cross-border transactions we process and our currency exchange activities, which in turn would reduce our international transaction revenues.
A decline in economic, political, market, health and social conditions could impact our clients as well, and their decisions could reduce the number of cards, accounts, and credit lines of their account holders, which ultimately impact our revenues. They may also implement cost-reduction initiatives that reduce or eliminate marketing budgets, and decrease spending on optional or enhanced value added services from us. Any events or conditions that impair the functioning of the financial markets, tighten the credit market, or lead to a downgrade of our current credit rating could increase our future borrowing costs and impair our ability to access the capital and credit markets on favorable terms, which could affect our liquidity and capital resources, or significantly increase our cost of capital. If clients default on their settlement obligations, it may also impact our liquidity. Any of these events could adversely affect our volumes and revenue.

Our indemnification obligation to fund settlement losses of our clients exposes us to significant risk of loss and may reduce our liquidity.
We indemnify issuers and acquirers for settlement losses they may suffer due to the failure of another issuer or acquirer to honor its settlement obligations in accordance with the Visa operating rules. In certain instances, we may indemnify issuers or acquirers in situations in which a transaction is not processed by our system. This indemnification creates settlement risk for us due to the timing difference between the date of a payment transaction and the date of subsequent settlement. Our indemnification exposure is generally limited to the amount of unsettled Visa card payment transactions at any point in time and any subsequent amounts that may fall due relating to adjustments for previously processed transactions. Concurrent settlement failures or insolvencies involving more than one of our largest clients, several of our smaller clients, or systemic operational failures could negatively impact our financial position. Even if we have sufficient liquidity to cover a settlement failure or insolvency, we may be unable to recover the amount of such payment. This could expose us to significant losses and harm our business. See Note 12—Settlement Guarantee Management to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union could harm our business and financial results.
In June 2016, voters in the United Kingdom approved the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”). In March 2017, the UK government initiated the exit process under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, commencing a period of up to two years for the United Kingdom and the other EU member states to negotiate the terms of the withdrawal, which was subsequently postponed until January 31, 2020, at which point the United Kingdom formally withdrew from the EU. Since then the United Kingdom has continued to participate in the EU from a trade and economic perspective while the parties seek to negotiate a trade deal. The deadline for agreeing to a trade deal is December 31, 2020. Uncertainty over the terms of the United Kingdom’s continued participation in the European Union could cause political and economic uncertainty in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, which could harm our business and financial results.
Brexit will lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations in the United Kingdom and European Union. We, as well as our clients who have significant operations in the United Kingdom, may incur additional costs and expenses as we adapt to potentially divergent regulatory frameworks from the rest of the European Union and as a result, our Visa operating rules and contractual commitments in the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union may be impacted. In addition, applications will need to be made for regulatory authorization and permission in separate EU member states following the post-Brexit transition period. These factors may impact our ability to operate and process data in the European Union and United Kingdom seamlessly. This and other Brexit-related issues may require changes to our legal entity structure and/or operations in the United Kingdom and the European Union. Any of these effects of Brexit, among others, could harm our business and financial results.
Technology and Cybersecurity Risks
Failure to anticipate, adapt to, or keep pace with, new technologies in the payments industry could harm our business and impact future growth.
The global payments industry is undergoing significant and rapid technological change, including mobile and other proximity and in-app payment technologies, ecommerce, tokenization, cryptocurrencies, distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, and new authentication technologies such as biometrics, 3D Secure 2.0 and dynamic cardholder verification values or dCVV2. As a result, we expect new services and technologies to continue to emerge and evolve, including those developed by Visa such as our cross-border B2B payment service, Visa B2B Connect. In addition to our own initiatives and innovations, we work closely with third parties, including potential competitors, for the development of, and access to, new technologies. It is difficult, however, to predict which technological developments or innovations will become widely adopted and how those technologies may be regulated. Moreover, some of the new technologies could be subject to intellectual property-related lawsuits or claims, potentially impacting our development efforts and/or requiring us to obtain licenses. If we or our partners fail to adapt and keep pace with new technologies in the payments space in a timely manner, it could harm our ability to

compete, decrease the value of our products and services to our clients, impact our intellectual property or licensing rights, harm our business and impact our future growth.
A disruption, failure or breach of our networks or systems, including as a result of cyber-attacks, could harm our business.
Our cybersecurity and processing systems, as well as those of financial institutions, merchants, and third-party service providers, have experienced in limited instances and may continue to experience errors, interruptions, delays or damage from a number of causes, including power outages, hardware, software and network failures, computer viruses, malware or other destructive software, internal design, manual or usage errors, cyber-attacks, terrorism, workplace violence or wrongdoing, catastrophic events, natural disasters, severe weather conditions and other effects from climate change.
Furthermore, our visibility and role in the global payments industry may also put our company at a greater risk of being targeted by hackers. In the normal course of our business, we have been the target of malicious cyber-attack attempts. We have been, and may continue to be, impacted by attacks and data security breaches of financial institutions, merchants, or third-party processors. We are also aware of instances where nation states have sponsored attacks against some of our financial institution clients, and other instances where merchants and issuers have encountered substantial data security breaches affecting their customers, some of whom were Visa account holders. Such attacks and breaches have resulted, and may continue to result in, fraudulent activity and ultimately, financial losses to Visa’s clients, and it is difficult to predict the direct or indirect impact of future attacks or breaches to our business.
Numerous and evolving cybersecurity threats, including advanced and persistent cyber-attacks, phishing and social engineering schemes, particularly on our internet applications, could compromise the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data in our systems or the systems of our third-party service providers. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, or to disable or degrade systems change frequently, have become increasingly more complex and sophisticated, and may be difficult to detect for periods of time, we may not anticipate these acts or respond adequately or timely. The security measures and procedures we, our financial institution and merchant clients, other merchants and third-party service providers in the payments ecosystem have in place to protect sensitive consumer data and other information may not be successful or sufficient to counter all data security breaches, cyber-attacks, or system failures. In some cases, the mitigation efforts may be dependent on third parties who may not deliver to the required contractual standards, who may not be able to timely patch vulnerabilities or fix security defects, or whose hardware, software or network services may be subject to error, defect, delay, outage or lack appropriate malware prevention to prevent breaches or data exfiltration incidents. Although we devote significant resources to our cybersecurity and supplier risk management programs and have implemented security measures to protect our systems and data, and to prevent, detect and respond to data security incidents, there can be no assurance that our efforts will prevent these threats.
These events could significantly disrupt our operations; impact our clients and consumers; damage our reputation and brand; result in litigation or claims, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, and increased regulatory review or scrutiny, investigations, actions, fines or penalties; result in damages or changes to our business practices; decrease the overall use and acceptance of our products; decrease our volume, revenues and future growth prospects; and be costly, time consuming and difficult to remedy. In the event of damage or disruption to our business due to these occurrences, we may not be able to successfully and quickly recover all of our critical business functions, assets, and data through our business continuity program. Furthermore, while we maintain insurance, our coverage may not sufficiently cover all types of losses or claims that may arise.
Structural and Organizational Risks
We may not achieve the anticipated benefits of our acquisitions or strategic investments, and may face risks and uncertainties as a result.
As part of our overall business strategy, we make acquisitions and strategic investments. We may not achieve the anticipated benefits of our current and future acquisitions and strategic investments and they may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:
disruption to our ongoing business, including diversion of resources and management’s attention from our existing business;

greater than expected investment of resources or operating expenses;
failure to develop the acquired business adequately;
the data security, cybersecurity and operational resilience posture of our acquired companies, or companies we invest in or partner with, may not be adequate;
difficulty, expense or failure of implementing controls, procedures and policies at the acquired company;
challenges of integrating new employees, business cultures, business systems and technologies;
failure to retain employees, clients or partners of the acquired business;
in the case of foreign acquisitions, risks related to the integration of operations across different cultures and languages;
disruptions, costs, liabilities, judgments, settlements or business pressures resulting from litigation matters, investigations or legal proceedings involving the acquisitions or strategic investments. For more information on the proposed acquisition of Plaid, please see Item 1—Business—Mergers and Acquisitions and Strategic Investments;
the inability to pursue aspects of the acquired business due to outcomes in litigation matters, investigations or legal proceedings;
failure to obtain the necessary government or other approvals at all, on a timely basis or without the imposition of burdensome conditions or restrictions;
the economic, political, regulatory and compliance risks associated with entering into a new business or operating in new regions or countries. For more information on regulatory risks, please see Item 1—Business—Government Regulations and Item 1A—Risk Factors—Regulatory Risks above;
discovery of unidentified issues and related liabilities after the acquisition or investment was made;
failure to mitigate the deficiencies and liabilities of the acquired business;
dilutive issuance of equity securities, if new securities are issued;
the incurrence of debt;
negative impact on our financial position and/or statement of operations; and
anticipated benefits, synergies or value of the investment or acquisition not materializing.
We may be unable to attract, hire, and retain a highly qualified and diverse workforce, including key management.
The talents and efforts of our employees, particularly our key management, are vital to our success. Our management team has significant industry experience and would be difficult to replace. We may be unable to retain them or to attract other highly qualified employees, particularly if we do not offer employment terms that are competitive with the rest of the labor market. Ongoing changes in laws and policies regarding immigration and work authorizations have made it more difficult for employees to work in, or transfer among, jurisdictions in which we have operations and could continue to impair our ability to attract and retain qualified employees. Failure to attract, hire, develop, motivate, and retain highly qualified and diverse employee talent, to develop and implement an adequate succession plan for the management team, or to maintain a corporate culture that fosters innovation, and collaboration could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our business and our future success.
The conversions of our class B and class C common stock or series A, B and C preferred stock into shares of class A common stock would result in voting dilution to, and could impact the market price of, our existing class A common stock.
The market price of our class A common stock could fall as a result of many factors. The value of our class B and C common stock and series A, B and C preferred stock is tied to the value of the A common stock. Under our U.S. retrospective responsibility plan, upon final resolution of our U.S. covered litigation, all class B common stock will become convertible into class A common stock. In September 2020, we released $7.3 billion of the as-converted value from our series B and series C preferred stock and issued series A preferred stock in connection with that release. Visa may continue to release value from the series B and series C preferred stock in stages based on developments in current and potential litigation under our Europe retrospective responsibility plan. The series B and series C preferred stock will become fully convertible to series A preferred stock or class A common stock no later than 2028 (subject to a holdback to cover any pending claims). Visa may take action on the class B common stock and series B and C preferred stock at a certain valuation and due to unforeseen circumstances the overall value of the class B and C common stock and series B and C preferred stock as determined by the A common stock price, may later decrease. Conversion of our class B and class C common stock into class A common stock, or our series A, B and C preferred stock into class A common stock, would increase the amount of class A common stock outstanding, which could adversely affect the market price of our existing class A common stock and would dilute the voting power of existing class A common stockholders.

Holders of our class B and C common stock and series A, B and C preferred stock may have different interests than our class A common stockholders concerning certain significant transactions.
Although their voting rights are limited, holders of our class B and C common stock and, in certain specified circumstances, holders of our series A, B and C preferred stock, can vote on certain significant transactions. With respect to our class B and C common stock, these transactions include a proposed consolidation or merger, a decision to exit our core payments business and any other vote required under Delaware law. With respect to our series A, B and C preferred stock, voting rights are limited to proposed consolidations or mergers in which holders of the series A, B and C preferred stock would receive shares of stock or other equity securities with preferences, rights and privileges that are not substantially identical to the preferences, rights and privileges of the applicable series of preferred stock; or, in the case of series B and C preferred stock, holders would receive securities, cash or other property that is different from what our class A common stockholders would receive. Because the holders of classes of capital stock other than class A common stock are our current and former financial institution clients, they may have interests that diverge from our class A common stockholders. As a result, the holders of these classes of capital stock may not have the same incentive to approve a corporate action that may be favorable to the holders of class A common stock, and their interests may otherwise conflict with interests of our class A common stockholders.
Delaware law, provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, and our capital structure could make a merger, takeover attempt, or change in control difficult.
Provisions contained in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and our capital structure could delay or prevent a merger, takeover attempt, or change in control that our stockholders may consider favorable. For example, except for limited exceptions:
no person may beneficially own more than 15% of our class A common stock (or 15% of our total outstanding common stock on an as-converted basis), unless our board of directors approves the acquisition of such shares in advance;
no competitor or an affiliate of a competitor may hold more than 5% of our total outstanding common stock on an as-converted basis;
the affirmative votes of the class B and C common stock and series A, B and C preferred stock are required for certain types of consolidations or mergers;
our stockholders may only take action during a stockholders’ meeting and may not act by written consent; and
only the board of directors, Chairman, or CEO may call a special meeting of stockholders.

ITEM 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments
Not applicable.
ITEM 2.    Properties
At September 30, 2020, we owned or leased 125 offices in 78 countries around the world. Our corporate headquarters are located in owned and leased premises in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition, we owned or leased a total of four global processing centers located in the U.S., Singapore and the United Kingdom.
We believe that these facilities are suitable and adequate to support our ongoing business needs.
ITEM 3.    Legal Proceedings
Refer to Note 20—Legal Matters to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
ITEM 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.

ITEM 5.    Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our class A common stock has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “V” since March 19, 2008. At November 13, 2020, we had 338 stockholders of record of our class A common stock. The number of beneficial owners is substantially greater than the number of record holders, because a large portion of our class A common stock is held in “street name” by banks and brokers. There is currently no established public trading market for our class B or C common stock. There were 1,309 and 467 holders of record of our class B and C common stock, respectively, as of November 13, 2020.
On October 23, 2020, our board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.32 per share of class A common stock (determined in the case of class B and C common stock and series A, B and C preferred stock on an as-converted basis) payable on December 1, 2020, to holders of record as of November 13, 2020 of our common and preferred stock.
Subject to legally available funds, we expect to continue paying quarterly cash dividends on our outstanding common and preferred stock in the future. However, the declaration and payment of future dividends is at the sole discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including our financial condition, settlement indemnifications, operating results, available cash and current and anticipated cash needs.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The table below sets forth our purchases of common stock during the quarter ended September 30, 2020:
PeriodTotal Number of
Shares Purchased
Average Purchase Price
per Share
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
As Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
Dollar Value
of Shares That
May Yet Be 
Purchased Under The Plans or
(in millions, except per share data)
July 1-31, 2020$192.83 $6,646 
August 1-31, 2020$195.97 $6,153 
September 1-30, 2020$201.33 $5,389 
Total8 $197.73 8 
(1)The figures in the table reflect transactions according to the trade dates. For purposes of our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K, the impact of these repurchases is recorded according to the settlement dates.
(2)Our board of directors from time to time authorizes the repurchase of shares of our common stock up to a certain monetary limit. In January 2020, our board of directors authorized a share repurchase program for $9.5 billion. This authorization has no expiration date. All share repurchase programs authorized prior to January 2020 have been completed.

The table below presents information as of September 30, 2020, for the Visa 2007 Equity Incentive Compensation Plan (the “EIP”) and the Visa Inc. Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “ESPP”), which were approved by our stockholders. We do not have any equity compensation plans that have not been approved by our stockholders. For a description of the awards issued under the EIP and the ESPP, see Note 17—Share-based Compensation to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Plan Category(a)
Number Of Shares
of Class A Common Stock Issuable Upon Exercise of
Outstanding Options And Rights
Weighted-Average Exercise Price of
Outstanding Options
Number of Shares of
Class A
Common Stock
Remaining Available for
Future Issuance Under
Equity Compensation
Plans (Excluding Shares
Reflected In Column (a))
(in millions, except per weighted-average exercise price)
Equity compensation plans approved by stockholders
(1)The maximum number of shares issuable as of September 30, 2020 consisted of 6 million outstanding options, 5 million outstanding restricted stock units and 1 million outstanding performance shares under the EIP and less than 1 million outstanding purchase rights under the ESPP.
(2)The weighted-average exercise price is calculated based solely on the exercise prices of the outstanding stock options and does not reflect the shares that will be issued upon the vesting of outstanding restricted stock units and performance shares, which have no exercise price. Additionally, it excludes the weighted-average exercise price of the outstanding purchase rights under the ESPP, as the exercise price is based on the future stock price, net of discount, at the end of each monthly purchase over the offering period.
(3)As of September 30, 2020, 139 million shares and 16 million shares remain available for issuance under the EIP and the ESPP, respectively.

ITEM 6.    Selected Financial Data
The following tables present selected Visa Inc. financial data for the past five fiscal years. The data below should be read in conjunction with Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
 For the Years Ended September 30,
 (in millions, except per share data)
Statement of Operations:
Net revenues
$21,846 $22,977 $20,609 $18,358 $15,082 
Operating expenses
$7,765 $7,976 $7,655 $6,214 $7,199 
Operating income
$14,081 $15,001 $12,954 $12,144 $7,883 
Net income
$12,080 $10,301 
Basic earnings per share—class A common stock
$4.90 $5.32 $4.43 $2.80 $2.49 
Diluted earnings per share—class A common stock
$4.89 $5.32 $4.42 $2.80 $2.48 
 September 30,
 (in millions, except per share data)
Balance Sheet:
Total assets
$80,919 $72,574 $69,225 $67,977 $64,035 
Accrued litigation
$914 $1,203 
$982 $981 
Long-term debt
$16,729 $16,630 $16,618 
Total equity
$36,210 $34,684 $34,006 $32,760 $32,912 
Dividend declared and paid per common share
$1.200 $1.000 $0.825 $0.660 $0.560 
(1)During fiscal 2016, upon consummation of the Visa Europe acquisition, we recorded a non-recurring loss of $1.9 billion, before tax, in operating expense resulting from the effective settlement of the Framework Agreement between us and Visa Europe.
(2)During fiscal 2020, in connection with the UK enacted legislation, we remeasured our net deferred tax liabilities resulting in the recognition of a non-recurring, non-cash income tax expense of $329 million. See Note 19—Income Taxes to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
(3)During fiscal 2018, as a result of the U.S. tax reform legislation, our net income reflected a lower statutory tax rate, a non-recurring, non-cash income tax benefit of approximately $1.1 billion from the remeasurement of our deferred tax liabilities, and a one-time transition tax of approximately $1.1 billion. See Note 19—Income Taxes to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
(4)During fiscal 2017, in connection with our legal entity reorganization, we eliminated deferred tax balances originally recognized upon the acquisition of Visa Europe, resulting in the recognition of a non-recurring, non-cash income tax provision of $1.5 billion.
(5)During fiscal 2019, related to the interchange multidistrict litigation, we made payments of $600 million, partially offset by an additional accrual of $370 million. During fiscal 2018, pursuant to an amended settlement agreement that superseded the 2012 Settlement Agreement related to the interchange multidistrict litigation, we recorded an accrual of $600 million. See Note 5—U.S. and Europe Retrospective Responsibility Plans and Note 20—Legal Matters to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
(6)During fiscal 2020, 2017 and 2016, we issued fixed-rate senior notes in an aggregate principal amount of $7.3 billion, $2.5 billion and $16.0 billion, respectively. See Note 10—Debt to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.

ITEM 7.    Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
This management’s discussion and analysis provides a review of the results of operations, financial condition and liquidity and capital resources of Visa Inc. and its subsidiaries (“Visa,” “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Company”) on a historical basis and outlines the factors that have affected recent earnings, as well as those factors that may affect future earnings. The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
This section of this Form 10-K generally discusses fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019. Discussions of fiscal 2019 compared to 2018 that are not included in this Form 10-K can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in our fiscal 2019 Form 10-K, filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on November 14, 2019.
Visa is a global payments technology company that enables innovative, secure and reliable electronic payments across more than 200 countries and territories. We facilitate digital payments across a global network of consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners and government entities through innovative technologies. Our advanced transaction processing network, VisaNet, enables authorization, clearing and settlement of payment transactions and allows us to provide our financial institution and merchant clients a wide range of products, platforms and value added services.
Financial overview. Our as-reported U.S. GAAP and non-GAAP net income and diluted earnings per share are as follows:
 For the Years Ended
September 30,
% Change(1)
 (in millions, except percentages and per share data)
Net income, as reported$10,866 $12,080 $10,301 (10)%17 %
Diluted earnings per share, as reported$4.89 $5.32 $4.42 (8)%20 %
Non-GAAP net income(2)
$11,193 $12,274 $10,656 (9)%15 %
Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share(2)
$5.04 $5.40 $4.58 (7)%18 %
(1)Figures in the table may not recalculate exactly due to rounding. Percentage changes are calculated based on unrounded numbers.
(2)For a full reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial results, see tables in Non-GAAP financial results below.
Coronavirus. COVID-19 continues to have an impact globally. While we have been actively monitoring the worldwide spread of COVID-19, the extent to which COVID-19 will ultimately impact our business remains difficult to predict. Our priority remains the safety of our employees, clients and the communities in which we live and operate. We are taking a measured approach in bringing our employees back in the office and will continue to have most of our employees work remotely for the rest of 2020. We continue to remain in close and regular contact with our employees, clients, partners and governments globally to help them navigate these challenging times.

Revenues in the latter half of fiscal 2020 were impacted by declines in volumes and transactions as a result of COVID-19, although we are exiting the year with improved results and most countries had stable to positive year-over-year domestic spending growth in the fiscal fourth quarter. Cross-border volume however, remained depressed, led by travel spending, as the majority of borders remain closed. While we have taken measures to modify our business practices and reduce operating expenses, including scaling back hiring plans, restricting travel, lowering marketing spend and the use of external resources, the impact that COVID-19 will have on our business remains difficult to predict due to numerous uncertainties, including the transmissibility, severity and duration of the outbreak, the effectiveness of social distancing measures or actions that are voluntarily adopted by the public or required by governments or public health authorities, the development and availability of effective treatments or vaccines, and the impact to our employees and our operations, the business of our clients, supplier and business partners, and other factors identified in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” in this Form 10-K. We will continue to evaluate the nature and extent of the impact to our business.

Highlights for fiscal 2020. Net revenues for fiscal 2020 were $21.8 billion, a decrease of 5% over the prior year, primarily due to the year-over-year changes payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions, which were impacted by the spread of COVID-19 globally starting in the latter part of March 2020. Exchange rate movements in fiscal 2020, partially mitigated by our hedging program, negatively impacted our net revenues growth by approximately half a percentage point.
Total operating expenses for fiscal 2020 were $7.8 billion on a GAAP basis, and decreased 3% over the prior year, driven by lower litigation provision and our overall cost reduction strategy, offset by higher personnel and depreciation and amortization from our ongoing investments in support of our strategy for future growth. Total operating expenses for fiscal 2020 were $7.7 billion on a non-GAAP basis, and increased 1% over the prior year primarily driven by higher personnel, offset by our overall cost reduction strategy.
Non-GAAP financial results. We use non-GAAP financial measures of our performance which exclude certain items which we believe are not representative of our continuing operations, as they may be non-recurring or have no cash impact, and may distort our longer-term operating trends. We consider non-GAAP measures useful to investors because they provide greater transparency into management’s view and assessment of our ongoing operating performance. Starting in fiscal 2020, we revised our non-GAAP methodology to also exclude the impact of gains and losses on our equity investments, amortization of acquired intangible assets and acquisition-related costs for acquisitions that closed in fiscal 2019 and subsequent periods. Prior year amounts have been restated to conform to our current presentation.
Gains and losses on equity investments. Gains and losses on equity investments include periodic non-cash fair value adjustments and gains and losses upon sale of an investment. These long-term investments are strategic in nature and are primarily private company investments. Gains and losses and the related tax impacts associated with these investments are tied to the performance of the companies that we invest in and therefore do not correlate to the underlying performance of our business.

Amortization of acquired intangible assets. Amortization of acquired intangible assets consists of amortization of intangible assets such as developed technology, customer relationships and brands acquired in connection with business combinations executed beginning in fiscal 2019. Amortization charges for our acquired intangible assets are non-cash and are significantly affected by the timing, frequency and size of our acquisitions, rather than our core operations. As such, we have excluded this amount and the related tax impact to facilitate an evaluation of our current operating performance and comparison to our past operating performance.

Acquisition-related costs. Acquisition-related costs consist primarily of one-time transaction and integration costs associated with our business combinations. These costs include professional fees, technology integration fees, restructuring activities and other direct costs related to the purchase and integration of acquired entities. It also includes retention equity and deferred equity compensation when they are agreed upon as part of the purchase price of the transaction but are required to be recognized as expense post-combination. We have excluded these amounts and the related tax impacts as the expenses are recognized for a limited duration and do not reflect the underlying performance of our business.
Litigation provision. During fiscal 2019 and 2018, we recorded a litigation provision of $370 million and $600 million, respectively, and related tax benefits of $83 million and $137 million, respectively, associated with the interchange multidistrict litigation. The tax impact is determined by applying applicable federal and state tax rates to the litigation provision. Under the U.S. retrospective responsibility plan, we recover the monetary liabilities related to the U.S. covered litigation through a reduction to the conversion rate of our class B common stock to shares of class A common stock. See Note 5—U.S. and Europe Retrospective Responsibility Plans and Note 20—Legal Matters to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Charitable contributions. During fiscal 2018, we donated investment securities to the Visa Foundation and recognized a non-cash general and administrative expense of $195 million, before tax, and recorded $193 million of realized gain on the donation of these investments as non-operating income. Net of the related cash tax benefit of $51 million, determined by applying applicable tax rates, non-GAAP net income decreased by $49 million.
Remeasurement of deferred tax balances. During fiscal 2020, in connection with the UK enacted legislation that repealed the previous tax rate reduction from 19% to 17% that was effective on April 1, 2020, we

remeasured our net deferred tax liabilities as of the enactment date, resulting in the recognition of a non-recurring, non-cash income tax expense of $329 million. During fiscal 2018, in connection with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) reduction of the corporate income tax rate, we remeasured our net deferred tax liabilities as of the enactment date, resulting in the recognition of a non-recurring, non-cash income tax benefit of $1.1 billion. See Note 19—Income Taxes to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Transition tax on foreign earnings. During fiscal 2018, in connection with the Tax Act requirement that we include certain untaxed foreign earnings of non-U.S. subsidiaries in our fiscal 2018 taxable income, we recorded a one-time transition tax estimate of approximately $1.1 billion. See Note 19—Income Taxes to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Resolution of a tax item. During fiscal 2020, we resolved a long-outstanding tax matter, dating back more than 12 years, relating to certain tax filing positions taken prior to our initial public offering. The resolution of this matter resulted in the recognition of a one-time charge to income tax expense of $28 million, which we believe is not representative of our continuing operations and ongoing effective tax rate.
Non-GAAP operating expenses, non-operating income (expense), income tax provision, effective income tax rate, net income and diluted earnings per share should not be relied upon as substitutes for measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The following tables reconcile our as-reported financial measures, calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP, to the respective non-GAAP financial measures:
For the Year Ended
September 30, 2020
Operating ExpensesNon-operating Income (Expense)Income Tax Provision
Effective Income Tax Rate(1)
Net Income
Diluted Earnings Per Share(1)
(in millions, except percentages and per share data)
As reported$7,765 $(291)$2,924 21.2 %$10,866 $4.89 
(Gains) Losses on equity investments, net— (101)(23)(78)(0.04)
Amortization of acquired intangible assets(46)— 11 35 0.02 
Acquisition-related costs(17)— 13 0.01 
Remeasurement of deferred tax balances— — (329)329 0.15 
Resolution of a tax item— — (28)28 0.01 
Non-GAAP$7,702 $(392)$2,559 18.6 %$11,193 $5.04 

For the Year Ended
September 30, 2019
Operating ExpensesNon-operating Income (Expense)Income Tax Provision
Effective Income Tax Rate(1)
Net Income
Diluted Earnings Per Share(1)
(in millions, except percentages and per share data)
As reported$7,976 $(117)$2,804 18.8 %$12,080 $5.32 
(Gains) Losses on equity investments, net— (131)(30)(101)(0.04)
Amortization of acquired intangible assets(6)— — 
Acquisition-related costs(4)— — 
Litigation provision(370)— 83 287 0.13 
Non-GAAP$7,596 $(248)$2,859 18.9 %$12,274 $5.40 


For the Year Ended
September 30, 2018
Operating ExpensesNon-operating Income (Expense)Income Tax Provision
Effective Income Tax Rate(1)
Net Income
Diluted Earnings Per Share(1)
(in millions, except percentages and per share data)
As reported$7,655 $(148)$2,505 19.6 %$10,301 $4.42 
(Gains) Losses on equity investments, net— (98)(25)(73)(0.03)
Charitable contribution(195)(193)51 (49)(0.02)
Litigation provision(600)— 137 463 0.20 
Remeasurement of deferred tax balances— — 1,133 (1,133)(0.49)
Transition tax on foreign earnings— — (1,147)1,147 0.49 
Non-GAAP$6,860 $(439)$2,654 20.3 %$10,656 $4.58 
(1)Figures in the table may not recalculate exactly due to rounding. Effective income tax rate, diluted earnings per share and their respective totals are calculated based on unrounded numbers.
Release of preferred stock. In September 2020, we released $7.3 billion of the as-converted value from our series B and C preferred stock (alternatively referred to as UK&I and Europe preferred stock, respectively) and issued 374,819 shares of series A preferred stock in connection with the first mandatory release assessment, as required by the litigation management deed entered into at the time of the Visa Europe acquisition. See Note 5—U.S. and Europe Retrospective Responsibility Plans and Note 15—Stockholders’ Equity to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Common stock repurchases. In January 2020, our board of directors authorized a $9.5 billion share repurchase program (the “January 2020 Program”). During fiscal 2020, we repurchased 44 million shares of our class A common stock in the open market for $8.1 billion. As of September 30, 2020, our January 2020 Program had remaining authorized funds of $5.5 billion for share repurchase. See Note 15—Stockholders’ Equity to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Senior notes. In fiscal 2020, we issued fixed-rate senior notes in public offerings in an aggregate principal amount of $7.3 billion with maturities ranging between 7 and 30 years. See Note 10—Debt to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Acquisition. On January 13, 2020, we entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Plaid Inc. for $5.3 billion. We will pay approximately $4.9 billion of cash and $0.4 billion of retention equity and deferred equity consideration. This acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews and approvals.
On November 5, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Visa from acquiring Plaid, alleging that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act and would constitute monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Visa intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit. See Note 2—Acquisitions and Note 20—Legal Matters to our consolidated financial statements included in Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this report.
Payments volume and processed transactions. Payments volume is the primary driver for our service revenues, and the number of processed transactions is the primary driver for our data processing revenues.

Nominal payments volume growth in the U.S. for the 12 months ended June 30, 2020 and 2019 was 4% and 10%, respectively. The decrease in nominal international payments volume of 1% for the 12 months ended June 30, 2020(1) was negatively impacted by the overall strengthening of the U.S. dollar. On a constant-dollar basis, which excludes the impact of exchange rate movements, our international payments volume growth for the 12 months ended June 30, 2020 and 2019 was 2% and 9%, respectively. Growth in processed transactions reflects the ongoing worldwide shift to electronic payments, partially offset by the impact of COVID-19.

The following tables present nominal payments and cash volume:
 U.S.International Visa Inc.
12 months
ended June 30,(1)
12 months
ended June 30,(1)
12 months
ended June 30,(1)
 (in billions, except percentages)
Nominal payments volume
Consumer credit
$1,518 $1,540 (1)%$2,361 $2,484 (5)%$3,879 $4,025 (4)%
Consumer debit(3)
1,851 1,699 %1,974 1,877 %3,824 3,576 %
641 634 %369 381 (3)%1,010 1,015 — %
Total nominal payments volume(2)
$4,009 $3,873 %$4,704 $4,742 (1)%$8,713 $8,615 %
Cash volume
573 573 — %2,046 2,261 (9)%2,620 2,834 (8)%
Total nominal volume(2),(5)
$4,583 $4,447 %$6,750 $7,003 (4)%$11,333 $11,450 (1)%
 U.S.InternationalVisa Inc.
12 months
ended June 30,(1)
12 months
ended June 30,(1)
12 months
ended June 30,(1)
 (in billions, except percentages)
Nominal payments volume
Consumer credit
$1,540 $1,441 %$2,484 $2,455 %$4,025 $3,897 %
Consumer debit(3)
1,699 1,521 12 %1,877 1,792 %3,576 3,313 %
634 564 12 %381 364 %1,015 927 %
Total nominal payments volume(2)
$3,873 $3,526 10 %$4,742 $4,611 %$8,615 $8,137 %
Cash volume
573 563 %2,261 2,437 (7)%2,834 3,000 (6)%
Total nominal volume(2),(5)
$4,447 $4,089 %$7,003 $7,048 (1)%$11,450 $11,137 %
The following table presents the change in nominal and constant payments and cash volume:
InternationalVisa Inc.
12 months ended
June 30,
2020 vs 2019
12 months ended
June 30,
2019 vs 2018
12 months ended
June 30,
2020 vs 2019
12 months ended
June 30,
2019 vs 2018
Payments volume growth
Consumer credit growth(5)%(2)%%%(4)%(2)%%%
Consumer debit growth(3)
%%%11 %%%%11 %
Commercial growth(4)
(3)%— %%13 %— %%%12 %
Total payments volume growth(2)
(1)%%%%%%%10 %
Cash volume growth
(9)%(6)%(7)%— %(8)%(5)%(6)%— %
Total volume growth(2)
(1)Service revenues in a given quarter are assessed based on nominal payments volume in the prior quarter. Therefore, service revenues reported for the 12 months ended September 30, 2020, 2019 and 2018, were based on nominal payments volume reported by our financial institution clients for the 12 months ended June 30, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
(2)Figures in the tables may not recalculate exactly due to rounding. Percentage changes and totals are calculated based on unrounded numbers.
(3)Includes consumer prepaid volume and interlink volume.
(4)Includes large, medium and small business credit and debit, as well as commercial prepaid volume.
(5)Total nominal volume is the sum of total nominal payments volume and cash volume. Total nominal payments volume is the total monetary value of transactions for goods and services that are purchased on cards carrying the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and V PAY brands. Cash volume generally consists of cash access transactions, balance access transactions, balance transfers and convenience checks. Total nominal volume is provided by our financial institution clients, subject to review by Visa. On occasion, previously presented volume information may be updated. Prior period updates are not material.
(6)Growth on a constant-dollar basis excludes the impact of foreign currency fluctuations against the U.S. dollar.

The following table provides the number of transactions involving cards and other form factors carrying the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, VPAY and PLUS cards processed on Visa’s networks:
For the Years Ended
September 30,
% Change(1)
(in millions, except percentages)
Visa processed transactions140,839 138,329 124,320 %11 %
(1)Figures in the table may not recalculate exactly due to rounding. Percentage changes are calculated based on unrounded numbers. On occasion, previously presented information may be updated. Prior period updates are not material.
Financial Information Presentation
Net Revenues
Our net revenues are primarily generated from payments volume on Visa products for purchased goods and services, as well as the number of transactions processed on our network. We do not earn revenues from, or bear credit risk with respect to, interest or fees paid by account holders on Visa products. Our issuing clients have the responsibility for issuing cards and other payment products and determining the interest rates and fees paid by account holders. We generally do not earn revenues from the fees that merchants are charged for acceptance by acquirers, including the merchant discount rate. Our acquiring clients are generally responsible for soliciting merchants as well as establishing and earning these fees.
The following sets forth the components of our net revenues:
Service revenues consist mainly of revenues earned for services provided in support of client usage of Visa payment services. Current quarter service revenues are primarily assessed using a calculation of current quarter’s pricing applied to the prior quarter’s payments volume. Service revenues also include assessments designed to support ongoing acceptance and volume growth initiatives, which are recognized in the same period the related volumes are transacted.
Data processing revenues are earned for authorization, clearing, settlement, value added services, network access and other maintenance and support services that facilitate transaction and information processing among our clients globally. Data processing revenues are recognized in the same period the related transactions occur or services are performed.
International transaction revenues are earned for cross-border transaction processing and currency conversion activities. Cross-border transactions arise when the country of origin of the issuer, or financial institution originating the transaction, is different from that of the beneficiary. International transaction revenues are recognized in the same period the cross-border transactions occur or services are performed.
Other revenues consist mainly of value added services, license fees for use of the Visa brand or technology, fees for account holder services, certification, licensing and product enhancements, such as extended account holder protection and concierge services. Other revenues are recognized in the same period the related transactions occur or services are performed.
Client incentives consist of incentives provided in contracts with financial institution clients, merchants and strategic partners for various programs designed to grow payments volume, increase Visa product acceptance, win merchant routing transactions over our network and drive innovation. These incentives are primarily accounted for as reductions to revenues.
Operating Expenses
Personnel expenses include salaries, employee benefits, incentive compensation, share-based compensation, severance charges and contractor expense.
Marketing expenses include expenses associated with advertising and marketing campaigns, sponsorships and other related promotions of the Visa brand.

Network and processing expenses mainly represent expenses for the operation of our processing network, including maintenance, equipment rental and fees for other data processing services.
Professional fees mainly consist of fees for consulting, legal and other professional services.
Depreciation and amortization expenses include depreciation expense for property and equipment, as well as amortization of purchased and internally developed software. Also included in this amount is amortization of finite-lived intangible assets primarily obtained through acquisitions.
General and administrative expenses consist mainly of product enhancements, facilities costs, travel activities, indirect taxes, foreign exchange gains and losses and other corporate expenses incurred in support of our business.
Litigation provision represents litigation expenses and is based on management’s understanding of our litigation profile, the specifics of the cases, advice of counsel to the extent appropriate and management’s best estimate of incurred loss.
Non-operating Income (Expense)
Non-operating income (expense) primarily includes interest expense, gains and losses earned on investments, income from derivative instruments not associated with our core business, as well as the non-service components of net periodic pension income and expenses.
Results of Operations
Net Revenues
The following table sets forth our net revenues earned in the U.S. and internationally:
 For the Years Ended
September 30,
$ Change
% Change(1)
 (in millions, except percentages)
U.S.$10,125 $10,279 $9,332 $(154)$947 (1)%10 %