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Table of Contents

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Transition Period from       to      .

Commission file number 001-39313

 

 

SHIFT4 PAYMENTS, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

 

84-3676340

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

2202 N. Irving Street

Allentown, Pennsylvania

 

 

18109

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

(Zip Code)

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code): (888) 276-2108

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

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Class A Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share

FOUR

The New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes    No

 

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

 

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, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes No

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Class A common stock held by non-affiliates, based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recent completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $663.6 million. As of March 1, 2021, there were 39,737,983 shares of the registrant’s Class A common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, outstanding, 30,625,857 shares of the registrant’s Class B common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, outstanding and 10,188,852 shares of the registrant’s Class C common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:

Specifically identified portions of the registrant’s proxy statement for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders, which will be filed no later than 120 days after the close of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

SHIFT4 PAYMENTS, INC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

PART I

 

 

Item 1

Business

 

6

Item 1A

Risk Factors

 

16

Item 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

42

Item 2

Properties

 

42

Item 3

Legal Proceedings

 

43

Item 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

43

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5

Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

43

Item 6

[Reserved]

 

44

Item 7

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

45

Item 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

63

Item 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

64

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

107

Item 9A

Controls and Procedures

 

107

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

108

Item 11

Executive Compensation

 

108

Item 12

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

108

Item 13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

 

108

Item 14

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

108

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

108

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

 

110

 

Signatures

 

111

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements relating to our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, including, among others, statements regarding expected growth, future capital expenditures and debt service obligations, and the anticipated impact of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, on our business, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential”, or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report are only predictions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report and are subject to a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including the factors described under the sections in this Annual Report titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties.

You should read this Annual Report and the documents that we reference in this Annual Report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

 

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SUMMARY RISK FACTORS

Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in Part II Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should carefully consider these risks and uncertainties when investing in our common stock. The principal risks and uncertainties affecting our business include the following:

 

the COVID-19, global pandemic has had and is expected to continue to have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations;

 

substantial and increasingly intense competition worldwide in the financial services, payments and payment technology industries may adversely affect our overall business and operations;

 

potential changes in the competitive landscape, including disintermediation from other participants in the payments chain, could harm our business;

 

our ability to anticipate and respond to changing industry trends and the needs and preferences of our merchants and consumers may adversely affect our competitiveness or the demand for our products and services;

 

because we rely on third-party vendors to provide products and services, we could be adversely impacted if they fail to fulfill their obligations;

 

acquisitions create certain risks and may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

we may not be able to continue to expand our share of the existing payment processing markets or expand into new markets which would inhibit our ability to grow and increase our profitability;

 

our services and products must integrate with a variety of operating systems, software, device and web browsers, and our business may be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to ensure that our services interoperate with such operating systems, device, software and web browsers;

 

we depend, in part, on our merchant and software partner relationships and strategic partnerships with various institutions to operate and grow our business. If we are unable to maintain these relationships and partnerships, our business may be adversely affected;

 

our balance sheet includes significant amounts of goodwill and intangible assets. The impairment of a significant portion of these assets would negatively affect our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, anti-money laundering, economic and trade sanctions regulations, and similar laws could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences;

 

our principal asset is our interest in Shift4 Payments, LLC, and, as a result, we depend on distributions from Shift4 Payments, LLC to pay our taxes and expenses, including payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, or TRA. Shift4 Payments, LLC’s ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions; and

 

our Founder and Searchlight have significant influence over us, including control over decisions that require the approval of stockholders.

 

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BASIS OF PRESENTATION

 

As used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, unless the context otherwise requires, references to:

 

“we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company,” “Shift4” and similar references refer: (1) following the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions, to Shift4 Payments, Inc., and, unless otherwise stated, all of its subsidiaries, including Shift4 Payments, LLC and, unless otherwise stated, all of its subsidiaries, and (2) prior to the completion of the Reorganization Transactions, to Shift4 Payments, LLC and, unless otherwise stated, all of its subsidiaries.

 

“Blocker Companies” refers to certain direct and/or indirect owners of LLC Interests in Shift4 Payments, LLC, collectively, prior to the Reorganization Transactions that are taxable as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes and each of which is an affiliate of Searchlight (as defined below).

 

“Blocker Shareholders” refers to the owners of Blocker Companies, collectively, prior to the Reorganization Transactions.

 

“Continuing Equity Owners” refers collectively to Searchlight, our Founder and their respective permitted transferees that own LLC Interests after the Reorganization Transactions and who may redeem at each of their options, in whole or in part from time to time, their LLC Interests for, at our election, cash or newly-issued shares of Shift4 Payments, Inc.’s Class A common stock.

 

“December Follow-on Offering” refers to the sale by Searchlight of Class A common stock that closed on December 7, 2020.

 

“Follow-on Offerings” refers to the December Follow-on Offering and the September Follow-on Offering.

 

“Founder” refers to Jared Isaacman, our Chief Executive Officer and the sole stockholder of Rook Holdings Inc. Our Founder is a Continuing Equity Owner and an owner of Class C common stock.

 

“Former Equity Owner” refers to FPOS Holding Co., Inc. who exchanged its LLC Interests for shares of our Class A common stock in connection with the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions.

 

“LLC Interests” refers to the common units of Shift4 Payments, LLC, including those that we purchased directly from Shift4 Payments, LLC with the proceeds from our IPO and the concurrent private placement and the September Follow-on Offering and the common units of Shift4 Payments, LLC that we acquired from the Former Equity Owners in connection with the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions.

 

“Reorganization Transactions” refer to certain organizational transactions that we effected in connection with our IPO in June 2020. See Notes 1 and 20 in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of the Reorganization Transactions.

 

“Rook” refers to Rook Holdings Inc., a Delaware corporation wholly-owned by our Founder and for which our Founder is the sole stockholder.

 

“Searchlight” refers to Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, and certain funds affiliated with Searchlight. Searchlight is a Continuing Equity Owner and an owner of Class C common stock.

 

“September Follow-on Offering” refers to the sale by the Company and by Searchlight and the Former Equity Owner of Class A common stock that closed on September 15, 2020.

 

“Shift4 Payments, LLC Agreement” refers to Shift4 Payments, LLC’s amended and restated limited liability company agreement.

 

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ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Our Company

We are a leading independent provider of payment processing and technology solutions in the United States based on total volume of payments processed. We have achieved our leadership position through decades of solving business and operational challenges facing our customers. For our software partners, we offer a single integration to an end-to-end payments offering, a proprietary gateway and a robust suite of technology solutions to enhance the value of their software and simplify payment acceptance. For our merchants, we provide a seamless, unified consumer experience as an alternative to relying on multiple providers to accept payments and utilize technology in their businesses.

Merchants are increasingly adopting disparate software solutions to operate their business. The complexity of conducting commerce across these software suites has grown exponentially. For example, a small business in the United States may use over a dozen disparate software systems to operate its business, manage interactions with its customers and accept payments. A large resort may operate an even greater number of software systems to enable online reservations, check-ins, restaurants, salon and spa, golf, parking and more. The scale and complexity of managing these software systems that are sourced from different providers while seamlessly accepting payments is challenging for merchants of any size.

Software partners are required to ensure that their solutions are integrated with a variety of applications to service merchants. For example, any software partner seeking to be adopted in a resort, such as an online reservation system or restaurant POS, must be able to integrate into that resort’s property management systems. These software integrations need to enable secure payment acceptance and also support additional services to manage the guest’s experience. Facilitating these integrations is both costly and time-consuming for software partners.

We integrate disparate software systems through a single point of connectivity. By partnering with us, every software provider receives the benefit of both a state-of-the-art payments platform and our library of over 350 established integrations with market-leading software suites. In turn, our merchants are able to simplify payment acceptance and streamline their business operations by reducing the number of vendors on which they rely.

At the heart of our business is our payments platform. Our payments platform is a full suite of integrated payment products and services that can be used across multiple channels (in-store, online, mobile and tablet-based) and industry verticals, including:

 

end-to-end payment processing for a broad range of payment types;

 

merchant acquiring;

 

proprietary omni-channel gateway capable of multiple methods of mobile, contactless and QR code-based payments;

 

complementary software integrations;

 

full ecommerce capabilities, including web-store design, hosting, shopping cart management and fulfillment integrations;  

 

integrated and mobile point of sale, or POS, solutions;

 

security and risk management solutions; and

 

reporting and analytical tools.

In addition, we offer innovative technology solutions that go beyond payment processing. Some of our solutions are developed in-house, such as business intelligence and POS software, while others are powered by our network of complementary third-party applications. Our focus on innovation combined with our product-driven culture enables us to create scalable technology solutions that benefit from an extensive library of intellectual property.

We have a partner-centric distribution approach. We market and sell our solutions through a diversified network of over 7,000 software partners, which consists of ISVs and VARs. ISVs are technology providers that develop commerce-enabling software suites with which they can bundle our payments platform. VARs are organizations that provide distribution support for ISVs and act as trusted and localized service providers to merchants by providing them with software and services. Together, our ISVs and VARs provide us immense distribution scale and provide our merchants with front-line service and support.

Our merchants range from small to medium size businesses, or SMBs, to large enterprises across numerous verticals in which we have deep industry expertise, including food and beverage, lodging and leisure. Over 185,000 of the customers that rely on our technology are SMBs. In addition, our merchant base is highly diversified with no single merchant representing more than 1% of end-to-end payment volume for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.

We derive the majority of our revenue from fees paid by our merchants, which principally include a processing fee that is charged as a percentage of end-to-end payment volume. In cases where merchants subscribe only to our gateway, we generate revenue from transaction fees charged in the form of a fixed fee per transaction. We also generate subscription revenue from licensing subscriptions to our POS software, business intelligence tools, payment device management and other technology solutions, for which we typically charge flat subscription fees on a monthly basis. Our revenue is recurring in nature because of the mission-critical and embedded nature of the solutions we provide, the high switching costs associated with these solutions and the multi-year contracts we have with our customers. We also benefit from a high degree of operating leverage given the combination of our highly scalable payments platform and strong customer unit economics.

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Our total revenue was $766.9 million, $731.4 million and $560.6 million for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We generated net losses of $111.4 million, $56.6 million and $55.4 million, for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Our gross revenue less network fees was $323.0 million, $305.5 million and $252.7 million for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, representing year-over-year growth of 5.7% from 2019 to 2020 and 20.9% from 2018 to 2019. The percentage of our total gross revenue less network fees derived from volume-based payments, subscription agreements and transaction fees was 60.6%, 23.6% and 13.8% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, respectively, 56.7%, 26.5% and 14.6% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, respectively, and 56.2%, 26.9% and 14.0% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, respectively.

Our adjusted EBITDA was $87.7 million, $89.8 million and $89.9 million for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, representing a year-over-year change of (2.3)% from 2019 to 2020 and (0.1)% from 2018 to 2019. Effective June 30, 2020, we modified the terms and conditions of our SaaS arrangements and updated our operational procedures. As a result, hardware provided to our merchants is accounted for as an operating lease, whereby the cost of the equipment is included in investing activities when purchased and the depreciation of the equipment under lease is included in operating activities. Prior to June 30, 2020, this hardware was treated as a sales-type lease, in which the hardware was expensed when shipped and included in operating activities. To provide comparability, if this equipment had been accounted for as an operating lease for the period January 1, 2020 through June 29, 2020, adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2020 would be higher by $8.6 million. If this equipment had been accounted for as an operating lease for the year ended December 31, 2019, adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2019 would have been higher by $14.0 million.

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key performance indicators and non-GAAP measures” for a reconciliation of our non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.

Our Shift4 Model

Our mission is to power the convergence of integrated payments and commerce-enabling software. Solving the complexity inherent to our software partners and merchants requires a specialized approach that combines a seamless customer experience with a secure, reliable and robust suite of payments and technology offerings.

 

To achieve this mission, we strategically built our Shift4 Model on a three pillar foundation: (i) payments platform; (ii) technology solutions; and (iii) partner-centric distribution.

Payments Platform

Our payments platform provides omni-channel card acceptance and processing solutions across multiple payment types, including credit, debit, contactless card, EMV and mobile wallets as well as alternative payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay and WeChat Pay. We continue to innovate and evolve our payments offering as new technology and payment methods are adopted by consumers.

Through our proprietary gateway, our payments platform is integrated with over 350 software suites including some of the largest and most recognized software providers in the world. In addition, we enable connectivity with the largest payment processors, alternative payment rails and many different payment devices. Our payments platform includes market-leading security features that help prevent consumer card data from entering the merchant’s environment.

We designed our payments platform to be:

 

Integrated – fully integrated and seamlessly connected, facilitating easy data capture and compatibility across all solutions;

 

Reliable – supports the most demanding payment environments in the United States 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and

 

Secure – PCI-validated P2PE tokenization and EMV-ready solutions.

Our merchants have the flexibility to utilize our payments platform in one of two ways: as a gateway or as an end-to-end payment solution. End-to-end payments merchants benefit from a single, unified vendor solution for payment acceptance, devices, POS software solutions and a full suite of business intelligence tools. By consolidating these functions through a single, unified vendor solution, these merchants are able to reduce total spend on payment acceptance solutions and access gateway and technology solutions as value-added features. Gateway merchants benefit from interoperability with third-party payment processors.

Technology Solutions

Our suite of technology solutions is designed to streamline our customers’ business operations, drive growth through strong consumer engagement and improve their business using rich transaction-level data.

 

Shift4Shop – Our cloud-based suite of business intelligence tools includes customer engagement, social media management, online reputation management, scheduling and product pricing, as well as extensive reporting and analytics. Our ecommerce tool provides everything a merchant needs to build their business online. Merchants can create a webstore in minutes and choose from over one

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hundred design themes. Shift4Shop also provides merchants with tools to manage their product catalog, order fulfillment and inventory management, search-engine-optimization (SEO) and secure hosting.

 

Lighthouse – Our cloud-based suite of business intelligence tools includes customer engagement, social media management, online reputation management, scheduling and product pricing, as well as extensive reporting and analytics.

 

Integrated Point-of-Sale (iPOS) – We provide purpose-built POS workstations pre-loaded with powerful, mission-critical software suites and integrated payment functionality. Our iPOS offering helps our merchants scale their business and improve operational efficiency while reducing total cost of ownership.

 

Mobile POS – Our mobile payments offering, Skytab, provides a complete feature set, including pay-at-the-table, order-at-the-table, delivery, customer feedback and email marketing, all of which are integrated with our proprietary gateway and Lighthouse. This unique solution is relevant for merchants ranging from SMBs to large enterprises and across numerous industry verticals.

 

Marketplace – We enable seamless integrations into complementary third-party applications, which helps reduce the number of vendors on which our merchants rely. For example, a restaurant can enable DoorDash via Marketplace and accept orders from their existing POS, dramatically simplifying implementation and eliminating manual reconciliation of multiple systems. That same restaurant can also enable payroll, timekeeping and other human resource services, reducing the time spent on manual workflows and enhancing employee engagement. Marketplace also includes a variety of functional applications including loyalty and inventory management.

Partner-Centric Distribution

 

Our payments platform and technology solutions are delivered to our merchants through our partner-centric distribution network. Today, our network includes over 7,000 software partners, providing full coverage across the United States.

 

Our partner-centric distribution approach is designed to leverage the domain expertise and local relationships that our software partners have built with our merchants over years of doing business together. Our software partners are entrusted by merchants to guide software purchasing decisions and provide service and support. In turn, our software partners entrust us to provide innovative payment and technology solutions to help them continue to grow.

 

We have always been deeply committed to supporting the growth of our software partners with a robust suite of tools, dedicated personnel and strategic and economic alignment. Our partner tools include: lead management, sales and marketing support, real-time pipeline alerts, transaction level residual reporting and merchant life-cycle reporting. Our partner-centric distribution approach provides us with strong merchant growth and retention.

Sales and Distribution

Our partner-centric distribution approach and commitment to our software partners are the foundation of our go-to-market strategy. We have built an extensive distribution network of over 7,000 software partners including both ISVs and VARs.

 

Independent software vendors – Our solutions are connected into over 350 integrations with market-leading software providers, including some of the largest and most recognizable technology companies in the world. By integrating our payments platform into their software suites, our ISVs are able to sell a comprehensive solution to the merchant at an attractive price point.

 

Value added resellers – We partner with VARs to sell our solutions to merchants. Our VARs include third-party resellers and organizations that provide distribution support for ISVs. VARs act as trusted and localized service providers to our merchants by providing them with software and services. This partnership enables us to expand our reach and scalability by allowing a VAR to bundle our full payments and technology product suite with other value-added services provided by the VAR.

In addition, we employ a team of approximately 60 employees dedicated to providing account support to our ISVs and VARs. This team is also responsible for finding new ISV and VAR partners in order to expand our partner network.

We are selective in identifying and choosing our software partners, and we seek to align our business objectives with those that have strong networks, local expertise, high-quality merchant portfolios and a trusted brand name. Our network of software partners provides a consistent and extensive source of new merchant acquisition, with no single relationship accounting for more than 4.10% of our end-to-end volume as of December 31, 2020. In addition, we leverage our Shift4 Model to create strategic and economic alignment with our partners to incentivize them to continue working with us.

Our compelling value proposition enables our software partners to extend attractive pricing arrangements to our merchants. For merchants that subscribe to our end-to-end payments offering, our software partners can offer gateway and technology solutions as value-added features included in the price of our payments offering. We believe that enabling our software partners to provide a cost-effective and comprehensive bundle of solutions best supports their ability to sell our solutions and grow their businesses.

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Our Solutions

Our solutions are designed to help our customers grow their businesses and include, but are not limited to:

Payments Platform

 

Solution 

 

Description 

 

 

 

Merchant Acquiring

 

Omni-channel card acceptance and processing solutions across multiple payment types, including credit, debit, contactless card, mobile wallets as well as alternative payment methods

 

 

 

Gateway

 

Seamlessly connects merchant’s software to the payment processor of their choice enabling a wide range of payment options including traditional and alternative payments methods and provides integrations to hundreds of software suites

 

 

 

Security

 

Security features including PCI-validated P2PE and EMV-compliance

P2PE encrypts consumer card data from the moment a card is inserted, swiped, manually keyed or tapped, as with mobile wallets, at a secure payment device

 

 

 

Tokenization

 

Replaces cardholder data, which has universal value, with a random alphanumeric value (a token) that is only valuable within specific parameters and in a particular environment. Tokens enable a merchant to maintain transaction records without the risk of compromising consumer card data

Traditional tokens preclude a merchant from identifying their consumers, which undermines the efficacy of business intelligence solutions. Our MetaTokens provide 16-digit numeric values that remain constant for a particular consumer’s card number. MetaTokens enable a merchant to identify their consumers across multiple transactions, numerous transaction types and different revenue centers within a merchant

 

 

 

Risk Management / Underwriting

 

Risk management teams and underwriting systems assess, plan, and implement strategies to minimize risk associated with chargebacks

 

 

 

Payment Device Management

 

Device provisioning encryption and ongoing maintenance and support

 

 

 

Chargeback Management

 

Chargeback system provides an efficient support structure in which we work directly with the merchant, payment card networks and card issuing brands to determine liability and resolve open dispute claims

 

 

 

Fraud Prevention

 

Our Fraud Sentry solution is an automated solution that monitors transaction activity to identify instances of employee fraud. Fraud Sentry will monitor purchase and refund activity on the POS and will notify the merchant in the event these amounts are not aligned

 

 

 

Gift Card

 

Flexible, feature-rich gift card solution for card-present and card-not-present environments

 

Technology Solutions

 

Solution 

 

Description 

 

 

 

Ecommerce (Shift4Shop)

 

 

Point-of-Sale

 

A complete ecommerce solution, including website builder, shopping cart, product catalog, order management, marketing, search engine optimization, secure hosting and mobile webstores

 

Point-of-sale solutions combining powerful software with secure payments that serves merchants of any size or complexity

Mobile POS solution, Skytab, combines state-of-the-art devices with simple, intuitive software

 

 

 

Business Intelligence (Lighthouse)

 

Cloud-based suite of business management tools includes customer engagement, social media management, online reputation management, scheduling and product pricing as well as extensive reporting and analytics

Lighthouse is integrated throughout our Shift4 Model

 

 

 

Marketplace

 

Developer marketplace that provides complementary third-party applications that help our merchants integrate best-of-breed systems and devices

 

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Partner-Centric Distribution

 

Solution 

 

Description 

 

 

 

Merchant Management

 

Tools to access, organize and manage merchants

 

 

 

Training and Education

 

Trainings by industry experts as well as interactive videos and other customized training material for new and existing products and services

 

 

 

Marketing Management

 

Wide breadth of marketing and social media resources

 

 

 

Incentives Tracking

 

Reconciliation and tracking tools for partner bonuses and revenue share commissions

 

Operations and Support Services

Our operations infrastructure is designed to deliver high-quality experiences to our customers and to drive efficiencies throughout the entire payment ecosystem. We leverage our over 30 years of operating history in the hospitality sector and our domain expertise to ensure our obligations to our customers are maintained and fulfilled effectively. Our operations and support services include:

Merchant Operations and Support

 

Merchant underwriting – Our merchant underwriting team manages applications and risk evaluation of new merchants. Our merchant base operates in end markets with high card-present volume and low levels of fraud and chargeback losses. In addition, our underwriting strategy offers merchants with a low risk profile expedited activation which enhances their customer experience.

 

Merchant onboarding and activation – A business owner can enroll for a merchant account within minutes via our web based portal within Shift4Shop. For enterprises, our merchant onboarding and activation team works closely with our partners to ensure a high-touch transition from sales to implementation and activation. Our streamlined activation and automated approval process enables fast and frictionless merchant onboarding, providing us and our partners with enhanced speed-to-market. Our partners are typically able to board even the largest and most complex merchants within 24 hours of submitting an application.

 

Merchant training – We provide a full curriculum of training materials to our merchants via a dedicated training department and content delivery platform.

 

Merchant risk management – Our risk management operations are designed to monitor merchant accounts on an on-going basis. This includes dedicated security and regulatory support such as PCI compliance support, vulnerability scanning, system monitoring and breach assistance. Once a merchant is activated, our systems are configured to automatically monitor any activity that may require additional diligence, which in turn helps minimize losses associated with fraud and default.

 

Merchant support – Our merchant support team responds to inquiries from merchants 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The team provides customer support for systems integrations and other technical solutions. In addition, we have a dedicated team of merchant account specialists that guide merchants through the payment acceptance process from onboarding to settlement and reporting. With strong emphasis on first-call resolution, we seek to provide exceptional payment expertise and support for our merchants. We train our customer support team to quickly identify and resolve each matter in an empathetic and professional manner which reduces repeat calls and improves our operational efficiency.

Software Partner Operations and Support

 

Software integrations and compliance management – We have a team of engineers and technical support staff dedicated to support software integrations and ensure compliance with all card brand, security and regulatory requirements, including PCI and Payment Application Data Security Standard compliance support and system integration and configuration guidance.

 

Partner support – We have dedicated support teams who work with our software providers to address any questions or issues that may pertain to the integration of our products and solutions into their software suites. We seek to deliver end-to-end issue resolution by bringing all appropriate disciplines together in an integrated manner in order to optimize partner support. In addition, we help resolve issues that may pertain to our partners’ entire portfolio of merchants or incidents pertaining to a single merchant.

 

Partner services – Through our partner-facing customer relationship management system, our partners are able to track each step of the activation process of their new merchant accounts real-time. Through this system, our partners can track their merchant portfolio, including commissions, residual payments and even support calls/recordings, in an accurate and real-time manner. We have added substantial automation to these processes, which is essential to ensure optimal experience as well as financial efficiency.

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Competition

We compete with a range of providers, each of whom may provide a component of our offering, but do not provide an integrated offering capable of solving complex business challenges for software partners and merchants. For certain services and solutions, including end-to-end payments, we compete with third-party payment processors (such as Chase Paymentech, Elavon, Fiserv, Global Payments and Worldpay) and integrated payment providers (such as Adyen, Lightspeed POS, Shopify and Square).

While competitive factors and their relative importance can vary based on size, industry and geographic reach of software partners and merchants, we believe we compete primarily on the basis of reputation, domain expertise, scale of distribution channels, breadth of offerings, simplicity and ease-of-use of solutions, pace of innovation, price, data security and customer service. We believe we compete favorably with respect to all of these factors.

For information on risks relating to increased competition in our industry, see “Risk Factors—Business risks— Substantial and increasingly intense competition worldwide in the financial services, payments and payment technology industries may adversely affect our overall business and operations,” “Risk Factors—Business risks— Potential changes in competitive landscape, including disintermediation from other participants in the payments chain, could harm our business,” and “Risk Factors—Business risks— Our ability to anticipate and respond to changing industry trends and the needs and preferences of our merchants and consumers may adversely affect our competitiveness or the demand for our products and services.”

Patents, Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and contractual rights to protect our proprietary software and our brands. We have registered or applied to register certain of our trademarks in the United States and several other countries. In addition, we have obtained or applied for patents in the United States and certain foreign countries on certain material aspects of our proprietary software applications. We also license intellectual property from third parties, including software that is incorporated in our bundled with our proprietary software applications. We generally control access to and use of our proprietary software and other confidential information through the use of internal and external controls, including entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with both our employees and third parties.

We hold approximately 19 issued United States utility patents, four issued Canadian patents, one issued Mexican patent and one issued European patent related to our proprietary payments technologies. As of December 31, 2020, we also held three pending United States utility patent applications related to our payment technologies. If the United States and foreign patents currently issued to us are maintained until the end of their terms, they will expire between the year 2026 and the year 2032. The expiration of these patents is not reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, we own a portfolio of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world and are in the process of registering for our primary mark, Shift4 Payments.

Seasonality

Our operating results and operating metrics are subject to seasonality and volatility, which could result in fluctuations in our quarterly revenues and operating results or in perceptions of our business prospects. We have experienced in the past, and expect to continue to experience, seasonal fluctuations in our revenue, which can vary by region. For instance, our revenue has historically been strongest in our second and third quarters and weakest in our first quarter. Some variability results from seasonal retail events and the number of business days in a month or quarter.

Government Regulation

Various aspects of our business and service areas are subject to U.S. federal, state, and local regulation, as well as regulation outside the United States. Certain of our services also are subject to rules promulgated by various card networks and other authorities, as more fully described below. These descriptions are not exhaustive, and these laws, regulations and rules frequently change and are increasing in number.

The Dodd-Frank Act

In July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law in the United States. The Dodd-Frank Act has resulted in significant structural and other changes to the regulation of the financial services industry. Among other things, Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB to regulate consumer financial products and services (including some offered by our partners). The CFPB may also have authority over us as a provider of services to regulated financial institutions in connection with consumer financial products.

Separately, the Dodd-Frank Act directed the Federal Reserve to regulate debit interchange transaction fees that a card issuer or payment network receives or charges for an electronic debit transaction. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, debit interchange transaction fees must be “reasonable and proportional” to the cost incurred by the card issuer in authorizing, clearing, and settling the transaction. Pursuant to the regulations promulgated by the Federal Reserve implementing this “reasonable and proportional” requirement, debit interchange rates for card issuers operating in the United States with assets of $10 billion or more are capped at the sum of $0.21 per transaction and an ad valorem component of 5 basis points to reflect a portion of the issuer’s fraud losses plus, for qualifying issuers, an additional $0.01 per transaction in debit interchange for fraud prevention costs. In addition, the regulations contain non-exclusivity provisions that ban debit card networks from prohibiting an issuer

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from contracting with any other card network that may process an electronic debit transaction involving an issuer’s debit cards and prohibit card issuers and card networks from inhibiting the ability of merchants to direct the routing of debit card transactions over any network that can process the transaction.

Further, the ability of payment networks to impose certain restrictions are limited because the Dodd-Frank Act allows merchants to set minimum dollar amounts (not to exceed $10) for the acceptance of a credit card (while federal governmental entities and institutions of higher education may set maximum amounts for the acceptance of credit cards). Depending on the card network rules, merchants are now also allowed to provide discounts or other incentives to entice consumers to pay with an alternative payment method, such as cash, checks, or debit cards. However, merchants cannot impose any additional charges for the use of credit cards.

Association and network rules

We are subject to the rules of Mastercard, Visa, INTERAC and other payment networks. In order to provide our services, we must be registered either indirectly or directly as service providers with the payment networks that we utilize. Because we are not a “member bank” as defined in certain of the payment networks’ rules, we are not eligible for primary membership in certain payment networks and are therefore unable to directly access them. Instead, those payment networks require us to be sponsored by a member bank as a service provider, which we have accomplished through a sponsorship agreement with our sponsor bank. We are registered with Visa, Mastercard and other networks as service providers for member institutions. As such, we are subject to applicable card association and payment network rules, which impose various requirements and could subject us to a variety of fines or penalties that may be levied by such associations and/or networks for certain acts or omissions. Our failure to comply with the networks’ requirements, or to pay the fees or fines they may impose, could result in the suspension or termination of our sponsorship by our sponsor bank or our registration with the relevant payment network(s), and therefore require us to limit or cease providing the relevant payment processing services.

Card associations and payment networks and their member financial institutions regularly update and generally expand security expectations and requirements related to the security of cardholder data and environments. We are also subject to network operating rules promulgated by the National Automated Clearing House Association relating to payment transactions processed by us using the Automated Clearing House Network and to various state federal and foreign laws regarding such operations, including laws pertaining to electronic benefits transactions.

Privacy and information security regulations

We provide services that may be subject to various state, federal, and foreign privacy laws and regulations, including, among others, the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which we refer to as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the GDPR, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in Canada. These laws and their implementing regulations restrict certain collection, processing, storage, use, and disclosure of personal information, require notice to individuals of privacy practices, and provide individuals with certain rights to prevent use and disclosure of protected information. These laws also impose requirements for the safeguarding and proper destruction of personal information through the issuance of data security standards or guidelines. Certain federal, state and foreign laws and regulations impose similar privacy obligations and, in certain circumstances, obligations to notify affected individuals, state officers or other governmental authorities, the media, and consumer reporting agencies, as well as businesses and governmental agencies, of security breaches affecting personal information. In addition, there are state and foreign laws restricting the ability to collect and utilize certain types of information such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers.

As a processor of personal data of EU data subjects, we are also subject to regulation and oversight in the applicable EU Member States with regard to data protection legislation. In May 2018, the GDPR, a new European wide Regulation on data privacy came into force. The GDPR contains additional obligations on data controllers and data processors that have an establishment in the EU or are offering goods or services to, or monitoring the behavior of, consumers within the EU. The GDPR includes significant enhancements with regard to the rights of data subjects (which include the right to be forgotten and the right of data portability), stricter regulation on obtaining consent to processing of personal data and sensitive personal data, stricter obligations with regard to the information to be included in privacy notices and significant enhanced requirements with regard to compliance, including a regime of “accountability” for processors and controllers and a requirement to embed compliance with GDPR into the fabric of an organization by developing appropriate policies and practices, to achieve a standard of data protection by “design and default.” The GDPR includes enhanced data security obligations, requiring data processors and controllers to take appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect the data they process and their systems. Organizations that process significant amounts of data may be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer responsible for reporting to highest level of management within the business. There are greatly enhanced sanctions under GDPR for failing to comply with the core principles of the GDPR or failing to secure data.

Unfair trade practice regulations

We, our partners and certain of our merchants are subject to various federal, state, and international laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive trade practices, such as Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the prohibition against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, or UDAAPs, under the Dodd-Frank Act. Various regulatory agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, the CFPB, and state attorneys general, have authority to take action against parties that engage in unfair or deceptive trade practices or violate other laws, rules, and regulations, and to the extent we are processing payments for a client that may be in violation of laws, rules, and regulations, we may be subject to enforcement actions and incur losses and liabilities that may impact our business. For example, all persons offering or providing financial services or products

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to consumers, directly or indirectly, can be subject to the prohibition against UDAAPs. The CFPB has enforcement authority to prevent an entity that offers or provides consumer financial services or products or a service provider from committing or engaging in UDAAPs, including the ability to engage in joint investigations with other agencies, issue subpoenas and civil investigative demands, conduct hearings and adjudication proceedings, commence a civil action, grant relief (e.g., limit activities or functions; rescission of contracts), and refer matters for criminal proceedings.

Anti-money laundering, anti-bribery, sanctions, and counter-terrorist regulations

We are contractually required to comply with the anti-money laundering laws and regulations in certain countries. In the United States, we comply with certain provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and its implementing regulations, or collectively the BSA, which are enforced by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. We are also subject to anti-corruption laws and regulations, including the FCPA and other laws, that prohibit the making or offering of improper payments to foreign government officials and political figures and includes anti-bribery provisions enforced by the Department of Justice and accounting provisions enforced by the SEC. The FCPA has a broad reach and requires maintenance of appropriate records and adequate internal controls to prevent and detect possible FCPA violations. Many other jurisdictions where we conduct business also have similar anticorruption laws and regulations. We have policies, procedures, systems, and controls designed to identify and address potentially impermissible transactions under such laws and regulations.

We are also subject to certain economic and trade sanctions programs that are administered by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, which prohibit or restrict transactions to or from or dealings with specified countries, their governments, and in certain circumstances, their nationals, and with individuals and entities that are specially-designated nationals of those countries, narcotics traffickers, and terrorists or terrorist organizations. Other group entities may be subject to additional local sanctions requirements in other relevant jurisdictions.

Similar anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing and proceeds of crime laws apply to movements of currency and payments through electronic transactions and to dealings with persons specified in lists maintained by the country equivalents to OFAC lists in several other countries and require specific data retention obligations to be observed by intermediaries in the payment process. Our businesses in those jurisdictions are subject to those data retention obligations.

Human Capital

In order to continue to innovate, it is crucial that we continue to attract and retain top talent. To facilitate talent attraction and retention, we strive to make Shift4 a diverse, inclusive and safe workplace, with opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers, supported by strong compensation, benefits and health and wellness programs, and with programs that build connections between our employees and their communities.

As of December 31, 2020, we employed 1,305 full-time employees. We also employed 6 part-time employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or are party to a collective bargaining agreement, and we have had no labor-related work stoppages. We believe that we have good relationships with our employees.

Health, Safety and Wellness. The success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our people. Accordingly, we are committed to the health, safety and wellness of our employees. We provide our employees and their families with access to a variety of innovative, flexible and convenient health and wellness programs, tools and resources to support physical and mental health and encourage engagement in healthy behaviors. Our benefit programs are designed to offer choice where possible so our employees can customize their benefits to meet their and their families’ needs. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented significant changes that we determined were in the best interest of our employees and the communities in which we operate, and which comply with relevant local regulations, including by:

 

Providing our employees with remote working flexibility;

 

Adjusting attendance policies to encourage those who are sick to stay home;

 

Increasing cleaning protocols across all locations;

 

Initiating regular communication regarding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health and safety protocols and procedures;

 

Establishing new physical distancing procedures for employees who need to be onsite;

 

Providing additional personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies;

 

Modifying work spaces with plexiglass dividers and touchless faucets;

 

Implementing protocols to address actual and suspected COVID-19 cases and potential exposure; and

 

Requiring masks to be worn in all locations where allowed by local law.

Compensation and Benefits. We provide robust compensation and benefits programs to help meet the needs of our employees. Our equity incentive plans provide for grants of awards including restricted stock units, or RSUs, . We believe our equity incentive plans foster a stronger

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sense of ownership and align our employees interests with the interests and growth of the Company. In addition to base compensation and awards granted pursuant to equity incentive plans, we offer benefits including a 401(k) Plan, healthcare and insurance benefits, health savings and flexible spending accounts, paid time off, family leave, family care resources, flexible work schedules and employee assistance programs.

Building Connections — With Each Other and our Communities. We believe that building connections between our employees, their families and our communities creates a more meaningful, fulfilling and enjoyable workplace. Through our engagement programs, our employees can pursue their interests and hobbies, connect to volunteer opportunities and enjoy unique recreational experiences with family members. Leveraging our reach to food and hospitality merchants across the country, we launched the Shift4Cares.com website as a way to help merchants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since our employees are passionate about many causes, our corporate giving and volunteering programs support and encourage employees by engaging with those causes. Throughout our offices, employee-led Employee Activity Committees select local organizations to support. We also frequently collaborate with these organizations on volunteer activities for our employees.

In addition, we are launching our Corporate Social Responsibility program in 2021, pursuant to which we intend to provide a greater structure around our various volunteer and outreach programs across the country. In furtherance of this program we have recently hired a Vice President of People and Culture and a Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion. With the support of executive management, this program will be driven by our employees and will include company-wide events that cover many aspects of community, environmental, and volunteer support. This program will be managed by a manager level, external hire and with them, we will set up a program to include annual events as well as additional events brought to us by employees throughout the year.

Diversity & Inclusion. The Company believes that a rich culture of diversity and inclusion enables it to develop and fully leverage the strengths of its workforce in order to boost employee satisfaction, exceed customer expectations and meet its growth objectives. Current key initiatives through which the Company aims to improve diversity and inclusion include talent acquisition and metrics and measurement.

 

Recruitment. In 2020, we built an in-house talent and recruitment department. We work diligently to attract the best talent from a diverse range of sources in order to meet the current and future demands of our business. We have established relationships with professional associations and industry groups to proactively attract talent.

 

We have a strong employee value proposition that leverages our unique culture, collaborative working environment, shared sense of purpose, and innovative work to attract talent to our Company. We empower our employees to find new and better ways of doing things and the scale of our business means that careers can develop in exciting and unexpected directions.

Available Information

Our internet website address is www.shift4.com. In addition to the information about us and our subsidiaries contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, information about us can be found on our website. Our website and information included in or linked to our website are not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available free of charge through our website at www.investors.shift4.com as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Additionally the SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information. The address of the SEC's website is www.sec.gov.

 

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INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

The following table provides information regarding our executive officers and members of our board of directors as of December 31, 2020:

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position(s)

Jared Isaacman

 

38

 

Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Bradley Herring

 

50

 

Chief Financial Officer

Jordan Frankel

 

38

 

Secretary, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal, Human Resources and Compliance

Taylor Lauber

 

37

 

Chief Strategy Officer

Donald Isaacman

 

74

 

Director

Christopher Cruz

 

36

 

Director

Andrew Frey

 

45

 

Director

Nancy Disman

 

50

 

Director

Sarah Goldsmith-Grover

 

56

 

Director

Jonathan Halkyard

 

56

 

Director

 

Executive Officers and Directors

Jared Isaacman has served as Shift4 Payments, Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the board of directors since its formation, and is the Founder of Shift4 Payments, LLC, as well as serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Shift4 Payments, LLC’s board of managers since its founding in 1999. Mr. J. Isaacman is also the founder of Draken International, a provider of contract air services. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. J. Isaacman was named as a finalist for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, was the youngest person to ever be named to the list of “Industry Leaders” by The Green Sheet, a leading publication in the credit card industry and has been recognized as one of “America’s Best Entrepreneurs” by BusinessWeek magazine and “30 Entrepreneurs Under 30” by Inc. Magazine. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. We believe Mr. J. Isaacman is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive experience in executive leadership positions in the payment processing industry and his knowledge of our business in particular, gained through his services as our Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Bradley Herring has served as Shift4 Payments, Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer since its formation and as Chief Financial Officer of Shift4 Payments, LLC since October 2019. Prior to joining Shift4, from 2016 to 2019, Mr. Herring served as Chief Financial Officer of Elavon, Inc., a processor of credit card transactions. Mr. Herring also served as Chief Financial Officer of the digital banking group of Fiserv, a provider of online banking and online payment services, from 2012 to 2015. He was also the Vice President of Global Operations for Equifax for five years, from 2008 to 2013. Mr. Herring has passed the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam, administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Economics and a Masters of Business Administration from Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business.

Jordan Frankel has served as Shift4 Payments, Inc.’s Secretary and General Counsel since its formation, and as General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal, Human Resources and Compliance and a member of the board of managers of Shift4 Payments, LLC since 2014. From 2011 to 2019, Mr. Frankel also served as a member of the board of directors of Draken International, a provider of contract air services. He holds a Bachelor of Finance and Marketing from the Syracuse University Martin J Whitman School of Management and a Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration from the Quinnipiac University School of Law and Quinnipiac University Lender School of Business, respectively.

Taylor Lauber has served as Shift4 Payments, Inc.’s Chief Strategy Officer since its formation and as Senior Vice President, Strategic Projects of Shift4 Payments, LLC since 2018. Prior to joining Shift4, from 2010 to 2018, he served as a Principal at The Blackstone Group, L.P. Mr. Lauber also spent from 2005 to 2010 at Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor, where he advised numerous Fortune 500 companies and their executives on capital markets transactions. Mr. Lauber has passed the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam, Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Exam and Series 27 Financial and Operations Principal Exam, all administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Finance from Bentley College.

Donald Isaacman has served as a member of the board of directors of Shift4 Payments, Inc. since its formation, and has served as the President and a member of the board of managers of Shift4 Payments, LLC since its founding in 1999. From February 1971 to September 2000, Mr. D. Isaacman also served as the Vice President of Supreme Security Systems, Inc., a home alarm and business security system company. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Sales from Monmouth University. We believe Mr. D. Isaacman is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his senior management experience and his knowledge of our business in particular, gained through his services as our President.

Christopher Cruz has served as a member of the board of directors of Shift4 Payments, Inc. since its formation, and as a member of the board of managers of Shift4 Payments, LLC since May 2016. Mr. Cruz is a Managing Director at Searchlight, which he joined in 2011. From 2008 to

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2010, Mr. Cruz served on the investment team at Oaktree Capital Management, a global alternative investment management firm. Prior to that, Mr. Cruz was in the leveraged finance and restructuring group at UBS Investment Bank, from 2006 to 2008. Mr. Cruz has also served as a member of the board of directors of M&M Food Market, a frozen food retail chain, since 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. We believe Mr. Cruz is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive experience in finance and capital markets and his knowledge of our business in particular, gained through his services as a member of our board of managers.

Andrew Frey has served as a member of the board of directors of Shift4 Payments, Inc. since its formation, and has served as a member of the board of managers of Shift4 Payments, LLC since May 2016. Mr. Frey is a Partner at Searchlight, which he joined in 2011. Prior to joining Searchlight, Mr. Frey served as Managing Principal at Quadrangle Group, a private investment firm focused on media, communications, technology and information services sectors. Mr. Frey has also served as a member of the board of directors of Hemisphere Media Group, a publicly-traded language media company, since October 2016, and Mitel Networks Corp, a telecommunications company, since April 2018. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. We believe Mr. Frey is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his public company board experience and his knowledge of finance and our business in particular, gained through his services as a member of our board of managers.

Nancy Disman has served as a member of the board of directors of Shift4 Payments, Inc. since June 2020. Ms. Disman is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Intrado Corporation, a provider of cloud-based technology, which she joined in November 2017. From April 2016 to March 2017, Ms. Disman served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of the Merchant Acquiring Segment of Total System Services, Inc., or TSYS, a global provider of payment solutions, and from June 2014 to March 2016, Ms. Disman was the Chief Financial Officer of TransFirst, a merchant account provider in the credit card processing industry, prior to its acquisition by TSYS. Ms. Disman has also served as a member of the board of directors of Intrado Foundation since June 2019 and various subsidiaries of Intrado Corporation since November 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from the State University of New York at Albany and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York. We believe Ms. Disman is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to her experience in leading companies in the payments industry and her knowledge in finance and accounting.

Sarah Goldsmith-Grover has served as a member of the board of directors of Shift4 Payments, Inc. since June 2020. Ms. Goldsmith-Grover has served as the interim Chief Marketing Officer of Veggie Grill, a vegan and vegetarian food chain, since January 2020 and the interim Chief Marketing Officer of Lawry’s The Prime Rib, a gourmet restaurant chain, since September 2020. Prior to that, Ms. Goldsmith-Grover served in executive marketing roles at various food & beverages companies, including Garden Fresh Restaurants, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and True Food Kitchen, since 2016. Ms. Goldsmith-Grover has also served various executive roles at California Pizza Kitchen, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Concept Officer. Ms. Goldsmith-Grover has served as a member of the board of directors of the Annual UCLA Restaurant Conference since 2000. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from DePauw University. We believe Ms. Goldsmith-Grover is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to her experience and insight acquired from leading companies in the restaurant and consumer industries.

Jonathan Halkyard has served as a member of the board of directors of Shift4 Payments, Inc. since June 2020. Mr. Halkyard has served as the Chief Financial Officer of MGM Resorts International since January 2021. From September 2013 to November 2019, Mr. Halkyard held various senior management positions at Extended Stay America, Inc., an integrated hotel owner and operator, including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Halkyard has also served as a member of the board of directors of Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc., a restaurant and entertainment business, since September 2011, including as the chair of its nominating and governance committee and member of its finance committee since June 2016, and as a member of its audit committee since September 2013. He previously served on the boards of directors of Extended Stay America, Inc., an operator of an economy apartment hotel chain, and ESH Hospitality, Inc., a real estate investment trust and the owner of the hotels, from January 2018 to November 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Colgate University and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. We believe Mr. Halkyard is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his experience in leading companies in the finance and hospitality industries and his knowledge of the board and corporate governance practices of other organizations.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, as well as the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes as well as our other public filings with the SEC, before deciding to invest in our Class A common stock. The occurrence of any of the events described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or prospects. In such an event, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business.

Business risks

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, global pandemic has had and is expected to continue to have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Governmental authorities around the world have implemented measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These measures, including “shelter-in-place” orders suggested or mandated by governmental authorities or otherwise elected by companies as a preventive measure, have adversely

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affected workforces, customers, consumer sentiment, economies, and financial markets, and, along with decreased consumer spending, have led to an economic downturn in the United States.

Numerous state and local jurisdictions, including in markets where we operate, have imposed, and others in the future may impose, “shelter-in-place” orders, quarantines, travel restrictions, executive orders and similar government orders and restrictions for their residents to control the spread of COVID-19. For example, the federal and state governments in the United States have imposed social distancing measures and restrictions on movement, only allowing essential businesses to remain open. Such orders or restrictions have resulted in the temporary closure of many of our merchant operations, work stoppages, slowdowns and delays, mandatory remote operations, travel restrictions and cancellation of events, among other effects, any of which may materially impact our business and results of operations.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a significant decrease in our payments volumes and expect the impact of shelter-in-place orders and other government measures to continue to significantly impact our business, results of operations and cash flows for the foreseeable future. As result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our hospitality merchants have experienced an 80% or greater decline in transaction volumes from pre-COVID-19 levels and many of our restaurant merchants are limited to take-out or delivery business only.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we:

 

 

drew $68.5 million under our revolving credit facility in the first quarter of 2020, which was repaid in the second quarter of 2020;

 

furloughed approximately 25% of our employees. During the third quarter of 2020, we reinstated substantially all of our workforce and are hiring in certain areas to accommodate new merchant onboarding;

 

accelerated approximately $30.0 million of annual expense reduction plans related to previous acquisitions;

 

re-prioritized our capital projects;

 

instituted a company-wide hiring freeze, which has been lifted since August 2020; and

 

reduced salaries for management across the organization, which were fully reinstated as of October 2020.

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to assess the situation, including abiding by any government-imposed restrictions, market by market. We are unable to accurately predict the ultimate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our operations going forward due to uncertainties that will be dictated by the length of time that such disruptions continue, which will, in turn, depend on the currently unknowable duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the development and availability of effective treatments and vaccines, the impact of governmental regulations that might be imposed in response to the pandemic, the imposition of and compliance with protective public safety measures, the impact of remote operations, the speed and extent to which normal economic and operating conditions will resume and overall changes in consumer behavior. In particular, even as our merchants re-open and adapt their operations, we cannot accurately predict the ongoing impact of government regulations and changing consumer behavior on our business. While we have not seen a meaningful degradation in new merchant sign-ups or an increase in existing merchant attrition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that those business trends change if economic hardship across the country forces merchant closures. Any significant reduction in consumer visits to, or spending at, our merchants, would result in a loss of revenue to us. In particular, we cannot accurately forecast the potential impact of additional outbreaks as government restrictions are relaxed, further shelter-in-place or other government restrictions implemented in response to such outbreaks, the impact that weather has on merchants as a result of such restrictions, or the impact on the ability of our merchants to remain in business as a result of the ongoing pandemic, which could result in additional chargeback or merchant receivable losses, any future outbreak or any government restrictions related thereto.

In addition, the global deterioration in economic conditions, which may have an adverse impact on discretionary consumer spending, could also impact our business. For instance, consumer spending may be negatively impacted by general macroeconomic conditions, including a rise in unemployment, and decreased consumer confidence resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Changing consumer behaviors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may also have a material impact on our payments-based revenue for the foreseeable future, particularly for the hospitality and restaurant industries, verticals upon which we have predominantly focused on over the last decade.

In the past, governments have taken unprecedented actions in an attempt to address and rectify these extreme market and economic conditions by providing liquidity and stability to financial markets. If these actions are not successful, or if governments do not provide continued assistance needed as a result of COVID-19, the return of adverse economic conditions may cause a material impact on our ability to raise capital, if needed, on a timely basis and on acceptable terms or at all.

To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section, such as those relating to our liquidity, indebtedness and our ability to comply with the covenants contained in the agreements that govern our indebtedness.

Substantial and increasingly intense competition worldwide in the financial services, payments and payment technology industries may adversely affect our overall business and operations.

The financial services, payments and payment technology industries are highly competitive, and our payment services and solutions compete against all forms of financial services and payment systems, including cash and checks and electronic, mobile, ecommerce and integrated payment platforms. Many of the areas in which we compete are evolving rapidly with changing and disruptive technologies, shifting user needs, and frequent introductions of new products and services. We compete against a wide range of businesses with varying roles within the payments

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value chain. If we are unable to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and drive value for our customers, we may not be able to compete effectively. Our competitors may introduce their own value-added or other innovative services or solutions more effectively than we do, which could adversely impact our current competitive position and prospects for growth. Our competitors also may be able to offer and provide services that we do not offer. We also compete against new entrants that have developed alternative payment systems, ecommerce payment systems, payment systems for mobile devices and customized integrated software payment solutions. Failure to compete effectively against any of these competitive threats could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, some of our competitors are larger and/or have greater financial resources than us, enabling them to maintain a wider range of product offerings, mount extensive promotional campaigns and be more aggressive in offering products and services at lower rates, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Furthermore, any negative publicity or perceptions involving the Company or our employees, brands, products, vendors, spokespersons or marketing and other partners may negatively impact our reputation and adversely impact our ability to compete effectively and could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Potential changes in competitive landscape, including disintermediation from other participants in the payments chain, could harm our business.

We expect the competitive landscape will continue to change in a variety of ways, including:

 

 

rapid and significant changes in technology, resulting in new and innovative payment methods and programs, that could place us at a competitive disadvantage and reduce the use of our products and services;

 

competitors, including third-party processors (such as Chase Paymentech, Elavon, Fiserv, Global Payments and Worldpay) and integrated payment providers (such as Adyen, Lightspeed POS, Shopify and Square), merchants, governments and/or other industry participants may develop products and services that compete with or replace our value-added products and services, including products and services that enable payment networks and banks to transact with consumers directly;

 

participants in the financial services, payments and payment technology industries may merge, create joint ventures, or form other business combinations that may strengthen their existing business services or create new payment services that compete with our services; and

 

new services and technologies that we develop may be impacted by industry-wide solutions and standards related to migration to Europay, Mastercard and Visa, or EMV, standards, including chip technology, tokenization and other safety and security technologies.

Certain competitors could use strong or dominant positions in one or more markets to gain a competitive advantage against us, such as by integrating competing platforms or features into products they control such as search engines, web browsers, mobile device operating systems or social networks; by making acquisitions; or by making access to our platform more difficult. Further, current and future competitors could choose to offer a different pricing model or to undercut prices in the market or our prices in an effort to increase their market share. Failure to compete effectively against any of these or other competitive threats could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our ability to anticipate and respond to changing industry trends and the needs and preferences of our merchants and consumers may adversely affect our competitiveness or the demand for our products and services.

The financial services, payments and payments technology industries are subject to rapid technological advancements, resulting in new products and services, including mobile payment applications and customized integrated software payment solutions, and an evolving competitive landscape, as well as changing industry standards and merchant and consumer needs and preferences. We expect that new services and technologies applicable to the financial services, payments and payment technology industries will continue to emerge and external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate such emergence. These changes may limit the competitiveness of and demand for our services. Also, our merchants continue to adopt new technology for business. We must anticipate and respond to these changes in order to remain competitive within our relative markets. In addition, failure to develop value-added services that meet the needs and preferences of our merchants could adversely affect our ability to compete effectively in our industry. Any new solution we develop or acquire might not be introduced in a timely or cost-effective manner and might not achieve the broad market acceptance necessary to generate significant revenue. In addition, these solutions could become subject to legal or regulatory requirements, which could prohibit or slow the development and provision of such new solutions and/or our adoption thereof. Furthermore, our merchants’ potential negative reaction to our products and services can spread quickly through social media and damage our reputation before we have the opportunity to respond. Improving and enhancing the functionality, performance, reliability, design, security and scalability of our platform is expensive, time-consuming and complex, and to the extent we are not able to do so in a manner that responds to our merchants’ evolving needs, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be adversely affected. If we are unable to anticipate or respond to technological or industry standard changes on a timely basis, our ability to remain competitive could be adversely affected.

Because we rely on third-party vendors to provide products and services, we could be adversely impacted if they fail to fulfill their obligations.

We depend on third-party vendors for certain products and services, including components of our computer systems, software, data centers and telecommunications networks, to conduct our business. Any changes in these systems that degrade the functionality of our products and services, impose additional costs or requirements on it, or give preferential treatment to competitors’ services, including their own services, could

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materially and adversely affect usage of our products and services. For example, we are dependent on our relationship with a single third-party processor for services such as merchant authorization, processing, risk and chargeback monitoring accounting and clearing and settlement for the transactions we service. In the event our agreement with our third-party processor is terminated, or if upon its expiration we are unable to renew the contract on terms favorable to us, or at all, it may be difficult for us to replace these services which may adversely affect our operations and profitability.

We also rely on third parties for specific software and devices used in providing our products and services. Some of these organizations and service providers provide similar services and technology to our competitors, and we do not have long-term or exclusive contracts with them.

Our systems and operations or those of our merchants and software partners could be exposed to damage or interruption from, among other things, fire, natural disaster, power loss, telecommunications failure, unauthorized entry, computer viruses, denial-of-service attacks, acts of terrorism, human error, vandalism or sabotage, financial insolvency, bankruptcy and similar events. For example, the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions to contain COVID-19 or treat its impact, among others. In addition, we may be unable to renew our existing contracts with our most significant merchants and software and partners or our merchants and software partners may stop providing or otherwise supporting the products and services we obtain from them, and we may not be able to obtain these or similar products or services on the same or similar terms as our existing arrangements, if at all. The failure of our third-party vendors to perform their obligations and provide the products and services we obtain from them in a timely manner for any reason could adversely affect our operations and profitability due to, among other consequences:

 

 

loss of revenues;

 

loss of merchants and software partners;

 

loss of merchant and cardholder data;

 

fines imposed by payment networks;

 

harm to our business or reputation resulting from negative publicity;

 

exposure to fraud losses or other liabilities;

 

additional operating and development costs; or

 

diversion of management, technical and other resources.

Health concerns arising from the outbreak of a health epidemic or pandemic may have an adverse effect on our business.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, our business could be adversely affected by the outbreak of a widespread health epidemic or pandemic, including arising from various strains of avian flu or swine flu, such as H1N1, particularly if located in the United States. The occurrence of such an outbreak or other adverse public health developments could materially disrupt our business and operations. Such events could also significantly impact our industry and cause a temporary closure of our merchants’ businesses, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Furthermore, other viruses may be transmitted through human contact, and the risk of contracting viruses could cause consumers to avoid gathering in public places or patronizing certain businesses, which could adversely affect payment volumes. We could also be adversely affected if government authorities impose mandatory closures, seek voluntary closures, impose restrictions on operations of our merchants’ businesses, or restrict the import or export of hardware and equipment. Even if such measures are not implemented and a virus or other disease does not spread significantly, the perceived risk of infection or health risk may adversely affect our business and operating results.

We may not be able to continue to expand our share of the existing payment processing markets or expand into new markets which would inhibit our ability to grow and increase our profitability.

Our future growth and profitability depend upon the growth of the markets in which we currently operate and our ability to increase our penetration and service offerings within these markets, as well as the emergence of new markets for our services and our ability to successfully expand into these new markets. It is difficult to attract new merchants because of potential disadvantages associated with switching payment processing vendors, such as transition costs, business disruption and loss of accustomed functionality. There can be no assurance that our efforts to overcome these factors will be successful, and this resistance may adversely affect our growth. A merchant’s payment processing activity with us may also decrease for a variety of reasons, including the merchant’s level of satisfaction with our products and services, the effectiveness of our support services, pricing of our products and services, the pricing and quality of competing products or services, the effects of global economic conditions (including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), or reductions in the consumer spending levels.

Our expansion into new markets is also dependent upon our ability to adapt our existing technology and offerings or to develop new or innovative applications to meet the particular service needs of each new market. In order to do so, we will need to anticipate and react to market changes and devote appropriate financial and technical resources to our development efforts, and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in these efforts.

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Furthermore, we may expand into new geographical markets, including foreign countries, in which we do not currently have any operating experience. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully continue such expansion efforts due to our lack of experience in such markets and the multitude of risks associated with global operations, including the possibility of needing to obtain appropriate regulatory approval.

Our services and products must integrate with a variety of operating systems, software, device and web browsers, and our business may be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to ensure that our services interoperate with such operating systems, device, software and web browsers.

We are dependent on the ability of our products and services to integrate with a variety of operating systems, software and devices, such as the point-of-sale, or POS, terminals we provide to merchants, as well as web browsers that we do not control. Any changes in these systems that degrade the functionality of our products and services, impose additional costs or requirements on us, or give preferential treatment to competitive services, could materially and adversely affect usage of our products and services. In addition, system integrators may show insufficient appetite to enable our products and services to integrate with a variety of operating systems, software and devices. In the event that it is difficult for our merchants to access and use our products and services, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

We depend, in part, on our merchant and software partner relationships and strategic partnerships with various institutions to operate and grow our business. If we are unable to maintain these relationships and partnerships, our business may be adversely affected.

We depend, in part, on our merchant and software partner relationships and partnerships with various institutions to operate and grow our business. We rely on the growth of our merchant and other strategic relationships, and our ability to maintain these relationships and other distribution channels, to support and grow our business. If we fail to maintain these relationships, or if our software partners or other strategic partners fail to maintain their brands or decrease the size of their branded networks, our business may be adversely affected. In addition, our contractual arrangements with our merchants and other strategic partners vary in length, and may also allow for early termination upon the occurrence of certain events. There can be no assurance that we will be able to renew these contractual arrangements on similar terms or at all. The loss of merchant or software partner relationships could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We rely on our sponsor bank to provide sponsorship to card and other payment networks and treasury services. If our sponsor bank stops providing sponsorship and treasury services, we would need to find one or more other financial institutions to provide those services. If we are unable to find a replacement institution, we may no longer be able to provide processing services to certain merchants, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In the event of a chargeback, merchant bankruptcy or other failure to fund, or other intervening failure in the payment network system, we may be unable to recoup certain payments, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

A significant number of our merchants are small- and medium-sized businesses and small affiliates of large companies, which can be more difficult and costly to retain than larger enterprises and may increase the impact of economic fluctuations on us.

We market and sell our products and services to, among others, SMBs. To continue to grow our revenue, we must add merchants, sell additional services to existing merchants and encourage existing merchants to continue doing business with us. However, retaining SMBs can be more difficult than retaining large enterprises, as SMB merchants:

 

 

often have higher rates of business failure and more limited resources;

 

may have decisions related to the choice of payment processor dictated by their affiliated parent entity; and

 

are more able to change their payment processors than larger organizations dependent on our services.

SMBs are typically more susceptible to the adverse effects of economic fluctuations, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adverse changes in the economic environment or business failures of our SMB merchants may have a greater impact on us than on our competitors who do not focus on SMBs to the extent that we do. As a result, we may need to attract and retain new merchants at an accelerated rate or decrease our expenses to reduce negative impacts on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Global economic, political and other conditions may adversely affect trends in consumer, business and government spending, which may adversely impact the demand for our services and our revenue and profitability.

The financial services, payments and payment technology industries in which we operate depend heavily upon the overall level of consumer, business and government spending. A sustained deterioration in general economic conditions (including distress in financial markets and turmoil in specific economies around the world), in particular as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, may adversely affect our financial performance by reducing the number or average purchase amount of transactions we process. See “—The recent novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, global pandemic has had and is expected to continue to have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.” A reduction in the amount of consumer spending or credit card transactions could result in a decrease of our revenue and profits.

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Adverse economic trends may accelerate the timing, or increase the impact of, risks to our financial performance. These trends could include:

 

 

declining economies and the pace of economic recovery can change consumer spending behaviors, on which the majority of our revenue is dependent;

 

low levels of consumer and business confidence typically associated with recessionary environments, and those markets experiencing relatively high unemployment, may result in decreased spending by cardholders;

 

budgetary concerns in the United States and other countries around the world could affect the United States and other sovereign credit ratings, which could impact consumer confidence and spending;

 

financial institutions may restrict credit lines to cardholders or limit the issuance of new cards to mitigate cardholder credit concerns;

 

uncertainty and volatility in the performance of our merchants’ businesses, particularly SMBs, may make estimates of our revenues and financial performance less predictable;

 

cardholders or merchants may decrease spending for value-added services we market and sell; and

 

government intervention, including the effect of laws, regulations and government investments in our merchants, may have potential negative effects on our business and our relationships with our merchants or otherwise alter their strategic direction away from our products and services.

In addition, the banking industry remains subject to consolidation regardless of overall economic conditions. In times of economic distress, various financial institutions in the markets we serve have been acquired or merged with and into other financial institutions, including those with which we partner. If a current referral partner of ours is acquired by another bank, the acquiring bank may seek to terminate our agreement and impose its own merchant services program on the acquired bank. We may be unable to retain our banking relationships post-acquisition, or may have to offer financial concessions to do so, which could adversely affect our results of operations or growth.

We may in the future offer merchant acquiring and processing services in geographies outside of the United States, including potentially in the European Union or the United Kingdom. In such circumstances, we may become subject to additional European Union and United Kingdom financial regulatory requirements and we could become subject to risks associated with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union (including any resulting economic downturn) following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) on January 31, 2020. We are subject to risks associated with operations in international markets, including changes in foreign governmental policies and requirements applicable to our business, including the presence of more established competitors and our lack of experience in such non-U.S. markets. In addition, any future partners in non-U.S. jurisdictions, may also be acquired, reorganized or otherwise disposed of in the event of further market turmoil or losses in their loan portfolio that result in such financial institutions becoming less than adequately capitalized. Our revenue derived from these and other non-U.S. operations will be subject to additional risks, including those resulting from social and geopolitical instability and unfavorable political or diplomatic developments, all of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

In the event we expand internationally, we may face challenges due to the presence of more established competitors and our lack of experience in such non-U.S. markets. If we are unable to successfully manage these risks relating to the international expansion of our business, it could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We are subject to governmental regulation and other legal obligations, particularly related to privacy, data protection and information security, and consumer protection laws across different markets where we conduct our business. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could harm our business.

In the United States and other jurisdictions in which our services are used, we are subject to various consumer protection laws (including laws on disputed transactions) and related regulations. If we are found to have breached any consumer protection laws or regulations in any such market, we may be subject to enforcement actions that require us to change our business practices in a manner which may negatively impact our revenue, as well as expose ourselves to litigation, fines, civil and/or criminal penalties and adverse publicity that could cause our customers to lose trust in us, negatively impacting our reputation and business in a manner that harms our financial position.

As part of our business, we collect personally identifiable information, also referred to as personal data, and other potentially sensitive and/or regulated data from our consumers and the merchants we work with. Laws and regulations in the United States and around the world restrict how personal information is collected, processed, stored, transferred. used and disclosed, as well as set standards for its security, implement notice requirements regarding privacy practices, and provide individuals with certain rights regarding the use, disclosure and sale of their protected personal information. Several foreign jurisdictions, including the EU and the United Kingdom, have laws and regulations which are more restrictive in certain respects than those in the United States. For example, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which came into force on May 25, 2018, implemented stringent operational requirements for the use of personal data. The European regime also includes directives which, among other things, require EU member states to regulate marketing by electronic means and the use of web cookies and other tracking technology. Each EU member state has transposed the requirements of these directives into its own national data privacy regime, and therefore the laws may differ between jurisdictions. These are also under reform and are expected to be replaced by a regulation which should provide consistent requirements across the EU.

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The GDPR introduced more stringent requirements (which will continue to be interpreted through guidance and decisions over the coming years) and require organizations to erase an individual’s information upon request, implement mandatory data breach notification requirements, additional new obligations on service providers and strict protections on how data may be transferred outside of the European Economic Area, or EEA. Recent legal developments in Europe have created complexity and uncertainty regarding transfers of personal data from the EEA to the United States. Most recently, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU struck down a permitted personal data transfer mechanism between the EEA and the United States, invalidating the use of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and further casting doubt on the use of another main transfer mechanism, the standard contractual clauses.

We have previously relied on our own Privacy Shield certification and our relevant customers’ and partners’ Privacy Shield certifications for the purposes of transferring personal data from the EEA to the U.S. in compliance with the GDPR’s data export conditions. These recent developments will require us to review and amend the legal mechanisms by which we make and/ or receive personal data transfers to/ in the U.S., including updating agreements to put in place standard contractual clauses. As supervisory authorities issue further guidance on personal data export mechanisms, including circumstances where the standard contractual clauses cannot be used, and/or start taking enforcement action or block personal data transfers to or from a particular jurisdiction, we could suffer additional costs, complaints and/or regulatory investigations or fines, reputational harm and/or if we are otherwise unable to transfer personal data between and among countries and regions in which we operate, it could affect the manner in which we provide our services, the geographical location or segregation of our relevant systems and operations, and could adversely affect our financial results.

In addition, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union means that, from 1 January 2021, we are subject to the GDPR and also the UK GDPR, which, together with the amended UK Data Protection Act 2018, retains the GDPR in UK national law. The UK GDPR mirrors the fines under the GDPR, e.g., fines up to the greater of €20 million (£17.5 million) or 4% of global turnover. It is unclear how transfers of data to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated in the long term. However in February 2021, a draft adequacy decision in respect of the UK was published by the European Commission, which, if adopted, would mean that following the expiry of a grace period in the EU and UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (ending 30 June 2021 at the latest), the UK will not be considered a “third country” for the purposes of data transfers under the GDPR.

In the United States, both the federal and various state governments have adopted or are considering, laws, guidelines or rules for the collection, distribution, use and storage of information collected from or about consumers or their devices. For example, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which became enforceable by the California Attorney General on July 1, 2020, and requires new disclosures to California consumers, imposes new rules for collecting or using information about minors, and affords consumers new abilities to opt out of certain disclosures of personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation. The effects of the CCPA, its implementing regulations, and uncertainties about the scope and applicability of exemptions that may apply to our business, are potentially significant and may require us to modify our data collection or processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses in an effort to comply. Additionally, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA, recently passed in California. The CPRA significantly amends the CCPA, and imposes additional data protection obligations on covered companies doing business in California, including additional consumer rights processes and opt outs for certain uses of sensitive data. It also creates a new California data protection agency specifically tasked to enforce the law, which would likely result in increased regulatory scrutiny of California businesses in the areas of data protection and security. The substantive requirements for businesses subject to the CPRA will go into effect on January 1, 2023, and become enforceable on July 1, 2023.

Restrictions on the collection, use, sharing or disclosure of personally identifiable information or additional requirements and liability for security and data integrity could require us to modify our solutions and features, possibly in a material manner, could limit our ability to develop new services and features and could subject us to increased compliance obligations and regulatory scrutiny. Non-compliance with data protection and privacy requirements may result in regulatory fines (which for certain breaches of the GDPR are up to the greater of 20 million Euros or 4 % of total global annual turnover), regulatory investigations, reputational damage, orders to cease/ change our processing of our data, enforcement notices, and/ or assessment notices (for a compulsory audit). We may also face civil claims including representative actions and other class action type litigation (where individuals have suffered harm), potentially amounting to significant compensation or damages liabilities, as well as associated costs, diversion of internal resources, and reputational harm.

Our inability to protect our systems and data from continually evolving cybersecurity risks, security breaches or other technological risks could affect our reputation among our merchants and consumers and may expose us to liability.

We are subject to a number of legal requirements, contractual obligations and industry standards regarding security, data protection and privacy and any failure to comply with these requirements, obligations or standards could have an adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition and operating results.

In conducting our business, we process, transmit and store sensitive business information and personally identifiable information about our merchants, consumers, sales and financial institution partners, vendors, and other parties. This information may include account access credentials, credit and debit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, names and addresses and other types of sensitive business or personal information. Some of this information is also processed and stored by our merchants, software and financial institution partners, third-party service providers to whom we outsource certain functions and other agents, which we refer to collectively as our associated third parties. We have certain responsibilities to payment networks and their member financial institutions for any failure, including the failure of our associated third parties, to protect this information.

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In addition, as a provider of security-related solutions to merchants and other business customers, our products and services may themselves be targets of cyber-attacks that attempt to sabotage or otherwise disable them, or the defensive and preventative measures we take ultimately may not be able to effectively detect, prevent, or protect against or otherwise mitigate losses from all cyber-attacks. Despite significant efforts to create security barriers against such threats, it is virtually impossible for us to eliminate these risks entirely. Any such breach could compromise our networks, creating system disruptions or slowdowns and exploiting security vulnerabilities of our products. Additionally, the information stored on our networks could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost, or stolen, which could subject us to liability and cause us financial harm. These breaches, or any perceived breach, may also result in damage to our reputation, negative publicity, loss of key partners, merchants and sales, increased costs to remedy any problem, and costly litigation, and may therefore adversely impact market acceptance of our products and seriously affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We have previously been the target of malicious third-party attempts to identify and exploit system vulnerabilities, and/or penetrate or bypass our security measures, in order to gain unauthorized access to our networks and systems or those of third parties associated with us. If these attempts are successful it could lead to the compromise of sensitive, business, personal or confidential information. While we proactively employ multiple methods at different layers of our systems to defend against intrusion and attack and to protect our data, we cannot be certain that these measures or sufficient to counter all current and emerging technology threats.

Our computer systems and the computer systems of our merchants and software partners have been, and could be in the future, subject to breaches, and our data protection measures may not prevent unauthorized access. While we believe the procedures and processes we have implemented to handle an attack are adequate, the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and are often difficult to detect. In addition, increased remote operations creates an additional risk of attack while decreasing our ability to monitor. Threats to our systems and associated third party systems can originate from human error, fraud or malice on the part of employees or third parties, or simply from accidental technological failure. Computer viruses and other malware can be distributed and could infiltrate our systems or those of associated third parties. In addition, denial of service or other attacks could be launched against us for a variety of purposes, including to interfere with our services or create a diversion for other malicious activities. Our defensive measures may not prevent unplanned downtime, unauthorized access or unauthorized use of sensitive data. While we maintain cyber errors and omissions insurance coverage that covers certain aspects of cyber risks, our insurance coverage may be insufficient to cover all losses. Further, while we select our associated third parties carefully, we do not control their actions. Any problems experienced by these third parties, including those resulting from breakdowns or other disruptions in the services provided by such parties or cyber-attacks and security breaches, could adversely affect our ability to service our merchants or otherwise conduct our business.

We could also be subject to liability for claims relating to misuse of personal information, such as unauthorized marketing purposes and violation of consumer protection or data privacy laws. We cannot provide assurance that the contractual requirements related to security and privacy that we impose on our service providers who have access to merchant and consumer data will be followed or will be adequate to prevent the unauthorized use or disclosure of data. In addition, we have agreed in certain agreements to take certain protective measures to ensure the confidentiality of merchant and consumer data. The costs of systems and procedures associated with such protective measures may increase and could adversely affect our ability to compete effectively. Any failure to adequately enforce or provide these protective measures could result in liability, protracted and costly litigation, governmental and card network intervention and fines and, with respect to misuse of personal information of our merchants and consumers, lost revenue and reputational harm.

Any type of security breach, attack or misuse of data, whether experienced by us or an associated third party, could harm our reputation or deter existing or prospective merchants from using our services, increase our operating expenses in order to contain and remediate the incident, expose us to unbudgeted or uninsured liability, disrupt our operations (including potential service interruptions), divert management focus away from other priorities, increase our risk of regulatory scrutiny, result in the imposition of penalties and fines under state, federal and foreign laws or by payment networks and adversely affect our continued payment network registration and financial institution sponsorship. As set out above, fines under the GDPR, including for inadequate security, can reach €20 million or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual group turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. Further, if we were to be removed from networks’ lists of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, compliant service providers, our existing merchants, sales and financial institution partners or other third parties may cease using or referring our services. Also, prospective merchants, sales partners, financial institution partners or other third parties may choose to terminate their relationship with us, or delay or choose not to consider us for their processing needs, and the payment networks on which we rely could refuse to allow us to continue processing through their networks.

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We may experience failures in our processing systems due to software defects, computer viruses and development delays, which could damage customer relations and expose us to liability.

Our core business depends heavily on the reliability of our processing systems, including the security of the applications and systems we develop and license to our customers, in addition to the security of the processing system of our sponsor bank. Software defects or vulnerabilities, a system outage, or other failures could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations, including by damaging our reputation or exposing us to third-party liability. Payment network rules and certain governmental regulations allow for possible penalties if our products and services do not meet certain operating standards. To successfully operate our business, we must be able to protect our systems from interruption, including from events that may be beyond our control. Events that could cause system interruptions include fire, natural disaster, unauthorized entry, power loss, telecommunications failure, computer viruses, terrorist acts and war. Although we have taken steps to protect against data loss and system failures, we still face the risk that we may lose critical data or experience system failures. To help protect against these events, we perform a portion of disaster recovery operations ourselves, as well as utilize select third parties for certain operations. To the extent we outsource any disaster recovery functions, we are at risk of the merchant’s unresponsiveness or other failures in the event of breakdowns in our systems. In addition, our property and business interruption insurance may not be adequate to compensate us for all losses or failures that may occur.

Our products and services are based on sophisticated software and computing systems that are constantly evolving. We often encounter delays and cost overruns in developing changes implemented to our systems. In addition, the underlying software may contain undetected errors, viruses or defects. Defects in our software products and errors or delays in our processing of electronic transactions could result in additional development costs, diversion of technical and other resources from our other development efforts, loss of credibility with current or potential merchants, harm to our reputation or exposure to liability claims. In addition, we rely on technologies supplied to us by third parties that may also contain undetected errors, viruses or defects that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Although we attempt to limit our potential liability for warranty claims through disclaimers in our software documentation and limitation of liability provisions in our licenses and other agreements with our merchants and software partners, we cannot assure that these measures will be successful in limiting our liability. Additionally, we and our merchants and software partners are subject to payment network rules. If we do not comply with payment network requirements or standards, we may be subject to fines or sanctions, including suspension or termination of our registrations and licenses necessary to conduct business. We have experienced high growth rates in payment transaction volumes over the past years and expect growth to continue for the coming years; however, despite the implementation of architectural changes to safeguard sufficient future processing capacity on our payments platform, in the future the payments platform could potentially reach the limits of the number of transactions it is able to process, resulting in longer processing time or even downtime. Our efforts to safeguard sufficient future processing capacity are time-consuming, involve significant technical risk and may divert our resources from new features and products, and there can be no guarantee that these efforts will succeed. Furthermore, any efforts to further scale the platform or increase its complexity to handle a larger number or more complicated transactions could result in performance issues, including downtime. A failure to adequately scale our payments platform could therefore materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Degradation of the quality of the products and services we offer, including support services, could adversely impact our ability to attract and retain merchants and software partners.

Our merchants and software partners expect a consistent level of quality in the provision of our products and services. The support services we provide are a key element of the value proposition to our merchants and software partners. If the reliability or functionality of our products and services is compromised or the quality of those products or services is otherwise degraded, or if we fail to continue to provide a high level of support, we could lose existing merchants and software partners and find it harder to attract new merchants and software partners. If we are unable to scale our support functions to address the growth of our merchant and partner network, or our employees in alternative work locations are unable to adequately support customers, the quality of our support may decrease, which could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain merchants and software partners.

A significant natural disaster could have a material and adverse effect on our business. Despite any precautions we may take, the occurrence of a natural disaster or other unanticipated problems at our headquarters or data centers could result in lengthy interruptions in access to or functionality of our platform or could result in related liabilities.

Increased customer attrition could cause our financial results to decline.

We experience attrition in customer credit and debit card processing volume resulting from several factors, including business closures, transfers of merchants’ accounts to our competitors, unsuccessful contract renewal negotiations and account closures that we initiate for various reasons, such as heightened credit risks, unacceptable card types or businesses, or contract breaches by customers. In addition, if a software partner switches to another payment processor, terminates our services, internalizes payment processing functions that we perform, merges with or is acquired by one of our competitors, or shuts down or becomes insolvent, we may no longer receive new merchant referrals from the software partner, and we risk losing existing merchants that were originally enrolled by the software partner. We cannot predict the level of attrition in the future and it could increase. Our software partners, most of which are not exclusive, are an important source of new business. Higher than expected attrition could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. If we are unable to renew our customer contracts on favorable terms, or at all, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected.

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Fraud by merchants or others could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We may be liable for certain fraudulent transactions or credits initiated by merchants or others. Examples of merchant fraud include merchants or other parties knowingly using a stolen or counterfeit credit, debit or prepaid card, card number, or other credentials to record a false sales or credit transaction, processing an invalid card or intentionally failing to deliver the merchandise or services sold in an otherwise valid transaction. Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to engage in illegal activities such as counterfeiting and fraud. Failure to effectively manage risk and prevent fraud could increase our chargeback liability or cause us to incur other liabilities. It is possible that incidents of fraud could increase in the future. Increases in chargebacks or other liabilities could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our ability to recruit, retain and develop qualified personnel is critical to our success and growth.

All of our businesses function at the intersection of rapidly changing technological, social, economic and regulatory environments that require a wide range of expertise and intellectual capital. For us to successfully compete and grow, we must recruit, retain and develop personnel who can provide the necessary expertise across a broad spectrum of intellectual capital needs. In addition, we must develop, maintain and, as necessary, implement appropriate succession plans to assure we have the necessary human resources capable of maintaining continuity in our business. For instance, we are highly dependent on the expertise of our Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jared Isaacman. The market for qualified personnel is competitive and we may not succeed in recruiting additional personnel or may fail to effectively replace current personnel who depart with qualified or effective successors. In addition, from time to time, there may be changes in our management team that may be disruptive to our business. If our management team, including any new hires that we make, fails to work together effectively and to execute our plans and strategies on a timely basis, our business could be harmed. Our effort to retain and develop personnel may also result in significant additional expenses, which could adversely affect our profitability. We cannot assure that key personnel, including our executive officers, will continue to be employed or that we will be able to attract and retain qualified personnel in the future. Failure to recruit, retain or develop qualified personnel could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We incur chargeback liability when our merchants refuse to or cannot reimburse chargebacks resolved in favor of their customers. Any increase in chargebacks not paid by our merchants may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

In the event a dispute between a cardholder and a merchant is not resolved in favor of the merchant, the transaction is normally charged back to the merchant and the purchase price is credited or otherwise refunded to the cardholder. If we are unable to collect such amounts from the merchant’s account or reserve account, if applicable, or if the merchant refuses or is unable, due to closure, bankruptcy or other reasons, to reimburse us for a chargeback, we are responsible for the amount of the refund paid to the cardholder. The risk of chargebacks is typically greater with those merchants that promise future delivery of goods and services rather than delivering goods or rendering services at the time of payment (for example in the hospitality and auto rental industries, both of which we support), as well as “card not present” transactions in which consumers do not physically present cards to merchants in connection with the purchase of goods and services, such as ecommerce, telephonic and mobile transactions. We may experience significant losses from chargebacks in the future. Any increase in chargebacks not paid by our merchants could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We have policies and procedures to monitor and manage merchant-related credit risks and often mitigate such risks by requiring collateral, such as cash reserves, and monitoring transaction activity. Notwithstanding our policies and procedures for managing credit risk, it is possible that a default on such obligations by one or more of our merchants could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We expend significant resources pursuing sales opportunities, and if we fail to close sales after expending significant time and resources to do so, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

The initial installation and set-up of many of our services often involve significant resource commitments by our merchants, particularly those with larger operational scale. Potential merchants generally commit significant resources to an evaluation of available services and may require us to expend substantial time, effort and money educating them as to the value of our services. We incur substantial costs in order to obtain each new customer. We may expend significant funds and management resources during a sales cycle and ultimately fail to close the sale. Our sales cycle may be extended due to our merchants’ budgetary constraints or for other reasons. If we are unsuccessful in closing sales after expending significant funds and management resources or we experience delays or experience greater than anticipated costs, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

There may be a decline in the use of cards as a payment mechanism for consumers or adverse developments with respect to the card industry in general.

If consumers do not continue to use credit or debit cards as a payment mechanism for their transactions, if there continues to be a reduction in “card present” transactions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if there is a change in the mix of payments between cash, credit cards and debit cards and other emerging means of payment, our business could be adversely affected. Consumer credit risk may make it more difficult or expensive for consumers to gain access to credit facilities such as credit cards. Regulatory changes may result in financial institutions seeking to charge their customers additional fees for use of credit or debit cards. Such fees may result in decreased use of credit or debit cards by cardholders. In order to consistently increase and maintain our profitability, consumers and businesses must continue to use electronic payment methods that we process, including credit and debit cards. If consumers and businesses do not continue to use credit, debit or prepaid cards as a payment mechanism for their transactions or if there is a change in the mix of payments between cash, alternative currencies and technologies, credit,

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debit and prepaid cards, or the corresponding methodologies used for each, which is adverse to us, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Increases in card network fees and other changes to fee arrangements may result in the loss of merchants or a reduction in our earnings.

From time to time, card networks, including Visa and Mastercard, increase the fees that they charge processors. We could attempt to pass these increases along to our merchants, but this strategy might result in the loss of merchants to our competitors who do not pass along the increases. If competitive practices prevent us from passing along the higher fees to our merchants in the future, we may have to absorb all or a portion of such increases, which may increase our operating costs and reduce our earnings. In addition, regulators are subjecting interchange and other fees to increased scrutiny, and new regulations could require greater pricing transparency of the breakdown in fees or fee limitations, which could lead to increased price-based competition, lower margins and higher rates of merchant attrition and affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

In addition, in certain of our markets, card issuers pay merchant acquirers such as us fees based on debit card usage in an effort to encourage debit card use. If these card issuers discontinue this practice, our revenue and margins in these jurisdictions could be adversely affected.

If we fail to comply with the applicable requirements of payment networks, they could seek to fine us, suspend us or terminate our registrations. If our merchants or sales partners incur fines or penalties that we cannot collect from them, we may have to bear the cost of such fines or penalties.

In order to provide our transaction processing services, several of our subsidiaries are registered with Visa and Mastercard and other payment networks as members or as service providers for members. Visa, Mastercard, and other payment networks, set the rules and standards with which we must comply. The termination of our member registration or our status as a certified service provider, or any changes in network rules or standards, including interpretation and implementation of the rules or standards, that increase the cost of doing business or limit our ability to provide transaction processing services to or through our merchants or partners, could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

As such, we and our merchants are subject to payment network rules that could subject us or our merchants to a variety of fines or penalties that may be levied by such networks for certain acts or omissions by us or our merchants. The rules of card networks are set by their boards, which may be influenced by card issuers, and some of those issuers are our competitors with respect to these processing services. Many banks directly or indirectly sell processing services to merchants in direct competition with us. These banks could attempt, by virtue of their influence on the networks, to alter the networks’ rules or policies to the detriment of non-members including certain of our businesses. The termination of our registrations or our status as a service provider or a merchant processor, or any changes in network rules or standards, including interpretation and implementation of the rules or standards, that increase the cost of doing business or limit our ability to provide transaction processing services to our merchants, could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. If a merchant fails to comply with the applicable requirements of card networks, it could be subject to a variety of fines or penalties that may be levied by card networks. If we cannot collect the amounts from the applicable merchant, we may have to bear the cost of the fines or penalties, resulting in lower earnings for us. The termination of our registration, or any changes in card network rules that would impair our registration, could require us to stop providing payment processing services relating to the affected card network, which would adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.

Many of our key components are procured from a single or limited number of suppliers. Thus, we are at risk of shortage, price increases, tariffs, changes, delay, or discontinuation of key components, which could disrupt and materially and adversely affect our business.

Many of the key components used to manufacture our products, such as our POS systems, come from limited or single sources of supply. In addition, in some cases, we rely only on one manufacturer to fabricate, test, and assemble our products. In general, our contract manufacturers fabricate or procure components on our behalf, subject to certain approved procedures or supplier lists, and we do not have firm commitments from all of these manufacturers to provide all components, or to provide them in quantities and on timelines that we may require.

Due to our reliance on the components and products produced by suppliers such as these, we are subject to the risk of shortages and long lead times in the supply of certain components or products. We are still in the process of identifying alternative manufacturers for the assembly of our products and for many of the single-sourced components used in our products. In the case of off-the-shelf components, we are subject to the risk that our suppliers may discontinue or modify them, or that the components may cease to be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. We have in the past experienced, and may in the future experience, component shortages or delays or other problems in product assembly, and the availability of these components or products may be difficult to predict. For example, our manufacturers may experience temporary or permanent disruptions in their manufacturing operations due to equipment breakdowns, labor strikes or shortages, natural disasters, component or material shortages, cost increases, acquisitions, insolvency, changes in legal or regulatory requirements, or other similar problems.

Additionally, various sources of supply-chain risk, including strikes or shutdowns at delivery ports or loss of or damage to our products while they are in transit or storage, intellectual property theft, losses due to tampering, issues with quality or sourcing control, failure by our suppliers to comply with applicable laws and regulation, potential tariffs or other trade restrictions, or other similar problems could limit or delay the supply of our products or harm our reputation. In the event of a shortage or supply interruption from suppliers of these components, we may not be able to develop alternate sources quickly, cost-effectively, or at all. Any interruption or delay in manufacturing or component supply, any increases in component costs, or the inability to obtain these parts or components from alternate sources at acceptable prices and within a reasonable

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amount of time, would harm our ability to provide our products to sellers on a timely basis. This could harm our relationships with our sellers, prevent us from acquiring new sellers, and materially and adversely affect our business.

Cost savings initiatives may not produce the savings expected and may negatively impact our other initiatives and efforts to grow our business.

We are consistently exploring measures aimed at improving our profitability and maintaining flexibility in our capital resources, including the introduction of cost savings initiatives. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we furloughed approximately 25% of our employees, accelerated expense reduction plans related to previous acquisitions, limited discretionary spending, re-prioritized our capital projects, instituted a company-wide hiring freeze and reduced salaries for management. As of September 30, 2020, substantially all of furloughed employees were reinstated (with additional hiring in certain areas to accommodate new merchant onboarding), the hiring freeze was lifted and management salary reductions were partially reinstated. We expect to continue to take measures to improve our profitability and cash flows from operating activities. However, there can be no assurance that the cost control measures will be successful. In addition, these and any future spending reductions, if any, may negatively impact our other initiatives or our efforts to grow our business, which may negatively impact our future results of operations and increase the burden on existing management, systems, and resources.

Our operating results and operating metrics are subject to seasonality and volatility, which could result in fluctuations in our quarterly revenues and operating results or in perceptions of our business prospects.

We have experienced in the past, and expect to continue to experience, seasonal fluctuations in our revenue, which can vary by region. For instance, our revenue has historically been strongest in our second and third quarters and weakest in our first quarter. Some variability results from seasonal retail events and the number of business days in a month or quarter. We also experience volatility in certain other metrics, such as number of transactions processed and payment processing volumes. Volatility in our key operating metrics or their rates of growth could result in fluctuations in financial condition or results of operations and may lead to adverse inferences about our prospects, which could result in declines in our stock price.

Financial risks

Our balance sheet includes significant amounts of goodwill and intangible assets. The impairment of a significant portion of these assets would negatively affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

As a result of our prior acquisitions, a significant portion of our total assets consists of intangible assets (including goodwill). Goodwill and intangible assets, net of amortization, together accounted for approximately 37% and 80% of the total assets on our balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. To the extent we engage in additional acquisitions we may recognize additional intangible assets and goodwill. We evaluate goodwill for impairment annually at October 1 and whenever events or circumstances make it more likely than not that impairment may have occurred. Under current accounting rules, any determination that impairment has occurred would require us to record an impairment charge, which would adversely affect our earnings. An impairment of a significant portion of goodwill or intangible assets could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry, expose us to interest rate risk to the extent of our variable rate debt and prevent us from meeting our debt obligations.

We have substantial indebtedness. As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $1,140.0 million of total debt outstanding, including $450.0 million of 4.625% Senior Notes due 2026, or the 2026 Notes, and $690.0 million of 0.00% convertible senior notes due 2025, or the 2025 Notes. Our substantial indebtedness could have adverse consequences, including:

 

 

increasing our vulnerability to adverse economic, industry or competitive developments;

 

requiring a substantial portion of cash flow from operations to be dedicated to the payments on our indebtedness, reducing our ability to use cash flow to fund our operations, capital expenditures and future business opportunities;

 

making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness, including restrictive covenants and borrowing conditions, which could result in an event of default under the agreements governing such indebtedness;

 

restricting us from making strategic acquisitions or causing us to make nonstrategic divestitures;

 

making it more difficult for us to obtain network sponsorship and clearing services from financial institutions or to obtain or retain other business with financial institutions;

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limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, product development, debt service requirements, acquisitions, and general corporate or other purposes; and

 

limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business or market conditions and placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors who are less highly leveraged and who, therefore, may be able to take advantage of opportunities that our leverage prevents us from exploiting.

Successful execution of our business strategy is dependent in part upon our ability to manage our capital structure to reduce interest expense and enhance free cash flow generation. The First Lien Term Loan Facility was fully repaid in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the Second Lien Term Loan Facility and the Revolving Credit Facility were fully repaid in the second quarter of 2020. The Revolving Credit Facility had remaining capacity of $89.5 million as of December 31, 2020, net of a $0.5 million letter of credit. We may not be able to refinance our 2025 Notes, 2026 Notes or our other existing indebtedness at or prior to their maturity at attractive rates of interest because of our high levels of debt, debt incurrence restrictions under our debt agreements or because of adverse conditions in credit markets generally.

Our $1,140.0 million of debt outstanding at December 31, 2020 is at a fixed rate of interest and is not subject to an interest rate hedge. Developments in our business and operations could lead to a ratings downgrade for us or our subsidiaries. Any such fluctuation in the financial and credit markets, or in the rating of us or our subsidiaries, may impact our ability to access debt markets in the future or increase our cost of current or future debt, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Restrictions imposed by our Credit Facilities and our other outstanding indebtedness may materially limit our ability to operate our business and finance our future operations or capital needs.

The terms of the Indenture governing our 2026 Notes and the agreement governing our Revolving Credit Facility restrict Shift4 Payments, LLC, Shift4 Payments Finance Sub, Inc. and their restricted subsidiaries, which currently includes all of our domestic subsidiaries, from engaging in specified types of transactions. These covenants restrict their ability, and that of their restricted subsidiaries, to, among other things:

 

 

incur additional debt and provide additional guarantees;

 

create liens;

 

engage in mergers or consolidations;

 

make investments, loans and advances;

 

pay dividends and make other restricted payments, including certain investments;

 

create or permit certain liens;

 

make certain asset sales;

 

use the proceeds from the sales of assets and subsidiary stock;

 

create or permit restrictions on the ability of the restricted subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other inter-company distributions to Shift4 Payments, LLC;

 

engage in certain transactions with affiliates;

 

designate subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries;

 

enter into sale and leaseback transactions; and

 

consolidate, merge or transfer substantially all assets.

 

However, while the Indenture governing the 2026 Notes and the agreement governing our Revolving Credit Facility will place limitations on our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends or make other distributions, repurchase or redeem capital stock, and make loans and investments, these limitations are subject to significant qualifications and exceptions. The aggregate amount of payments made in compliance with these limitations could be substantial.

A breach of the covenants or restrictions under the Indenture could result in an event of default under the 2026 Notes. Such a default may allow the holders to accelerate the debt and may result in the acceleration of any other future debt to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies. In the event our noteholders accelerate the repayment of our borrowings, we and our subsidiaries may not have sufficient assets to repay that indebtedness. As a result of these restrictions, we may be:

 

limited in how we conduct our business;

 

 

unable to raise additional debt or equity financing to operate during general economic or business downturns; or

 

unable to compete effectively or to take advantage of new business opportunities.

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These restrictions may affect our ability to grow in accordance with our strategy. In addition, our financial results, our level of indebtedness and our credit ratings could adversely affect the availability and terms of our financing.

In addition, a payment default, including an acceleration following an event of default, under the Indenture, could trigger an event of default under another future debt instrument, which could result in the principal of and the accrued and unpaid interest on such debt becoming due and payable.

The terms of any future indebtedness we may incur could include more restrictive covenants. We cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain compliance with these covenants in the future and, if we fail to do so, that we will be able to obtain waivers from the lenders and/or amend the covenants.

Accelerated funding programs increase our working capital requirements and expose us to incremental credit risk, and if we are unable to access or raise sufficient liquidity to address these funding programs we may be exposed to additional competitive risk.

In response to demand from our merchants and competitive offerings, we offer certain of our merchants various accelerated funding programs, which are designed to enable qualified participating merchants to receive their deposits from credit card transactions in an expedited manner. These programs increase our working capital requirements and expose us to incremental credit risk related to our merchants, which could constrain our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations and adversely affect our growth, financial condition and results of operations. Our inability to access or raise sufficient liquidity to address our needs in connection with the anticipated expansion of such advance funding programs could put us at a competitive disadvantage by restricting our ability to offer programs to all of our merchants similar to those made available by various of our competitors.

Our results of operations may be adversely affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

Revenue and profit generated by our non-U.S. operations will increase or decrease compared to prior periods as a result of changes in foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, we may become subject to exchange control regulations that restrict or prohibit the conversion of our other revenue currencies into U.S. dollars. Any of these factors could decrease the value of revenues and earnings we derive from our non-U.S. operations and adversely affect our business.

While we currently have limited diversification in foreign currency, we may seek to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates through the use of hedging arrangements. To the extent that we hedge our foreign currency exchange rate exposure, we forgo the benefits we would otherwise experience if foreign currency exchange rates changed in our favor. No strategy can completely insulate us from risks associated with such fluctuations and our currency exchange rate risk management activities could expose us to substantial losses if such rates move materially differently from our expectations.

New or revised tax regulations or their interpretations, or becoming subject to additional foreign or U.S. federal, state or local taxes that cannot be passed through to our merchants or partners, could reduce our net income.

We are subject to tax laws in each jurisdiction where we do business. Changes in tax laws or their interpretations could decrease the amount of revenues we receive, the value of any tax loss carry-forwards and tax credits recorded on our balance sheet and the amount of our cash flow, and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Additionally, companies in the electronic payments industry, including us, may become subject to incremental taxation in various tax jurisdictions. Taxing jurisdictions have not yet adopted uniform positions on this topic. If we are required to pay additional taxes and are unable to pass the tax expense through to our merchants, our costs would increase and our net income would be reduced.

If we cannot pass along increases in interchange and other fees from payment networks to our merchants, our operating margins would be reduced.

We pay interchange, assessment, transaction and other fees set by the payment networks to such networks and, in some cases, to the card issuing financial institutions for each transaction we process. From time to time, the payment networks increase the interchange fees and other fees that they charge payment processors and the financial institution sponsors. At their sole discretion, our financial institution sponsors have the right to pass any increases in interchange and other fees on to us and they have consistently done so in the past. We are generally permitted under the contracts into which we enter, and in the past we have been able to, pass these fee increases along to our merchants through corresponding increases in our processing fees. However, if we are unable to pass through these and other fees in the future, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The conditional conversion feature of the 2025 Notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

In the event the conditional conversion feature of the 2025 Notes is triggered, noteholders will be entitled to convert their 2025 Notes at any time during specified periods at their option. If one or more holders elect to convert their 2025 Notes, all conversions of the 2025 Notes will be settled in cash up to at least the principal amount being converted, which could adversely affect our liquidity.  

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The accounting method for the 2025 Notes could adversely affect our reported financial condition and results.

 

The accounting method for reflecting the 2025 Notes on our balance sheet, accruing amortized interest expense for the 2025 Notes and reflecting the underlying shares of our Class A common stock in our reported diluted earnings per share may adversely affect our reported earnings and financial condition.

 

Under applicable accounting principles, the 2025 Notes are separated to recognize a liability component and an equity component. The initial  carrying amount of the 2025 Notes is equal to the fair value of a similar debt instrument that does not have a conversion feature, valued using our cost of capital for straight, non-convertible debt. The difference between the net proceeds from this offering and the initial carrying amount of the liability is classified in equity and results in a debt discount for accounting purposes, which is amortized through interest expense over the expected life of the 2025 Notes. As a result of this amortization, the interest expense that we expect to recognize for the 2025 Notes for accounting purposes will be greater than the cash interest payments, if any, we will pay on the 2025 Notes, which will result in lower reported income or higher reported loss. The lower reported income or higher reported loss resulting from this accounting treatment could depress the trading price of our Class A common stock and the 2025 Notes. However, in August 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board published an Accounting Standards Update, which we refer to as ASU 2020-06, eliminating the separate accounting for the debt and equity components as described above. ASU 2020-06 will be effective for SEC-reporting entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, including interim periods within those fiscal years. However, early adoption is permitted in certain circumstances for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, including interim periods within those fiscal years. After adoption on January 1, 2021, we expect the elimination of the separate accounting described above to reduce the interest expense that we expect to recognize for the 2025 Notes for accounting purposes.

In addition, we were eligible to use the treasury stock method to reflect the shares of our Class A common stock underlying the 2025 Notes in our diluted earnings per share. Under this method, if the conversion value of the 2025 Notes exceeds their principal amount for a reporting period, then we will calculate our diluted earnings per share assuming that the principal amount of the 2025 Notes is settled in cash, and the excess conversion value is settled through issuing shares of our Class A common stock. However, if reflecting the 2025 Notes in diluted earnings per share in this manner is anti-dilutive, as was the case for the year ended December 31, 2020, or if the conversion value of the 2025 Notes does not exceed their principal amount for a reporting period, then the shares underlying the 2025 Notes will not be reflected in our diluted earnings per share. ASU 2020-06 amends these accounting standards, effective as of the dates referred to above, to eliminate the treasury stock method for convertible instruments and instead requires application of the “if-converted” method. Under that method, diluted earnings per share would generally be calculated assuming that all the 2025 Notes were settled at the beginning of the reporting period, unless the result would be anti-dilutive. Because we are required, upon conversion of any 2025 Notes, to settle the conversion value in cash up to at least the principal amount being converted, we currently expect that the application of the “if-converted” method to the notes under ASU 2020-06 will be substantially similar to the treasury stock method described above. We adopted ASU 2020-06 on January 1, 2021 using the modified retrospective transition method. Adoption of ASU 2020-06 is expected to result in a decrease to additional paid-in capital of approximately $111.5 million, an increase to retained earnings of approximately $1.6 million, and a net increase to long-term debt of approximately $109.9 million. Interest expense recognized in future periods will be reduced as a result of accounting for the convertible debt instrument as a single liability measured at its amortized cost. The impact on net loss per share and the Company’s debt covenants is not expected to be material. In addition, further amendments to these accounting standards may require us to reflect the 2025 Notes in a manner that adversely affects our reported diluted loss per share.

Furthermore, if any of the conditions to the convertibility of the 2025 Notes is satisfied, then we may be required under applicable accounting standards to reclassify the liability carrying value of the 2025 Notes as a current, rather than a long-term, liability. This reclassification could be required even if no noteholders convert their 2025 Notes and could materially reduce our reported working capital.

Legal and regulatory risks

Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, anti-money laundering, economic and trade sanctions regulations, and similar laws could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences.

We may operate our business in foreign countries where companies often engage in business practices that are prohibited by U.S. and other regulations applicable to us. We are subject to anti-corruption laws and regulations, including the FCPA and other laws that prohibit the making or offering of improper payments to foreign government officials and political figures, including anti-bribery provisions enforced by the Department of Justice and accounting provisions enforced by the SEC. These laws prohibit improper payments or offers of payments to foreign governments and their officials and political parties by the United States and other business entities for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. We have implemented policies, procedures, systems, and controls designed to identify and address potentially impermissible transactions under such laws and regulations; however, there can be no assurance that all of our employees, consultants and agents, including those that may be based in or from countries where practices that violate U.S. or other laws may be customary, will not take actions in violation of our policies, for which we may be ultimately responsible.

In addition, we are contractually required to comply with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, including the Bank Secrecy Act, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, or the BSA. Among other things, the BSA requires subject entities to develop and implement risk-based anti-money laundering programs, report large cash transactions and suspicious activity, and maintain transaction records.

We are also subject to certain economic and trade sanctions programs that are administered by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, which prohibit or restrict transactions to or from or dealings with specified countries, their governments, and in certain circumstances, their nationals, and with individuals and entities that are specially-designated nationals of those countries, narcotics traffickers,

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and terrorists or terrorist organizations. Other entities may be subject to additional foreign or local sanctions requirements in other relevant jurisdictions.

Similar anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing and proceeds of crime laws apply to movements of currency and payments through electronic transactions and to dealings with persons specified in lists maintained by the country equivalents to OFAC lists in several other countries and require specific data retention obligations to be observed by intermediaries in the payment process. Our businesses in those jurisdictions are subject to those data retention obligations.

Failure to comply with any of these laws and regulations or changes in this regulatory environment, including changing interpretations and the implementation of new or varying regulatory requirements by the government, may result in significant financial penalties, reputational harm or change the manner in which we currently conduct some aspects of our business, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Failure to protect, enforce and defend our intellectual property rights may diminish our competitive advantages or interfere with our ability to market and promote our products and services.

Our trademarks, trade names, trade secrets, patents, know-how, proprietary technology and other intellectual property are important to our future success. We believe our trademarks and trade names are widely recognized and associated with quality and reliable service. While it is our policy to protect and defend our intellectual property rights vigorously, we cannot predict whether the steps we take to protect our intellectual property will be adequate to prevent infringement, misappropriation, dilution or other potential violations of our intellectual property rights. We also cannot guarantee that others will not independently develop technology with the same or similar functions to any proprietary technology we rely on to conduct our business and differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to copy or obtain and use our technology to develop applications with the same functionality as our solutions, and policing unauthorized use of our technology and intellectual property rights is difficult and may not be effective. Furthermore, we may face claims of infringement of third-party intellectual property rights that could interfere with our ability to market and promote our brands, products and services. Any litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights or defend ourselves against claims of infringement of third-party intellectual property rights could be costly, divert attention of management and may not ultimately be resolved in our favor. Moreover, if we are unable to successfully defend against claims that we have infringed the intellectual property rights of others, we may be prevented from using certain intellectual property or may be liable for damages, which in turn could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

While software and other of our proprietary works may be protected under copyright law, we have chosen not to register any copyrights in these works, and instead, primarily rely on protecting our software as a trade secret. In order to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United States, the copyright must be registered with the United States Copyright Office. Accordingly, the remedies and damages available to us for unauthorized use of our software may be limited.

We attempt to protect our intellectual property and proprietary information by requiring all of our employees, consultants and certain of our contractors to execute confidentiality and invention assignment agreements. However, we may not obtain these agreements in all circumstances, and individuals with whom we have these agreements may not comply with their terms. The assignment of intellectual property rights under these agreements may not be self-executing or the assignment agreements may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims that they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. In addition, we may not be able to prevent the unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical know-how or other trade secrets by the parties to these agreements despite the existence generally of confidentiality agreements and other contractual restrictions. Monitoring unauthorized uses and disclosures is difficult and we do not know whether the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary technologies will be effective.

In addition, we use open-source software in connection with our proprietary software and expect to continue to use open-source software in the future. Some open-source licenses require licensors to provide source code to licensees upon request, or prohibit licensors from charging a fee to licensees. While we try to insulate our proprietary code from the effects of such open-source license provisions, we cannot guarantee we will be successful. Accordingly, we may face claims from others claiming ownership of, or seeking to enforce the license terms applicable to such open-source software, including by demanding release of the open-source software, derivative works or our proprietary source code that was developed or distributed with such software. These claims could also result in litigation, require us to purchase a costly license or require us to devote additional research and development resources to change our software, any of which would have a negative effect on our business and results of operations. In addition, if the license terms for the open-source code change, we may be forced to re-engineer our software or incur additional costs.

Our existing patents may not be valid, and we may not be able to obtain and enforce additional patents to protect our proprietary rights from use by potential competitors. Companies with other patents could require us to stop using or pay to use required technology.

We have applied for, and intend to continue to apply for, patents relating to our proprietary software and technology. Such applications may not result in the issuance of any patents, and any patents now held or that may be issued may not provide adequate protection from competition. Furthermore, because the issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its inventorship, scope, validity or enforceability, it is possible that patents issued or licensed to us may be challenged successfully and found to be invalid or unenforceable. In that event, any competitive advantage that such patents might provide would be lost. If we are unable to secure or to continue to maintain patent coverage, our technology could become subject to competition from the sale of similar competing products.

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Competitors may also be able to design around our patents. Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our patents or narrow the scope of our patent protection. If these developments were to occur, we could face increased competition. In addition, filing, prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing patents on our software and technology in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States.

Failure to comply with, or changes in, laws, regulations and enforcement activities may adversely affect the products, services and markets in which we operate.

We, our merchants and certain third party partners are subject to laws, regulations and industry standards that affect the electronic payments industry in the many countries in which our services are used. In particular, certain merchants and software partners and our sponsor bank are subject to numerous laws and regulations applicable to banks, financial institutions, and card issuers in the United States and abroad, and, consequently, we are at times affected by these foreign, federal, state, and local laws and regulations. There may be changes to the laws, regulation and standards that affect our operations in substantial and unpredictable ways at the federal and state level in the United States and in other countries in which our services are used. Changes to laws, regulations and standards, including interpretation and enforcement of such laws, regulations and standards could increase the cost of doing business or otherwise change how or where we want to do business. In addition, changes to laws, regulations and standards could affect our merchants and software partners and could result in material effects on the way we operate or the cost to operate our business.

In addition, the U.S. government has increased its scrutiny of a number of credit card practices, from which some of our merchants derive significant revenue. Regulation of the payments industry, including regulations applicable to us, our merchants and software partners, has increased significantly in recent years. Failure to comply with laws and regulations applicable to our business may result in the suspension or revocation of licenses or registrations, the limitation, suspension or termination of services or the imposition of consent orders or civil and criminal penalties, including fines which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We are also subject to U.S. financial services regulations, a myriad of consumer protection laws, including economic sanctions, laws and regulations, anticorruption laws, escheat regulations and privacy and information security regulations. Changes to legal rules and regulations, or interpretation or enforcement of them, could have a negative financial effect on us. Any lack of legal certainty exposes our operations to increased risks, including increased difficulty in enforcing our agreements in those jurisdictions and increased risks of adverse actions by local government authorities, such as expropriations. In addition, certain of our alliance partners are subject to regulation by federal and state authorities and, as a result, could pass through some of those compliance obligations to us, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, or the Dodd-Frank Act, significantly changed the U.S. financial regulatory system. Among other things, Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, which regulates consumer financial products and services, including some offered by certain of our merchants. Regulation, examination and enforcement actions from the CFPB may require us to adjust our activities and may increase our compliance costs.

Separately, under the Dodd-Frank Act, debit interchange fees that a card issuer receives and which are established by a payment network for an electronic debit transaction are regulated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or the Federal Reserve, and must be “reasonable and proportional” to the cost incurred by the card issuer in authorizing, clearing, and settling the transaction. The Federal Reserve has capped debit interchange rates for card issuers operating in the United States with assets of $10 billion or more at the sum of $0.21 per transaction and an ad valorem component of 5 basis points to reflect a portion of the card issuer’s fraud losses plus, for qualifying card issuers, an additional $0.01 per transaction in debit interchange for fraud prevention costs. Regulations such as these could result in the need for us to make capital investments to modify our services to facilitate our existing merchants’ and potential merchants’ compliance and reduce the fees we are able to charge our merchants. These regulations also could result in greater pricing transparency and increased price-based competition leading to lower margins and higher rates of merchant attrition. Furthermore, the requirements of the regulations could result in changes in our merchants’ business practices, which could change the demand for our services and alter the type or volume of transactions that we process on behalf of our merchants.

Risks related to our organizational structure

Our principal asset is our interest in Shift4 Payments, LLC, and, as a result, we depend on distributions from Shift4 Payments, LLC to pay our taxes and expenses, including payments under the TRA. Shift4 Payments, LLC’s ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions.

We are a holding company and at December 31, 2020, have no material assets other than our ownership of LLC Interests, cash of $684.5 million and the aggregate principal amount of $690.0 million of 2025 Notes that are held by Shift4 Payments, Inc. directly. As of December 31, 2020, we owned 62.0% of the economic interest in Shift4 Payments, LLC. As such, we have no independent means of generating revenue or cash flow, and our ability to pay our taxes and operating expenses or declare and pay dividends in the future, if any, are dependent upon the financial results and cash flows of Shift4 Payments, LLC and distributions we receive from Shift4 Payments, LLC. There can be no assurance that our subsidiaries will generate sufficient cash flow to distribute funds to us or that applicable state law and contractual restrictions, including negative covenants in our debt instruments, will permit such distributions. Although Shift4 Payments, LLC is not currently subject to any debt instruments or other

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agreements that would restrict its ability to make distributions to Shift4 Payments, Inc., the terms of our Credit Facilities and other outstanding indebtedness restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends to Shift4 Payments, LLC.

Shift4 Payments, LLC reports as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, generally is not subject to any entity-level U.S. federal income tax. Instead, any taxable income of Shift4 Payments, LLC is allocated to holders of LLC Interests, including us. Accordingly, we incur income taxes on our allocable share of any net taxable income of Shift4 Payments, LLC. Under the terms of the Shift4 Payments, LLC Agreement, Shift4 Payments, LLC is obligated to make tax distributions to holders of LLC Interests, including us. In addition to tax expenses, we also incur expenses related to our operations, including payments under the TRA, which we expect could be significant. We intend, as its managing member, to cause Shift4 Payments, LLC to make cash distributions to the owners of LLC Interests in an amount sufficient to (1) fund all or part of their tax obligations in respect of taxable income allocated to them and (2) cover our operating expenses, including payments under the TRA. However, Shift4 Payments, LLC’s ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions, such as restrictions on distributions that would either violate any contract or agreement to which Shift4 Payments, LLC is then a party, including debt agreements, or any applicable law, or that would have the effect of rendering Shift4 Payments, LLC insolvent. If we do not have sufficient funds to pay tax or other liabilities or to fund our operations (including as a result of an acceleration of our obligations under the TRA), we may have to borrow funds, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition and subject us to various restrictions imposed by any such lenders. To the extent that we are unable to make timely payments under the TRA for any reason, such payments generally will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid; provided, however, that nonpayment for a specified period may constitute a material breach of a material obligation under the TRA and therefore accelerate payments due under the TRA. In addition, if Shift4 Payments, LLC does not have sufficient funds to make distributions, our ability to declare and pay cash dividends will also be restricted or impaired. See “—Risks related to the ownership of our Class A common stock.”

Under the Shift4 Payments, LLC Agreement, we expect Shift4 Payments, LLC, from time to time, to make distributions in cash to its equityholders, in amounts sufficient to cover the taxes on their allocable share of taxable income of Shift4 Payments, LLC. As a result of (i) potential differences in the amount of net taxable income indirectly allocable to us and to Shift4 Payments, LLC’s other equityholders, (ii) the lower tax rate applicable to corporations as opposed to individuals and (iii) the favorable tax benefits that we anticipate from (a) future purchases or redemptions of LLC Interests from the Continuing Equity Owners, (b) payments under the TRA and (c) the acquisition of interests in Shift4 Payments, LLC from its equityholders, we expect that these tax distributions may be in amounts that exceed our tax liabilities. Our board of directors will determine the appropriate uses for any excess cash so accumulated, which may include, among other uses, the payment of obligations under the TRA and the payment of other expenses. We have no obligation to distribute such cash (or other available cash) to our stockholders. No adjustments to the exchange ratio for LLC Interests and corresponding shares of Class A common stock will be made as a result of any cash distribution by us or any retention of cash by us. To the extent we do not distribute such excess cash as dividends on our Class A common stock or otherwise take ameliorative actions between LLC Interests and shares of Class A common stock and instead, for example, hold such cash balances, or lend them to Shift4 Payments, LLC, this may result in shares of our Class A common stock increasing in value relative to the value of LLC Interests. The holders of LLC Interests may benefit from any value attributable to such cash balances if they acquire shares of Class A common stock in exchange for their LLC Interests, notwithstanding that such holders may previously have participated as holders of LLC Interests in distributions that resulted in such excess cash balances.

The TRA with the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders requires us to make cash payments to them in respect of certain tax benefits to which we may become entitled, and we expect that the payments we are required to make will be substantial.

Under the TRA, we are required to make cash payments to the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders equal to 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in certain circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (1) the increases in our share of the tax basis of assets of Shift4 Payments, LLC resulting from any redemptions of LLC Interests from the Continuing Equity Owners, (2) our utilization of certain tax attributes of the Blocker Companies and (3) certain other tax benefits related to our making payments under the TRA. The payment obligations under the TRA are obligations of Shift4 Payments, Inc. and we expect that the amount of the cash payments that we are required to make under the TRA will be significant. Any payments made by us to the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders under the TRA will not be available for reinvestment in our business and will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us. The payments under the TRA are not conditioned upon continued ownership of us by the exchanging Continuing Equity Owners. Furthermore, our future obligation to make payments under the TRA could make us a less attractive target for an acquisition, particularly in the case of an acquirer that cannot use some or all of the tax benefits that are the subject of the TRA. The actual increase in tax basis, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under the TRA, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of redemptions by the Continuing Equity Owners, the price of shares of our Class A common stock at the time of the exchange, the extent to which such exchanges are taxable, the amount of gain recognized by such holders of LLC Interests, the amount and timing of the taxable income allocated to us or otherwise generated by us in the future, the portion of our payments under the TRA constituting imputed interest and the federal and state tax rates then applicable.

Our organizational structure, including the TRA, confers certain benefits upon the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders that will not benefit holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent that it will benefit the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders.

Our organizational structure, including the TRA, confers certain benefits upon the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders that will not benefit the holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent that it will benefit the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker

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Shareholders. We entered into the TRA with Shift4 Payments, LLC, the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders in connection with the completion of the IPO, which provides for the payment by Shift4 Payments, Inc. to the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders of 85% of the amount of tax benefits, if any, that Shift4 Payments, Inc. actually realizes, or in some circumstances is deemed to realize, as a result of (1) the increases in the tax basis of assets of Shift4 Payments, LLC resulting from any redemptions of LLC Interests from the Continuing Equity Owners, (2) our utilization of certain tax attributes of the Blocker Companies and (3) certain other tax benefits related to our making payments under the TRA. Although Shift4 Payments, Inc. retains 15% of the amount of such tax benefits, this and other aspects of our organizational structure may adversely impact the future trading market for the Class A common stock.

In certain cases, payments under the TRA to the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders may be accelerated or significantly exceed any actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the TRA.

The TRA provides that upon certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control or if, at any time, we elect an early termination of the TRA, then our obligations, or our successor’s obligations, under the TRA to make payments would be based on certain assumptions, including an assumption that we would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize all potential future tax benefits that are subject to the TRA.

As a result of the foregoing, (1) we could be required to make payments under the TRA that are greater than the specified percentage of any actual benefits we ultimately realize in respect of the tax benefits that are subject to the TRA and (2) if we elect to terminate the TRA early, we would be required to make an immediate cash payment equal to the present value of the anticipated future tax benefits that are the subject of the TRA. In these situations, our obligations under the TRA could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. There can be no assurance that we will be able to fund or finance our obligations under the TRA.

We will not be reimbursed for any payments made to the Continuing Equity Owners or the Blocker Shareholders under the TRA in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.

Payments under the TRA will be based on the tax reporting positions that we determine, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, or another tax authority may challenge all or part of the tax basis increases or other tax benefits we claim, as well as other related tax positions we take, and a court could sustain such challenge. If the outcome of any such challenge would reasonably be expected to materially affect a recipient’s payments under the TRA, then we will not be permitted to settle such challenge without the consent (not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed) of Searchlight and Rook. The interests of the Continuing Equity Owners and the Blocker Shareholders in any such challenge may differ from or conflict with our interests and your interests, and Searchlight and Rook may exercise their consent rights relating to any such challenge in a manner adverse to our interests and your interests. We will not be reimbursed for any cash payments previously made to the Continuing Equity Owners or the Blocker Shareholder under the TRA in the event that any tax benefits initially claimed by us and for which payment has been made to a Continuing Equity Owner or the Blocker Shareholder are subsequently challenged by a taxing authority and are ultimately disallowed. Instead, any excess cash payments made by us to a Continuing Equity Owner or the Blocker Shareholder will be netted against any future cash payments that we might otherwise be required to make to such Continuing Equity Owner or such Blocker Shareholder, as applicable, under the terms of the TRA. However, we might not determine that we have effectively made an excess cash payment to a Continuing Equity Owner or the Blocker Shareholder for a number of years following the initial time of such payment and, if any of our tax reporting positions are challenged by a taxing authority, we will not be permitted to reduce any future cash payments under the TRA until any such challenge is finally settled or determined. Moreover, the excess cash payments we previously made under the TRA could be greater than the amount of future cash payments against which we would otherwise be permitted to net such excess. As a result, payments could be made under the TRA significantly in excess of any tax savings that we realize in respect of the tax attributes with respect to a Continuing Equity Owner or the Blocker Shareholder that are the subject of the TRA.

Unanticipated changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to taxes by the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax authorities. Our future effective tax rates could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:

 

 

allocation of expenses to and among different jurisdictions;

 

changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities;

 

expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowances;

 

tax effects of equity-based compensation;

 

costs related to intercompany restructurings;

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changes in tax laws, tax treaties, regulations or interpretations thereof; or

 

lower than anticipated future earnings in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory tax rates and higher than anticipated future earnings in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory tax rates.

In addition, we may be subject to audits of our income, sales and other taxes by U.S. federal, state, and local and foreign taxing authorities. Outcomes from these audits could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

If we were deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act, including as a result of our ownership of Shift4 Payments, LLC, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Under Sections 3(a)(1)(A) and (C) of the 1940 Act, a company generally will be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the 1940 Act if (1) it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities or (2) it engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading in securities and it owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We do not believe that we are an “investment company,” as such term is defined in either of those sections of the 1940 Act.

We and Shift4 Payments, LLC conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. As the sole managing member of Shift4 Payments, LLC, we control and operate Shift4 Payments, LLC. On that basis, we believe that our interest in Shift4 Payments, LLC is not an “investment security” as that term is used in the 1940 Act. However, if we were to cease participation in the management of Shift4 Payments, LLC, or if Shift4 Payments, LLC itself becomes an investment company, our interest in Shift4 Payments, LLC could be deemed an “investment security” for purposes of the 1940 Act.

If it were established that we were an unregistered investment company, there would be a risk that we would be subject to monetary penalties and injunctive relief in an action brought by the SEC, that we would be unable to enforce contracts with third parties and that third parties could seek to obtain rescission of transactions undertaken during the period it was established that we were an unregistered investment company. If we were required to register as an investment company, restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks related to the ownership of our Class A common stock

Searchlight and our Founder will have significant influence over us, including control over decisions that require the approval of stockholders.

As of December 31, 2020, Searchlight and our Founder control, in the aggregate, approximately 91.2% of the voting power represented by all our outstanding classes of stock. As a result, Searchlight and our Founder continue to exercise significant influence over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election and removal of directors and the size of our board, any amendment of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or bylaws and any approval of significant corporate transactions (including a sale of substantially all of our assets), and continue to have significant control over our management and policies.

Our Founder, an affiliate of our Founder and affiliates of Searchlight are members of our board of directors. These board members are designees of Searchlight and our Founder and can take actions that have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of us or discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares, which could prevent stockholders from receiving a premium for their shares. These actions may be taken even if other stockholders oppose them. The concentration of voting power with Searchlight and our Founder may have an adverse effect on the price of our Class A common stock. The interests of Searchlight and our Founder may not be consistent with your interests as a stockholder.

Searchlight and their respective affiliates engage in a broad spectrum of activities. In the ordinary course of their business activities, Searchlight and their respective affiliates may engage in activities where their interests conflict with our interests or those of our stockholders. Searchlight may also pursue acquisition opportunities that may be complementary to our business, and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us. In addition, Searchlight may have an interest in us pursuing acquisitions, divestitures and other transactions that, in its judgment, could enhance its investment, even though such transactions might involve risks to you.

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The multiple class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting power with our Founder and Searchlight, which will limit your ability to influence the outcome of important transactions, including a change in control.

Our Class B common stock and Class C common stock each have ten votes per share, and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. As of December 31, 2020, Jared Isaacman, our Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors controls approximately 68.0% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock; and Searchlight holds approximately 23.2% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock. Accordingly, our Founder and Searchlight together hold all of the issued and outstanding shares of our Class B common stock and Class C common stock and therefore, individually or together, are able to significantly influence matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets or other major corporate transactions. Our Founder and Searchlight, individually or together, may vote in a way with which you disagree and which may be adverse to your interests. This concentrated control may have the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change in control of our company, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their capital stock as part of a sale of our company and might ultimately affect the market price of our Class A common stock. Future transfers by the holders of Class B common stock and Class C common stock will generally result in those shares converting into shares of Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions.

We cannot predict the effect our multiple class structure may have on the market price of our Class A common stock.

We cannot predict whether our multiple class structure will result in a lower or more volatile market price of our Class A common stock, in adverse publicity, or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple-class share structures in certain of their indices. In July 2017, FTSE Russell announced that it plans to require new constituents of its indices to have greater than 5% of the company’s voting rights in the hands of public stockholders, and S&P Dow Jones announced that it will no longer admit companies with multiple-class share structures to certain of its indices. Affected indices include the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, and S&P SmallCap 600, which together make up the S&P Composite 1500. Also in 2017, MSCI, a leading stock index provider, opened public consultations on their treatment of no-vote and multi-class structures and temporarily barred new multi-class listings from certain of its indices and in October 2018, MSCI announced its decision to include equity securities “with unequal voting structures” in its indices and to launch a new index that specifically includes voting rights in its eligibility criteria. Under such announced policies, the multiple class structure of our common stock would make us ineligible for inclusion in certain indices and, as a result, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other investment vehicles that attempt to track those indices would not invest in our Class A common stock. These policies are relatively new and it is unclear what effect, if any, they will have on the valuations of publicly-traded companies excluded from such indices, but it is possible that they may depress valuations, as compared to similar companies that are included. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indices, exclusion from certain stock indices would likely preclude investment by many of these funds and could make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the market price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.

We are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the NYSE rules and, as a result, will qualify for, and intend to rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements. You may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to such corporate governance requirements.

Searchlight and our Founder have more than 50% of the voting power for the election of directors, and, as a result, we are considered a “controlled company” for the purposes of the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE. As such, we qualify for, and intend to rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements, including the requirements to have a majority of independent directors on our board of directors, an entirely independent nominating and corporate governance committee, an entirely independent compensation committee or to perform annual performance evaluations of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees.

The corporate governance requirements and specifically the independence standards are intended to ensure that directors who are considered independent are free of any conflicting interest that could influence their actions as directors. We currently utilize certain exemptions afforded to a “controlled company.” As a result, we are not subject to certain corporate governance requirements, including that a majority of our board of directors consists of “independent directors,” as defined under the rules of the NYSE. In addition, we are not required to have a nominating and corporate governance committee or compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities or to conduct annual performance evaluations of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees.

Accordingly, you may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE. Our status as a controlled company could make our Class A common stock less attractive to some investors or otherwise harm our stock price.

Certain provisions of Delaware law and antitakeover provisions in our organizational documents could delay or prevent a change of control.

Certain provisions of Delaware law and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may have an antitakeover effect and may delay, defer, or prevent a merger, acquisition, tender offer, takeover attempt or other change of control transaction

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that a stockholder might consider in its best interest, including those attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares held by our stockholders. These provisions provide for, among other things:

 

a multi-class common stock structure;

 

a classified board of directors with staggered three-year terms;

 

the ability of our board of directors to issue one or more series of preferred stock;

 

advance notice for nominations of directors by stockholders and for stockholders to include matters to be considered at our annual meetings;

 

certain limitations on convening special stockholder meetings;

 

prohibit cumulative voting in the election of directors; and

 

the removal of directors only for cause and only upon the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of the voting power represented by our then-outstanding common stock.

 

These antitakeover provisions could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if the third party’s offer may be considered beneficial by many of our stockholders. As a result, our stockholders may be limited in their ability to obtain a premium for their shares.

In addition, we have opted out of Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, which we refer to as the DGCL, but our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any “interested” stockholder (any stockholder with 15% or more of our voting stock) for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an “interested” stockholder is prohibited, subject to certain exceptions.

The JOBS Act allows us to postpone the date by which we must comply with certain laws and regulations intended to protect investors and to reduce the amount of information we provide in our reports filed with the SEC. We cannot be certain if this reduced disclosure will make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.

The JOBS Act is intended to reduce the regulatory burden on “emerging growth companies.” As defined in the JOBS Act, a public company whose initial public offering of common equity securities occurs after December 8, 2011 and whose annual gross revenues are less than $1.07 billion will, in general, qualify as an “emerging growth company” until the earliest of:

 

 

the last day of its fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of its initial public offering of common equity securities;

 

the last day of its fiscal year in which it has annual gross revenue of $1.07 billion or more;

 

the date on which it has, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1.07 billion in nonconvertible debt; and

 

the date on which it is deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” which will occur at such time as the company (1) has an aggregate worldwide market value of common equity securities held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more as of the last business day of its most recently completed second fiscal quarter, (2) has been required to file annual and quarterly reports under Exchange Act for a period of at least 12 months and (3) has filed at least one annual report pursuant to the Exchange Act.

Under this definition, we are an “emerging growth company” and could remain an “emerging growth company” until as late as the fifth anniversary of the completion of our IPO. For so long as we are an “emerging growth company,” we are, among other things:

 

 

not required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;

 

not required to hold a nonbinding advisory stockholder vote on executive compensation pursuant to Section 14A(a) of the Exchange Act;

 

not required to seek stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved pursuant to Section 14A(b) of the Exchange Act;

 

exempt from the requirement of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, regarding the communication of critical audit matters in the auditor’s report on the financial statements; and

 

subject to reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements.

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In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can use the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This permits an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period and, as a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of issuers who are required to comply with the effective dates for new or revised accounting standards that are applicable to public companies.

We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result of our decision to take advantage of some or all of the reduced disclosure requirements above. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

Because we have no current plans to pay regular cash dividends on our Class A common stock, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.

We do not anticipate paying any regular cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, general and economic conditions, our results of operations and financial condition, our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions and such other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is, and may be, limited by covenants of existing and any future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur, including under our 2025 Notes, 2026 Notes and Revolving Credit Facility. Therefore, any return on investment in our Class A common stock is solely dependent upon the appreciation of the price of our Class A common stock on the open market, which may not occur.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides, subject to limited exceptions, that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for certain stockholder litigation matters, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or stockholders.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides, subject to limited exceptions, that unless we consent to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for any (1) derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of our Company, (2) action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer, or other employee or stockholder of our Company to the Company or the Company’s stockholders, creditors or other constituents, (3) action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer of the Company arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws or as to which the DGCL confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, or (4) action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer of the Company governed by the internal affairs doctrine; provided that the exclusive forum provisions will not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, or to any claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. For instance, the provision would not apply to actions arising under federal securities laws, including suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Securities Act, Exchange Act, or the rules and regulations thereunder. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation further provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. The choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, and other employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to the forum provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” will not apply against Searchlight, any of our directors who are employees of or affiliated with Searchlight, Rook, any of our directors who are employees of or affiliated with Rook, or any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our subsidiaries.

The doctrine of corporate opportunity generally provides that a corporate fiduciary may not develop an opportunity using corporate resources, acquire an interest adverse to that of the corporation or acquire property that is reasonably incident to the present or prospective business of the corporation or in which the corporation has a present or expectancy interest, unless that opportunity is first presented to the corporation and the corporation chooses not to pursue that opportunity. The doctrine of corporate opportunity is intended to preclude officers or directors or other fiduciaries from personally benefiting from opportunities that belong to the corporation. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” does not apply against Searchlight, any of our directors who are employees of or affiliated with Searchlight, Rook, any of our directors who are employees of or affiliated with Rook, or any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our subsidiaries. Searchlight, any of our directors who are employees of or affiliated with Searchlight, Rook, any of our directors who are employees of or affiliated with Rook, or any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our subsidiaries will therefore have no duty to communicate or present corporate opportunities to us, and have the right to either hold any corporate opportunity for their (and their affiliates’) own account and benefit or to recommend, assign or otherwise transfer such corporate opportunity to persons other than us, including

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to any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our subsidiaries. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not renounce our interest in any business opportunity that is expressly offered to an employee director or employee in his or her capacity as a director or employee of Shift4 Payments, Inc.

As a result, certain of our stockholders, directors and their respective affiliates are not prohibited from operating or investing in competing businesses. We therefore may find ourselves in competition with certain of our stockholders, directors or their respective affiliates, and we may not have knowledge of, or be able to pursue, transactions that could potentially be beneficial to us. Accordingly, we may lose a corporate opportunity or suffer competitive harm, which could negatively impact our business or prospects.

We are subject to rules and regulations established from time to time by the SEC and the NYSE, regarding our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to establish and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results, or report them in a timely manner.

We are subject to the rules and regulations established from time to time by the SEC and the NYSE. These rules and regulations require, among other things, that we establish and periodically evaluate procedures with respect to our internal control over financial reporting. Such reporting obligations place a considerable strain on our financial and management systems, processes and controls, as well as on our personnel.

In addition, we are required to document and test our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act so that our management can certify as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting by the time our second annual report is filed with the SEC and thereafter, which will require us to document and make significant changes to our internal control over financial reporting. Likewise, our independent registered public accounting firm will be required to provide an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting at such time as we cease to be an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we become an accelerated or large accelerated filer although, as described above, we could potentially qualify as an “emerging growth company” until as late as the fifth anniversary of the completion of the IPO.

We expect to incur costs related to implementing an internal audit and compliance function in the upcoming years to further improve our internal control environment. If we identify material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting or if we are unable to comply with the demands placed upon us as a public company, including the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, in a timely manner, we may be unable to accurately report our financial results, or report them within the timeframes required by the SEC. We also could become subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. In addition, if we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, when required, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, we may face restricted access to the capital markets and our stock price may be adversely affected.

Future sales, or the perception of future sales, by us or our existing stockholders in the public market could cause the market price for our Class A common stock to decline.

The sale of shares of our Class A common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could harm the prevailing market price of shares of our Class A common stock. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate.

As of March 1, 2021, we had outstanding a total of 39,737,983 shares of Class A common stock. Of the outstanding shares, all shares sold in the IPO, September Follow-on Offering and December Follow-on Offering (together, the “Follow-on Offerings”) (totaling 39,737,983 shares of Class A common stock) are freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act, other than any shares held by our “affiliates” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act, whose sales would be subject to the Rule 144 resale restrictions, other than the holding period requirement. The remaining shares of Class A common stock (including shares issuable upon exchange or redemption of LLC Interests and shares of our Class C common stock) are “restricted securities,” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act. These restricted securities are eligible for public sale only if they are registered under the Securities Act or if they qualify for an exemption from registration under Rules 144 or 701 under the Securities Act.

Additionally, Rook has entered into a margin loan agreement pursuant to which it pledged LLC Interests and shares of the Company’s Class A and Class B common stock (collectively, Rook Units) to secure a margin loan. If Rook were to default on its obligations under the margin loan and fail to cure such default, the lender would have the right to exchange and sell up to 15,227,181 Rook units to satisfy Rook’s obligation. Such an event could cause our stock price to decline.

In addition, any Class A common stock that we issue under the 2020 Incentive Award Plan, or other equity incentive plans that we may adopt in the future would dilute the percentage ownership held by the investors who purchase our Class A common stock.

As restrictions on resale end or if these stockholders exercise their registration rights, the market price of our shares of Class A common stock could drop significantly if the holders of these shares sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them. In addition, concurrently with the December Follow-on Offering, we offered, by means of a separate offering memorandum, $690.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2025 Notes. Upon conversion of the 2025 Notes, we will pay in cash the principal amount of the 2025 Notes with any excess to be paid or delivered, as the case may be, in cash or shares of our Class A common stock or a combination of both at our election. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional funds through future offerings of our shares of Class A common stock or other securities.

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In the future, we may also issue securities in connection with investments, acquisitions or capital raising activities. In particular, the number of shares of our Class A common stock issued in connection with an investment or acquisition, or to raise additional equity capital, could constitute a material portion of our then-outstanding shares of our Class A common stock. Any such issuance of additional securities in the future may result in additional dilution to you or may adversely impact the price of our Class A common stock.

General Risk Factors

Acquisitions create certain risks and may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We have acquired businesses and may continue to make acquisitions of businesses or assets in the future. The acquisition and integration of businesses or assets involve a number of risks. These risks include valuation (determining a fair price for the business or assets), integration (managing the process of integrating the acquired business’ people, products, technology and other assets to extract the value and synergies projected to be realized in connection with the acquisition), regulation (obtaining regulatory or other government approvals that may be necessary to complete the acquisition) and due diligence (including identifying risks to the prospects of the business, including undisclosed or unknown liabilities or restrictions to be assumed in the acquisition). Moreover, we may fail to successfully identify appropriate acquisition candidates, enter new markets or industries, or integrate any acquisitions consummated in a relatively short amount of time and, as a result, may fail to realize the synergies, cost savings and other benefits expected from such acquisitions. In addition, a significant portion of the purchase price of companies we acquire may be allocated to acquired goodwill and other intangible assets. We are required to test goodwill and any other intangible assets with an indefinite life for possible impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently, when circumstances indicate that impairment may have occurred. We are also required to evaluate amortizable intangible assets and fixed assets for impairment if there are indicators of a possible impairment. In the future, if our acquisitions do not yield expected returns, we may be required to take charges to our operating results based on this impairment assessment process, which could adversely affect our results of operations. See “—Financial risks—Our balance sheet includes significant amounts of goodwill and intangible assets. The impairment of a significant portion of these assets would negatively affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.”

In addition, to the extent we pursue acquisitions outside of the United States, these potential acquisitions often involve additional or increased risks including:

 

 

managing geographically separated organizations, systems and facilities;

 

integrating personnel with diverse business backgrounds and organizational cultures;

 

complying with non-U.S. regulatory and other legal requirements;

 

addressing financial and other impacts to our business resulting from fluctuations in currency exchange rates and unit economics across multiple jurisdictions;

 

enforcing intellectual property rights outside of the United States;

 

difficulty entering new non-U.S. markets due to, among other things, consumer acceptance and business knowledge of these markets; and

 

general economic and political conditions. See “—Business risks—Global economic, political and other conditions may adversely affect trends in consumer, business and government spending, which may adversely impact the demand for our services and our revenue and profitability.”

The process of integrating operations could cause an interruption of, or loss of momentum in, the activities of one or more of our combined businesses and the possible loss of key personnel. The diversion of management’s attention and any delays or difficulties encountered in connection with acquisitions and their integration could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our risk management policies and procedures may not be fully effective in mitigating our risk exposure in all market environments or against all types of risk.

We operate in a rapidly changing industry. Accordingly, our risk management policies and procedures may not be fully effective to identify, monitor and manage all risks our business encounters. In addition, when we introduce new services, focus on new business types, or begin to operate in markets where we have a limited history of fraud loss, we may be less able to forecast and reserve accurately for those losses. If our policies and procedures are not fully effective or we are not successful in identifying and mitigating all risks to which we are or may be exposed, we may suffer uninsured liability, harm to our reputation or be subject to litigation or regulatory actions that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. For example, if our security measures do not succeed, our business may be adversely affected. In addition, bad actors around the world use increasingly sophisticated methods to engage in illegal activities involving personal data, such as unauthorized use of another’s identity or payment information, unauthorized acquisition or use of credit or debit card details and other fraudulent use of another’s identity or information.

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Our business depends on strong and trusted brands, and damage to our reputation, or the reputation of our partners, could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We market our products and services under our brands and we must protect and grow the value of our brands to continue to be successful in the future. If an incident were to occur that damages our reputation, the value of our brands could be adversely affected and our business could be damaged.

From time to time we are subject to various legal proceedings which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We are involved in various litigation matters from time to time. Such matters can be time-consuming, divert management’s attention and resources and cause us to incur significant expenses. Our insurance or indemnities may not cover all claims that may be asserted against us, and any claims asserted against us, regardless of merit or eventual outcome, may harm our reputation. If we are unsuccessful in our defense in these litigation matters, or any other legal proceeding, we may be forced to pay damages or fines, enter into consent decrees or change our business practices, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

An active, liquid trading market for our Class A common stock may not be sustained, which may cause our Class A common stock to trade at a discount from the price which you paid for it and make it difficult for you to sell the Class A common stock you purchase.

We cannot predict the extent to which investor interest in us will sustain a trading market or how active and liquid that market may remain. If an active and liquid trading market is not sustained, you may have difficulty selling any of our Class A common stock that you purchase at a price above the price you purchase it or at all. The failure of an active and liquid trading market to continue would likely have a material adverse effect on the value of our Class A common stock. The market price of our Class A common stock may decline below the price which you paid for it, and you may not be able to sell your shares of our Class A common stock at or above the price you paid or at all. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund operations by selling shares and may impair our ability to acquire other companies or technologies by using our shares as consideration.

If securities analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or if they downgrade our stock or our sector, or if there is any fluctuation in our credit rating, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our Class A common stock relies in part on the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us or our business. We do not control these analysts. Securities and industry analysts may not publish research on our Company. If securities or industry analysts do not continue coverage of our Company, the trading price of our shares would likely be negatively impacted. Furthermore, if one or more of the analysts who do cover us downgrade our stock or our industry, or the stock of any of our competitors, or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our stock could decline. If one or more of these analysts stops covering us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

Additionally, any fluctuation in the credit rating of us or our subsidiaries may impact our ability to access debt markets in the future or increase our cost of future debt which could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial condition, which in return may adversely affect the trading price of shares of our Class A common stock.

We incur significant costs as a result of operating as a public company.

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the listing requirements of the NYSE and other applicable securities laws and regulations. The expenses incurred by public companies generally for reporting and corporate governance purposes have been increasing. We expect these rules and regulations to continue to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly. Being a public company and being subject to such rules and regulations also makes it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as our executive officers. Furthermore, if we are unable to satisfy our obligations as a public company, we could be subject to delisting of our Class A common stock, fines, sanctions and other regulatory action and potentially civil litigation. These factors may therefore strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain qualified board members.

Our stock price may change significantly, and you may not be able to resell shares of our Class A common stock at or above the price you paid or at all, and you could lose all or part of your investment as a result.

You may not be able to resell your shares at or above the price which you paid for them due to a number of factors included herein, including the following:

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results of operations that vary from the expectations of securities analysts and investors;

 

results of operations that vary from those of our competitors;

 

changes in expectations as to our future financial performance, including financial estimates and investment recommendations by securities analysts and investors;

 

technology changes, changes in consumer behavior or changes in merchant relationships in our industry;

 

security breaches related to our systems or those of our merchants, affiliates or strategic partners;

 

changes in economic conditions for companies in our industry;

 

changes in market valuations of, or earnings and other announcements by, companies in our industry;

 

declines in the market prices of stocks generally, particularly those of global payment companies;

 

strategic actions by us or our competitors;

 

announcements by us, our competitors or our strategic partners of significant contracts, new products, acquisitions, joint marketing relationships, joint ventures, other strategic relationships, or capital commitments;

 

changes in general economic or market conditions or trends in our industry or the economy as a whole and, in particular, in the consumer spending environment;

 

changes in business or regulatory conditions;

 

future sales of our Class A common stock or other securities;

 

investor perceptions of the investment opportunity associated with our Class A common stock relative to other investment alternatives;

 

the public’s response to press releases or other public announcements by us or third parties, including our filings with the SEC;

 

announcements relating to litigation or governmental investigations;

 

guidance, if any, that we provide to the public, any changes in this guidance, or our failure to meet this guidance;

 

the sustainability of an active trading market for our stock;

 

changes in accounting principles; and

 

other events or factors, including those resulting from system failures and disruptions, natural disasters, war, acts of terrorism or responses to these events.

Furthermore, the stock market may experience extreme volatility that, in some cases, may be unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. In addition, price volatility may be greater if the public float and trading volume of our Class A common stock is low.

In the past, following periods of market volatility, stockholders have instituted securities class action litigation. If we were involved in securities litigation, it could have a substantial cost and divert resources and the attention of management from our business regardless of the outcome of such litigation.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

We are headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Our other principal physical properties are located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The table below sets forth certain information regarding these properties, all of which are leased.

 

Property

 

Location

 

Approximate

Square Footage

 

 

Lease Expiration Date

Corporate Headquarters

 

Allentown, Pennsylvania

 

 

45,840

 

 

August 31, 2025

Las Vegas Office

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

60,200

 

 

December 31, 2027

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For leases that are scheduled to expire during the next 12 months, we may negotiate new lease agreements, renew existing lease agreements or use alternate facilities. We believe that our facilities are adequate for our needs and believe that we should be able to renew any of the above leases or secure similar property without an adverse impact on our operations.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We are, from time to time, party to various claims and legal proceedings arising out of our ordinary course of business, but we do not believe that any of these existing claims or proceedings will have a material effect on our business, consolidated financial condition or results of operations.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Shift4 Payments, Inc. Class A common stock is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FOUR.” There is no established trading market for our Class B common stock or Class C common stock.

Holders

As of March 1, 2021, there were 6 holders of record of our Class A common stock, 2 holders of record of our Class B common stock and 3 holders of record of our Class C common stock. Because many of our shares of Class A common stock are held by brokers and institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of beneficial owners of our Class A common stock represented by these record holders.

Dividend Policy

Since the IPO, we have not declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock and we do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends on our Class A common stock in the foreseeable future. Holders of our Class B common stock are not entitled to participate in any dividends declared by our board of directors. Furthermore, because we are a holding company, our ability to pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock depends on our receipt of cash distributions from Shift4 Payments, LLC and, through Shift4 Payments, LLC, cash distributions and dividends from our other direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Our ability to pay dividends may be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities of us or our subsidiaries. Any future determination as to the declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to compliance with contractual restrictions and covenants in the agreements governing our current and future indebtedness. Any such determination will also depend upon our business prospects, results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements and availability and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

In connection with the vesting of restricted stock awards, shares of Class A common stock are delivered to the Company by employees to satisfy tax withholding obligations. The following table summarizes such purchases of Class A common stock for the year ended December 31, 2020:

 

 

 

Total Number of

Shares

Purchased

 

 

Average Price

Paid per Share

 

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased

as Part of Publicly

Announced Plans

or Programs

 

 

Approximate

Dollar Value of

Shares that May

Yet Be

Purchased Under

the Plans or

Programs

(in millions)

 

December 8, 2020

 

 

65,375

 

(a)

$

60.70

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

(a) Represents shares that have been withheld by the Company to satisfy its tax withholding and remittance obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock awards under our equity incentive plans.

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Recent sales of unregistered securities

There were no unregistered equity securities sold from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, other than as previously disclosed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K.

 

Stock Performance Graph

The following graph and table compare the total shareholder return from June 5, 2020, the date on which our Class A common shares commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE, through December 31, 2020 of (i) our Class A common shares, (ii) the Standard and Poor's 500 Stock Index, or S&P 500 Index, and (iii) the Standard and Poor's 500 Information Technology Index, or S&P Information Technology. The stock performance graph and table assume an initial investment of $100 on June 5, 2020.

The performance graph and table are not intended to be indicative of future performance. The performance graph and table shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of the Company’s filings under the Securities Act.

 

 

 

 

 

June 4,

2020

 

 

June 30,

2020

 

 

July 31,

2020

 

 

August 31,

2020

 

 

September 30,

2020

 

 

October 30,

2020

 

 

November 30,

2020

 

 

December 31,

2020

 

Shift4 Payments, Inc.

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

154.35

 

 

$

166.52

 

 

$

219.00

 

 

$

210.26

 

 

$

221.35

 

 

$

267.96

 

 

$

327.83

 

S&P 500 Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

99.61

 

 

 

105.10

 

 

 

112.47

 

 

 

108.05

 

 

 

105.06

 

 

 

116.36

 

 

 

120.68

 

S&P Information Technology

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

106.08

 

 

 

111.98

 

 

 

125.23

 

 

 

118.45

 

 

 

112.34

 

 

 

124.99

 

 

 

132.09

 

 

 

ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, or MD&A, is intended to provide a reader of our consolidated financial statements with a narrative from the perspective of our management on our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and certain other factors that may affect our future results. You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our financial statements and the related notes and other financial data included elsewhere in this Annual Report. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should review Item 1A of this Annual Report for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.

Overview

We are a leading independent provider of payment processing and technology solutions in the United States based on total volume of payments processed. We have achieved our leadership position through decades of solving business and operational challenges facing our customers. For our software partners, we offer a single integration to an end-to-end payments offering, a proprietary gateway and a robust suite of technology solutions to enhance the value of their software and simplify payment acceptance. For our merchants, we provide a seamless, unified consumer experience as an alternative to relying on multiple providers to accept payments and utilize technology in their businesses.

At the heart of our business is our payments platform. Our payments platform is a full suite of integrated payment products and services that can be used across multiple channels (in-store, online, mobile and tablet- based) and industry verticals, including:

 

end-to-end payment processing for a broad range of payment types;

 

merchant acquiring;

 

proprietary omni-channel gateway capable of multiple methods of mobile, contactless and QR code-based payments;

 

complementary software integrations;

 

full ecommerce capabilities, including web-store design, hosting, shopping cart management and fulfillment integrations;  

 

integrated and mobile POS solutions;

 

security and risk management solutions; and

 

reporting and analytical tools.

In addition, we offer innovative technology solutions that go beyond payment processing. Some of our solutions are developed in-house, such as business intelligence and POS software, while others are powered by our network of complementary third-party applications. Our focus on innovation combined with our product-driven culture enables us to create scalable technology solutions that benefit from an extensive library of intellectual property.

We have a partner-centric distribution approach. We market and sell our solutions through a diversified network of over 7,000 software partners, which consists of ISVs and VARs. ISVs are technology providers that develop commerce-enabling software suites with which they can bundle our payments platform. VARs are organizations that provide distribution support for ISVs and act as trusted and localized service providers to merchants by providing them with software and services. Together, our ISVs and VARs provide us immense distribution scale and provide our merchants with front-line service and support.

 

Our end-to-end payments offering combines our payments platform, including our proprietary gateway and breadth of software integrations, and our suite of technology solutions to create a compelling value proposition for our merchants. Our end-to end payment volume was $24.3 billion, $22.1 billion and $16.1 billion for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. This end-to-end payment volume contributed approximately 61%, 57% and 56% of gross revenue less network fees for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Our merchants range from small to medium sized businesses, or SMBs, to large enterprises across numerous verticals in which we have deep industry expertise, including food and beverage, lodging and leisure.

Revision of Previously Issued Financial Statements

The accompanying Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations gives effect to the revision of our previously reported consolidated financial statements for fiscal years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018. See Note 2 in the notes to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

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Recent acquisitions

VenueNext

On March 3, 2021, we acquired VenueNext, a leader in integrated payments solutions in sporting arenas and event complexes, for approximately $41.5 million in cash and $30.5 million in shares of our Class A common stock.

3dcart

On November 5, 2020, we completed the purchase of all the outstanding equity interest of Infomart2000 Corp., doing business as 3dcart, for $39.9 million in cash, net of cash acquired, and $19.2 million in shares of the Company’s Class A common stock, or the 3dcart Acquisition. 3dcart is an ecommerce software platform serving businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries. Since the acquisition, 3dcart has been rebranded as Shift4Shop to align the ecommerce offering with Shift4’s existing ecosystem of services. The acquisition expands our omni-channel transaction capabilities and will enable Shift4Shop merchants to augment their ecommerce platform experience with our secure integrated payments solutions. In addition, our indirect sales distribution network will be able to offer Shift4Shop’s turnkey ecommerce capabilities to our new and existing POS and payments customers.

Hospitality technology vendor

On October 16, 2020, we acquired a hospitality technology vendor, for approximately $9.9 million in cash, net of cash acquired. This acquisition enables the boarding of the vendor’s customers on our end-to-end acquiring solution and empowers our distribution partners to sign the vendor’s customer accounts and leverage the combined expertise to handle all aspects of installation, service, and support.

Merchant Link

In August 2019, we completed the acquisition of Merchant-Link, LLC, or Merchant Link, a leading provider of payment gateway and data security solutions, and which primarily services hotels and restaurants in the United States, or the Merchant Link Acquisition. The Merchant Link Acquisition brings to us a highly complementary customer base, with a significant portion of the customers using software already integrated on our gateway. This overlap presented us with a substantial opportunity for improved share of wallet and cost efficiencies.

Recent developments

Advertising and marketing

In the first quarter of 2021, we expect to incur a significant amount of expenses related to the integration of 3dcart as it is rebranded as Shift4Shop. These expenses are anticipated to be nonrecurring in nature.  

Inspiration4

In February 2021, we accepted the transfer of a seat onboard Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to space, from our Founder. The seat was transferred to us at no cost and will be awarded to an entrepreneur through a contest being run us in the first quarter of 2021. We are currently evaluating any impact this may have on the first quarter 2021 financial results.

SpaceX

In February 2021, we committed up to $27.5 million to purchase shares of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets, spacecraft, and satellites.

Initial public offering and concurrent private placement

In June 2020, we completed our IPO of 17,250,000 shares of Class A common stock, including 2,250,000 shares pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, at a price to the public of $23.00 per share. Upon completion of the IPO, we received net proceeds of approximately $362.6 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses of approximately $34.2 million. Concurrently with the IPO, we also completed a $100.0 million private placement of 4,625,346 shares of Class C common stock to Rook. The total net proceeds from the IPO and concurrent private placement were approximately $462.6 million. Shift4 Payments, Inc. used the total proceeds to purchase newly-issued LLC Interests, from Shift4 Payments, LLC. Shift4 Payments, LLC used these amounts received from Shift4 Payments, Inc. to repay certain existing indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.

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Reorganization Transactions

The historical results of operations discussed in this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” are those of (1) Shift4 Payments, LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods prior to the Reorganization Transactions on June 4, 2020 and (2) Shift4 Payments, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods beginning on or following the Reorganization Transactions on June 4, 2020. The historical results of operations of Shift4 Payments, LLC prior to the completion of the Reorganization Transactions, including the IPO and concurrent private placement, do not reflect certain items that we expect will affect our results of operations and financial condition after giving effect to the Reorganization Transactions and the use of proceeds from the IPO and concurrent private placement.

The Reorganization Transactions resulted in Shift4 Payments, Inc. becoming the sole managing member of Shift4 Payments, LLC. As the sole managing member of Shift4 Payments, LLC, we operate and control all of the business and affairs of Shift4 Payments, LLC. Accordingly, we consolidate the financial results of Shift4 Payments, LLC, and report a noncontrolling interest related to the interests in Shift4 Payments, LLC held by the Continuing Equity Owners on our consolidated financial statements.

After consummation of the IPO, Shift4 Payments, Inc. became subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes with respect to our allocable share of any taxable income of Shift4 Payments, LLC and is taxed at the prevailing corporate tax rates. In addition to tax expenses, we also have and will continue to incur public company expenses related to our operations, plus payment obligations under the TRA, which we expect to be significant. We intend for Shift4 Payments, LLC to make to make distributions to us in an amount sufficient to allow us to pay our tax obligations and operating expenses, including distributions to fund any payments due under the TRA.

Follow-on Offerings

In September 2020, we completed the September Follow-on Offering in which we issued and sold 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock, and Searchlight and a Former Equity Owner, which we refer to together as the selling stockholders, sold 7,856,373 and 143,627 shares of Class A common stock, respectively, at a price to the public of $48.50 per share. In October 2020, Searchlight and a former equity owner sold an additional 1,473,070 and 26,930 shares of Class A common stock, respectively, pursuant to the exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares. We received net proceeds from the September Follow-on Offering of $93.1 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses of approximately $3.9 million. Searchlight has agreed to reimburse us for its allocable share of costs of the September Follow-on Offering. We did not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of Class A common stock by the selling stockholders. The total net proceeds from the September Follow-on Offering were used to purchase newly-issued LLC Interests directly from Shift4 Payments, LLC at a price per unit equal to the price to the public of Class A common stock in the September Follow-on Offering, less underwriting discounts and commissions. Shift4 Payments, LLC used these amounts received from Shift4 Payments, Inc. for general corporate purposes.

In connection with the September Follow-on Offering, the Company also completed the following transactions:

 

The redemption by Searchlight of 4,319,532 LLC Interests in exchange for 4,319,532 shares of Class A common stock sold, and an immediate cancellation of an equivalent number of shares of Class B common stock.

 

The conversion of 5,009,911 shares of Class C common stock held by Searchlight to 5,009,911 shares of Class A common stock sold.

In December 2020, we completed the December Follow-on Offering in which Searchlight sold 9,200,000 shares of our Class A common stock in a registered public offering at a price to the public of $55.50 per share. We did not sell any shares of Class A common stock in the December Follow-on Offering and did not receive any of the proceeds from, nor incur any expenses for, the sale of shares by Searchlight in the December Follow-on Offering. Searchlight has agreed to reimburse us for the costs of the December Follow-on Offering.

In connection with the December Follow-on Offering, we also completed the following transactions:

 

The redemption by Searchlight of 4,259,600 LLC Interests in exchange for 4,259,600 shares of Class A common stock sold, and an immediate cancellation of an equivalent number of shares of Class B common stock.

 

The conversion of 4,940,400 shares of Class C common stock held by Searchlight to 4,940,400 shares of Class A common stock sold.

Senior Notes Offering – 2026 Notes

In October 2020, Shift4 Payments, LLC and Shift4 Payments Finance Sub, Inc. issued an aggregate principal amount of $450.0 million 4.625% Senior Notes due 2026, or the 2026 Notes, in an offering to qualified institutional buyers exempt from registration under the Securities Act. We received net proceeds, after deducting initial purchasers’ discounts and estimated offering expenses, of approximately $442.8 million from the offering of the 2026 Notes. The net proceeds of the 2026 Notes offering, together with cash on hand, were used to repay all indebtedness outstanding under the First Lien Term Loan Facility.

The 2026 Notes will mature on November 1, 2026, and accrue interest at a rate of 4.625% per year. Interest on the 2026 Notes is payable semi-annually in arrears on each May 1 and November 1, commencing on May 1, 2021.

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Convertible Notes Offering – 2025 Notes

In December 2020, Shift4 Payments, Inc. issued an aggregate principal amount of $690.0 million of convertible senior notes due 2025, or the 2025 Notes, in an offering to qualified institutional buyers exempt from registration under the Securities Act. We received net proceeds, after deducting initial purchasers’ discounts and estimated offering expenses, of approximately $673.6 million from the 2025 Notes Offering. The net proceeds of the 2025 Notes Offering, together with cash on hand, will be used for general corporate purposes. The 2025 Notes do not bear regular interest and will mature on December 15, 2025 unless earlier repurchased, redeemed or converted. The conversion rate for the 2025 Notes will initially be 12.4262 shares of Class A common stock per $1,000 principal amount of 2025 Notes (equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $80.48 per share of Class A common stock), subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of specified events.  

Amended and Restated Revolving Credit Facility

On January 29, 2021, Shift4 Payments, LLC amended and restated its First Lien Credit Agreement and increased the borrowing capacity under the Revolving Credit Facility to $100.0 million. The Revolving Credit Facility matures on January 29, 2026 or, if greater than $150.0 million aggregate principal amount of Shift4 Payments, LLC’s convertible notes remains outstanding on September 15, 2025, on that date. The Revolving Credit Facility requires periodic interest payments until maturity.  

Loans incurred under the Revolving Credit Facility bear interest at our option at either the LIBO rate plus a margin ranging from 3.00% to 3.50% per year or the alternate base rate (the highest of the Federal Funds rate plus 0.50%, or the prime rate announced from time to time in The Wall Street Journal) plus a margin ranging from 2.00% to 2.50% per year, or the Applicable Rate. The Applicable Rate varies depending on the Company’s total leverage ratio (as defined in the Credit Agreement). The alternate base rate and the LIBO rate are each subject to a zero percent floor. In addition, we are required to pay a commitment fee under the Revolving Credit Facility in respect of the unutilized commitments thereunder at a rate ranging from 0.25% per year to 0.50% per year, in each case based on the total leverage ratio. We are also subject to customary letter of credit and agency fees.

 

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The unprecedented and rapid spread of COVID-19 as well as the shelter-in-place orders, promotion of social distancing measures, restrictions to businesses deemed non-essential, and travel restrictions implemented throughout the United States have significantly impacted the restaurant and hospitality industries – verticals in which we have predominantly focused on over the last decade.

In response to these developments, we have implemented measures to focus on the safety of our employees, including implementing remote working capabilities, and to support our merchants as they shifted to take-out and delivery operations, while at the same time seeking to mitigate the impact on our financial position and operations.

We have also implemented new programs to help ease the burden for our merchants, encourage customers to support their local small businesses and restaurants, and incentivize new merchants to enroll in our end-to-end payment platform. Specifically, we have:

 

established www.shift4.com/situation in an effort to share data to educate political leaders and advocacy groups as to where aid needs to be prioritized;

 

released a gift card funding campaign to encourage consumers to support their favorite bars or restaurants by purchasing a gift card through our Shift4Cares.com website; and

 

implemented temporary fee waivers on certain products from March 2020 through June 2020 that did not have a material impact on financial performance.

Our business was not significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic until the latter part of March 2020, at which time our end-to-end payment volumes declined 70%. At that time, we took the following actions to increase liquidity and strengthen our financial position:

 

furloughed approximately 25% of our employees. During the third quarter of 2020, we reinstated substantially all of our workforce and we are hiring in certain areas to accommodate new merchant onboarding;

 

accelerated approximately $30.0 million of annual expense reduction plans related to prior acquisitions, including the Merchant Link Acquisition;

 

re-prioritized our capital projects to defer certain non-essential improvements;

 

instituted a company-wide hiring freeze, which was lifted in August 2020; and

 

reduced salaries for management across the organization, which were fully reinstated as of October 2020.

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Since late March when shelter-in-place, social distancing, the closing of non-essential businesses and other restrictive measures were first put in place across the United States, we have seen a significant recovery in our end-to-end payment volumes. End-to-end payment volumes for the fourth quarter of 2020 were over 12% higher than volumes in the fourth quarter of 2019 in a pre-COVID environment. While end-to-end payment volumes for the year ended December 31, 2020 have exceeded those for the year ended December 31, 2019, the ultimate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our consolidated results of operations in future periods remains uncertain. We will continue to evaluate the nature and extent of these potential impacts to our business, consolidated results of operations, and liquidity. See “Risk Factors—Business risks—The recent novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, global pandemic has had and is expected to continue to have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.”

We believe we have sufficient liquidity to satisfy our cash needs for at least the next twelve months, however, we continue to evaluate and take action, as necessary, to preserve adequate liquidity and ensure that our business can continue to operate during these uncertain times. We have evaluated the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financial statements including, but not limited to, the impairment of goodwill, intangible assets and equipment for lease under our software-as-a-service or SaaS arrangements.

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act was signed into law. The CARES Act provides a substantial stimulus and assistance package intended to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including tax relief and government loans, grants and investments. The CARES Act includes, among other things, provisions relating to payroll tax credits and deferrals, net operating loss carryback periods, alternative minimum tax credits and technical corrections to tax depreciation methods for qualified improvement property. Pursuant to the CARES Act, in June 2020, we submitted a carryback claim related to our net operating loss carryforward generated in 2018, which provided a cash tax savings of $0.6 million and is reflected in the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020. We will continue to monitor any effects that may result from the CARES Act or other government relief programs that are made available in the future.

Factors impacting our business and results of operations

In general, our results of operations are impacted by factors such as adoption of software integrated payment solutions, continued investment in core capabilities, on-going pursuit of strategic acquisitions, and macro-level economic trends.

Increased adoption of software-integrated payments. We primarily generate revenue through volume-based payments and transaction fees and subscription fees for software and technology solutions. We expect to grow this volume by attracting new software partners through our market-leading and innovative solutions. These software partners have proven to be an effective and efficient way of acquiring new merchants and servicing these relationships.

Continued focus on the sale of our end-to-end payments offering and resulting revenue mix shift. Our customers utilize our comprehensive solutions to solve a variety of business challenges. Currently, a large percentage of our merchant base uses only our proprietary gateway. As these merchants adopt our end-to-end payment solutions, our revenue per merchant and merchant retention are expected to increase.

Mix of our merchant base. The revenue contribution of our merchant portfolio is affected by several factors, including the amount of payment volume processed per merchant, the industry vertical in which the merchant operates, and the number of solutions implemented by the merchant. As the size and sophistication of our merchants change, we may experience shifts in the average revenue per merchant and the weighted average pricing of the portfolio.

Ability to attract and retain software partners. A key pillar of our Shift4 Model is our partner-centric distribution approach. We work with our software partners who are essential to helping us grow and serve our merchant base. Maintaining our product leadership and continued investment in innovative technology solutions is critical to attracting and retaining software partners.

Investment in product, distribution and operations. We make significant investments in both new product development and existing product enhancement, such as mobile point-of-sale and cloud enablement for our software partners’ existing systems. New product features and functionality are brought to market through varied distribution and promotional activities including collaborative efforts with industry leading software providers, trade shows, and customer conferences. Further, we will continue to invest in operational support in order to maintain service levels expected by our merchant customers. We believe these investments in product development and software integrations will lead to long-term growth and profitability. For example, numerous new products and enhancements that we introduced throughout 2020, continue to allow our merchants the ability to enhance the customer experience in a more dynamic commerce environment through contactless payment methods and QR code based mobile payment technologies.

Pursuit of strategic acquisitions. From time to time, we may pursue acquisitions as part of our ongoing growth strategy. While these acquisitions are intended to add long-term value, in the short term they may add redundant operating expenses or additional carrying costs until the underlying value is unlocked.

Economic conditions and resulting consumer spending trends. Changes in macro-level consumer spending trends, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, could affect the amount of volumes processed on our platform, thus resulting in fluctuations to our revenue streams. Further, consumer spending habits are subject to seasonal fluctuations that could cause varied revenue results across the quarters.

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Key financial definitions

The following briefly describes the components of revenue and expenses as presented in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.

Gross revenue consists primarily of payments-based revenue and subscription and other revenues:

Payments-based revenue includes fees for payment processing services and gateway services. Payment processing fees are primarily driven as a percentage of payment volume. They may also have a fixed fee, a minimum monthly usage fee and a fee based on transactions. Gateway services, data encryption and tokenization are primarily driven by per transaction fees as well as monthly usage fees.

Subscription and other revenues include software as a service, or SaaS, fees for point-of-sale systems provided to merchants and SaaS fees for our Shift4Shop ecommerce platform. Point-of-sale SaaS fees are assessed based on the type and quantity of point-of-sale systems deployed to the merchant. This includes statement fees, fees for our proprietary business intelligence software, annual fees, regulatory compliance fees and other miscellaneous services such as help desk support and warranties on equipment. Shift4Shop SaaS fees are assessed based upon the selected plan. Subscription and other revenues also includes revenue derived from third party residuals, automated teller machine services, and fees charged for technology support.

Cost of sales consists of interchange and processing fees, residual commissions, equipment and other costs of sales:

Interchange and processing fees represent payments to card issuing banks and assessments paid to card associations based on transaction processing volume. These also include fees incurred by third-parties for data transmission and settlement of funds, such as processors and sponsor banks.

Residual commissions represent monthly payments to software partners. These costs are typically based on a percentage of payment-based revenue.

Equipment represents our costs of devices that are purchased by the merchant.

Other costs of sales includes amortization of capitalized software development costs, capitalized software, acquired technology and capitalized customer acquisition costs. It also includes incentives, shipping and handling costs related to the delivery of devices, and through June 30, 2020, contains other contract fulfillment costs as well as equipment provided under our warranty program that is included with the monthly SaaS fee. Subsequent to June 30, 2020, other contract fulfilment costs and equipment under our warranty program included with the monthly SaaS fee were capitalized as equipment for lease. Capitalized software development costs are amortized using the straight-line method on a product-by-product basis over the estimated useful life of the software. Capitalized software, acquired technology and capitalized acquisition costs are amortized on a straight-line basis in accordance with our accounting policies.

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation, benefits and other expenses associated with corporate management, finance, human resources, shared services, information technology and other activities.

Depreciation and amortization expense consists of depreciation and amortization expenses related to merchant relationships, trademarks and trade names, residual commission buyouts, equipment, leasehold improvements, and other intangible assets and property, plant and equipment. We depreciate and amortize our assets on a straight-line basis in accordance with our accounting policies. Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the lesser of the estimated life of the leasehold improvement or the remaining lease term. Maintenance and repairs, which do not extend the useful life of the respective assets, are charged to expense as incurred. Intangible assets are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives which range from two years to twenty years.

Professional fees consists of costs incurred for accounting, tax, legal, and consulting services.

Advertising and marketing expenses relate to costs incurred to participate in industry tradeshows and dealer conferences, advertising initiatives to build brand awareness, and expenses to fulfill loyalty program rewards earned by software partners.

Restructuring expenses relate to strategic initiatives we have taken that include, but are not limited to, severance or separation costs and other exit and disposal costs. These expenses are typically not reflective of our ongoing operations.

Transaction-related expenses relate to costs that are not capitalizable associated with issuing the 2026 Notes. These expenses are typically not reflective of our ongoing operations.

Other operating (income) expense, net consists of other operating items.

Loss on extinguishment of debt represents a loss recorded for the unamortized capitalized financing costs associated with the debt prepayment made in June 2020 to the First Lien Term Loan Facility and Second Lien Term Loan Facility, as well as the debt refinancing in October 2020.

Other income, net primarily consists of other non-operating items.

Interest expense consists of interest costs incurred on our borrowings and amortization of capitalized financing costs.

Income tax benefit (provision) represents federal, state and local taxes based on income in multiple domestic jurisdictions.

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests arises from net loss from the non-owned portion of businesses where we have a controlling interest but less than 100% ownership. This represents the noncontrolling interests in Shift4 Payments, LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries, which is comprised of the income allocated to Continuing LLC Owners as a result of their proportional ownership of LLC Interests.

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Comparison of results for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019

The following table sets forth the consolidated statements of operations for the periods presented.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

$ change

 

 

% change

 

Payments-based revenue

 

$

684.2

 

 

$

643.6

 

 

$

40.6

 

 

 

6.3

%

Subscription and other revenues

 

 

82.7

 

 

 

87.8

 

 

 

(5.1

)

 

 

(5.8

%)

Total gross revenue

 

 

766.9

 

 

 

731.4

 

 

 

35.5

 

 

 

4.9

%

Less: network fees

 

 

443.9

 

 

 

425.9

 

 

 

18.0

 

 

 

4.2

%

Less: Other costs of sales

 

 

145.2

 

 

 

132.1

 

 

 

13.1

 

 

 

9.9

%

Gross profit

 

 

177.8

 

 

 

173.4

 

 

 

4.4

 

 

 

2.5

%

General and administrative expenses

 

 

180.0

 

 

 

117.1

 

 

 

62.9

 

 

 

53.7

%

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

 

51.9

 

 

 

40.2

 

 

 

11.7

 

 

 

29.1

%

Professional fees

 

 

10.7

 

 

 

10.4

 

 

 

0.3

 

 

 

2.9

%

Advertising and marketing expenses

 

 

4.0

 

 

 

6.3

 

 

 

(2.3

)

 

 

(36.5

%)

Restructuring expenses

 

 

0.4

 

 

 

3.8

 

 

 

(3.4

)

 

 

(89.5

%)

Transaction-related expenses

 

 

0.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.8

 

 

NM

 

Other operating (income) expense, net

 

 

(12.4

)

 

 

 

 

 

(12.4

)

 

NM

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

235.4

 

 

 

177.8

 

 

 

57.6

 

 

 

32.4

%

Loss from operations

 

 

(57.6

)

 

 

(4.4

)

 

 

(53.2

)

 

NM

 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

(16.6

)

 

 

 

 

 

(16.6

)

 

NM

 

Other income, net

 

 

0.6

 

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

(0.4

)

 

 

(40.0

%)

Interest expense

 

 

(40.2

)

 

 

(51.5

)

 

 

11.3

 

 

 

(21.9

%)

Loss before income taxes

 

 

(113.8

)

 

 

(54.9

)

 

 

(58.9

)

 

 

107.3

%

Income tax benefit (provision)