Company Quick10K Filing
Western Union
Price21.91 EPS3
Shares433 P/E8
MCap9,487 P/FCF14
Net Debt-1,398 EBIT1,359
TEV8,089 TEV/EBIT6
TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-19
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-10-29
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-05
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-05
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-20
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-10-31
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-01
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-07
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-21
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-01
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-08-02
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-01
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-22
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-02
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-03
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-02
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-22
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-01
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-03
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-05-03
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-02-19
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-10-29
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-07-30
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-04-30
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-02-20
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-10-30
10-Q 2014-06-30 Filed 2014-07-31
10-Q 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-05-01
10-K 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-02-24
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-11-04
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-08-07
10-Q 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-05-06
10-K 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-02-22
10-Q 2012-09-30 Filed 2012-11-06
10-Q 2012-06-30 Filed 2012-08-02
10-Q 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-05-01
10-Q 2011-09-30 Filed 2011-11-03
10-Q 2011-06-30 Filed 2011-08-02
10-Q 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-05-04
10-K 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-02-25
10-Q 2010-09-30 Filed 2010-11-05
10-Q 2010-06-30 Filed 2010-08-04
10-Q 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-05-06
10-K 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-02-26
8-K 2020-10-29
8-K 2020-08-04
8-K 2020-07-01
8-K 2020-06-02
8-K 2020-05-28
8-K 2020-05-14
8-K 2020-05-05
8-K 2020-03-27
8-K 2020-03-24
8-K 2020-02-11
8-K 2019-12-18
8-K 2019-12-04
8-K 2019-11-25
8-K 2019-11-18
8-K 2019-10-31
8-K 2019-09-24
8-K 2019-08-01
8-K 2019-05-29
8-K 2019-05-17
8-K 2019-05-09
8-K 2019-05-07
8-K 2019-03-12
8-K 2019-02-28
8-K 2019-02-07
8-K 2018-12-18
8-K 2018-12-11
8-K 2018-07-19
8-K 2018-06-11
8-K 2018-05-18
8-K 2018-05-01
8-K 2018-02-13
8-K 2018-01-04

WU 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-21 wu-20201231xex21.htm
EX-23 wu-20201231xex23.htm
EX-31.1 wu-20201231xex31d1.htm
EX-31.2 wu-20201231xex31d2.htm
EX-32 wu-20201231xex32.htm

Western Union Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
151296302012201420172020
Assets, Equity
1.51.00.4-0.1-0.7-1.22012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
0.80.50.2-0.1-0.4-0.72012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

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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: 001-32903

Graphic

THE WESTERN UNION COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

    

20-4531180

(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

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

THE WESTERN UNION COMPANY

7001 East Belleview Avenue

Denver, Colorado 80237

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (866405-5012

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

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

    

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.01 Par Value

WU

The New York Stock Exchange

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

None

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T 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 Act). Yes  No

As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $8.8 billion based on the closing sale price of $21.62 of the common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.

As of February 16, 2021, 410,921,508 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant’s proxy statement for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders are incorporated into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Table of Contents

INDEX

PAGE
NUMBER

PART I

Item 1.

Business

6

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

23

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

46

Item 2.

Properties

46

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

46

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

46

PART II

Item 5.

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

47

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

48

Item 7.

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

49

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

70

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

73

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

137

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

137

Item 9B.

Other Information

137

PART III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

138

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

138

Item 12.

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

138

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

138

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

138

PART IV

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

139

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

145

2

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PART I

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K and materials we have filed or will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) (as well as information included in our other written or oral statements) contain or will contain certain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, our forward-looking statements. Words such as “expects,” “intends,” “targets,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “guides,” “provides guidance,” “provides outlook,” and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” and “might” are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Readers of the Annual Report on Form 10-K of The Western Union Company (the “Company,” “Western Union,” “we,” “our,” or “us”) should not rely solely on the forward-looking statements and should consider all uncertainties and risks discussed in Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors and throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The statements are only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

Possible events or factors that could cause results or performance to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements include the following:

Events Related to Our Business and Industry

changes in general economic conditions and economic conditions in the regions and industries in which we operate, including global economic downturns and trade disruptions, or significantly slower growth or declines in the money transfer, payment service, and other markets in which we operate, including downturns or declines related to interruptions in migration patterns or other events, such as public health emergencies, epidemics, or pandemics, such as COVID-19, civil unrest, war, terrorism, natural disasters, or non-performance by our banks, lenders, insurers, or other financial services providers;
failure to compete effectively in the money transfer and payment service industry, including among other things, with respect to price, with global and niche or corridor money transfer providers, banks and other money transfer and payment service providers, including digital, mobile and internet-based services, card associations, and card-based payment providers, and with digital currencies and related protocols, and other innovations in technology and business models;
political conditions and related actions, including trade restrictions and government sanctions, in the United States and abroad, which may adversely affect our business and economic conditions as a whole, including interruptions of United States or other government relations with countries in which we have or are implementing significant business relationships with agents, clients, or other partners;
deterioration in customer confidence in our business, or in money transfer and payment service providers generally;
failure to maintain our agent network and business relationships under terms consistent with or more advantageous to us than those currently in place;
our ability to adopt new technology and develop and gain market acceptance of new and enhanced services in response to changing industry and consumer needs or trends;
changes in, and failure to manage effectively, exposure to foreign exchange rates, including the impact of the regulation of foreign exchange spreads on money transfers and payment transactions;

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any material breach of security, including cybersecurity, or safeguards of or interruptions in any of our systems or those of our vendors or other third parties;
cessation of or defects in various services provided to us by third-party vendors;
mergers, acquisitions, and the integration of acquired businesses and technologies into our Company, divestitures, and the failure to realize anticipated financial benefits from these transactions, and events requiring us to write down our goodwill;
decisions to change our business mix;
our ability to realize the anticipated benefits from restructuring-related initiatives, which may include decisions to downsize or to transition operating activities from one location to another, and to minimize any disruptions in our workforce that may result from those initiatives;
failure to manage credit and fraud risks presented by our agents, clients, and consumers;
changes in tax laws, or their interpretation, any subsequent regulation, and potential related state income tax impacts, and unfavorable resolution of tax contingencies;
adverse rating actions by credit rating agencies;
our ability to protect our trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights, and to defend ourselves against potential intellectual property infringement claims;
our ability to attract and retain qualified key employees and to manage our workforce successfully;
material changes in the market value or liquidity of securities that we hold;
restrictions imposed by our debt obligations;

Events Related to Our Regulatory and Litigation Environment

liabilities or loss of business resulting from a failure by us, our agents, or their subagents to comply with laws and regulations and regulatory or judicial interpretations thereof, including laws and regulations designed to protect consumers, or detect and prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and other illicit activity;
increased costs or loss of business due to regulatory initiatives and changes in laws, regulations and industry practices and standards, including changes in interpretations, in the United States and abroad, affecting us, our agents or their subagents, or the banks with which we or our agents maintain bank accounts needed to provide our services, including related to anti-money laundering regulations, anti-fraud measures, our licensing arrangements, customer due diligence, agent and subagent due diligence, registration and monitoring requirements, consumer protection requirements, remittances, and immigration;
liabilities, increased costs or loss of business and unanticipated developments resulting from governmental investigations and consent agreements with or enforcement actions by regulators;
liabilities resulting from litigation, including class-action lawsuits and similar matters, and regulatory enforcement actions, including costs, expenses, settlements, and judgments;

4

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failure to comply with regulations and evolving industry standards regarding consumer privacy, data use, the transfer of personal data between jurisdictions, and information security, including with respect to the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in the European Union ("EU") and the California Consumer Privacy Act;
failure to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), as well as regulations issued pursuant to it and the actions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and similar legislation and regulations enacted by other governmental authorities in the United States and abroad related to consumer protection and derivative transactions;
effects of unclaimed property laws or their interpretation or the enforcement thereof;
failure to maintain sufficient amounts or types of regulatory capital or other restrictions on the use of our working capital to meet the changing requirements of our regulators worldwide;
changes in accounting standards, rules and interpretations, or industry standards affecting our business;

Other Events

catastrophic events; and
management’s ability to identify and manage these and other risks.

5

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Item 1. Business

Overview

The Western Union Company (the “Company,” “Western Union,” “we,” “our,” or “us”) is a leader in global money movement and payment services, providing people and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send money and make payments around the world.

The Western Union® brand is globally recognized and represents speed, reliability, trust and convenience. Our Consumer-to-Consumer money transfer service enables people to use our well-recognized brand to send money around the world, usually within minutes. As of December 31, 2020, our global network included over 550,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories and many Western Union branded or partner websites in a growing number of countries and territories. Each location in our agent network is capable of facilitating a consumer’s use of one or more of our services, with the majority offering a Western Union branded service. As of December 31, 2020, more than 65% of our agent locations had conducted money transfer activity in the previous 12 months.

Our Business Solutions services facilitate payment and foreign exchange solutions, primarily cross-border, cross-currency transactions, for small and medium size enterprises and other organizations and individuals. The majority of this business relates to exchanges of currency at spot rates, which enable customers to make cross-currency payments. In addition, in certain countries, we write foreign currency forward and option contracts for customers to facilitate future payments.

We believe that brand strength, size and reach of our global network, convenience, reliability and value for the price paid have been important to the growth of our business. As we continue to seek to meet the needs of our customers for fast, reliable, and convenient global money movement and payment services, with a continued focus on regulatory compliance, we are also working to provide consumers and our business clients with access to an expanding portfolio of payment and other financial services and to expand the ways our services can be accessed.

Our Segments

We manage our business around the consumers and businesses we serve and the types of services we offer. Each of our segments addresses a different combination of customer groups, distribution networks, and services offered. Our segments are Consumer-to-Consumer and Business Solutions.

All businesses and other services that have not been classified in these segments are reported as Other, which primarily includes our bill payment services, which facilitate payments from consumers to businesses and other organizations. In May 2019, we sold a substantial majority of our United States based electronic bill payments services, as discussed below. Our money order and other services, in addition to certain corporate costs such as costs related to strategic initiatives, including costs for the review and closing of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, are also included in Other.

The table below presents the components of our consolidated revenue.

Year Ended December 31, 

 

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

    

Consumer-to-Consumer

 

87

%  

83

%  

80

%

Business Solutions

 

8

%  

7

%  

7

%

Other

 

5

%  

10

%  

13

%

 

100

%  

100

%  

100

%

No individual country or territory outside the United States accounted for more than 7% of our consolidated revenue for each of the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018.

See Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, for a discussion of certain risks relating to our foreign operations.

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Consumer-to-Consumer Segment

Money transfers from one consumer to another are the core of our business, representing 87% of our total consolidated revenues for 2020. A substantial majority of these transfers were cross-border transactions. Our money transfer service is mainly conducted through our retail agent locations worldwide but also includes our fast-growing money transfer transactions conducted and funded through websites and mobile applications marketed under our brands (“westernunion.com”) and transactions initiated on internet and mobile applications hosted by our third-party white label or co-branded digital partners (together with westernunion.com, “Digital Money Transfer”). This segment includes five geographic regions whose functions are primarily related to generating, managing, and maintaining agent relationships and localized marketing activities. We include Digital Money Transfer transactions in these regions, including transactions from our arrangements with financial institutions and other third parties to enable such entities to offer money transfer services to their own customers under their brands, as further discussed below. By means of common processes and systems, these regions, including Digital Money Transfer, create one interconnected global network for consumer transactions, thereby constituting one Consumer-to-Consumer money transfer business and one operating segment.

Operations

Our revenues are primarily derived from consideration paid by customers to transfer money. These revenues vary by transaction based upon factors such as channel, send and receive locations, the principal amount sent, whether the money transfer involves different send and receive currencies, the difference between the exchange rate set by us to the consumer and the rate available in the wholesale foreign exchange market, and speed of service, as applicable.

In a typical money transfer transaction, a consumer provides information, either at one of our agent or subagent locations or online, specifying, among other things, the name and other identifying information regarding the recipient and the principal amount of the transfer. The consumer also provides funds for the transaction, including fees. Certain of these processes are streamlined for consumers who participate in our loyalty programs or are registered westernunion.com customers. This information is entered into our money transfer system and the funds are made available for pick-up by the recipient within our system, usually within minutes, in the country or territory specified by the consumer, or paid into the designated account of the recipient. In some jurisdictions, the principal and fees are not collected until after the presentation of our written disclosure that generally identifies the exchange rate and all fees and charges associated with the transaction and the consumer has agreed to the transaction, as described in the disclosure. Consumers then receive a unique identifying number assigned by our system, which the consumer must communicate to the recipient in order to obtain the principal. The recipient generally enters an agent location in the designated receiving country or territory, presents the unique identifying number and identification, where applicable, and is paid the transferred amount by our agent based on the information in our system. Recipients generally do not pay a fee. However, in limited circumstances, a tax may be imposed by the local government on the receipt of the money transfer, or a fee may be charged by the recipient’s institution related to the use of an account. We determine the fee paid by the sender, which generally is based on the principal amount of the transaction, the send and receive country or territory, speed of service, and channel.

In a retail transaction, we generally pay our agents a commission based on a percentage of revenue. A commission is usually paid to both the agent that initiated the transaction, the “send agent,” and the agent that paid the transaction, the “receive agent.” For most agents, the costs of providing the physical infrastructure and staff are typically covered by the agent’s primary business (e.g., postal services, banking, check cashing, travel, and retail businesses), making the economics of being a Western Union agent attractive. Western Union’s global reach and large consumer base allow us to attract agents we believe to be well-positioned to deliver our services. In a westernunion.com transaction, we typically pay a credit card processor or bank a fee for collecting the principal, and we are also responsible for losses from chargebacks and fraud, in addition to commissions owed to the receive agent.

No individual country or territory outside the United States accounted for greater than 8% of this segment’s revenue during all periods presented.

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Services

We offer money transfer services in more than 200 countries and territories, with a number of options for sending funds that provide consumers convenience and choice, through both our retail and Digital Money Transfer channels.

Retail money transfer - The majority of our remittances constitute retail transactions in which payment is collected by one of our agents and is available for pick-up at another agent location, usually within minutes. We offer a variety of methods for consumers to initiate transactions. In select markets, consumers may stage a transaction either online or using a mobile device and subsequently pay for the transaction at one of our agent locations. Additionally, in certain agent locations, consumers can enter a transaction at a self-service kiosk and subsequently pay for the transaction at the counter of the location.
Digital Money Transfer - In many countries and territories, consumers can initiate a money transfer from a Western Union branded website or mobile application or from sites and applications hosted by our third-party white label or co-branded digital partners.

Although the majority of transactions are funded with cash, consumers can fund a transaction in a variety of ways. For example, at certain of our agent locations, consumers can fund a transaction using a debit card, and, where available, consumers can fund a money transfer from an account and through an account using an automated teller machine (“ATM”). In Digital Money Transfer channels, consumers can generally fund transactions using a credit card, debit card, electronic funds transfer processed through the automated clearing house (“ACH”) payment system or similar system outside the United States, online banking direct payment methods, or other bank account-based payment.

We also provide several options for the receipt of funds. At our retail agent locations, consumers generally receive payments in cash. However, in certain countries, our retail agents may also issue a money order or check or provide payout through an ATM. Funds can also be directed to a bank account in many countries, by either the sender or receiver, and in more limited circumstances, can be directed to a mobile wallet, a stored-value card, or debit card.

Distribution and Marketing Channels

We offer our Consumer-to-Consumer services around the world primarily through our global network of third-party agents and sub-agents in most countries and territories, with approximately 90% of our agent locations being located outside the United States. Our agents facilitate the global distribution and convenience associated with our brands, which in turn helps create demand for our services, and helps us to recruit and retain agents. Western Union agents include large networks such as post offices, banks and retailers, and other established organizations as well as smaller independent retail locations, which typically provide other consumer products and services. Many of our agents have multiple locations. Our agents know the markets that they serve and leverage this local knowledge to develop business plans for their markets. In some regions, our agents contribute financial resources to, or otherwise support, our efforts to market our services. Many agents operate in locations that are open outside of traditional banking hours, for example on nights and weekends. Our top 40 agents and partners globally have been with us for more than 20 years, on average, and in 2020, these long-standing relationships accounted for transactions that generated nearly 60% of our Consumer-to-Consumer revenue. No individual agent or partner accounted for greater than 10% of the segment’s revenue during all periods presented.

We provide our third-party agents with access to our multi-currency, real-time money transfer processing systems, which are used to originate and pay money transfers. Our systems and processes enable our agents to pay money transfers in over 130 currencies worldwide. Certain of our agents can pay in multiple currencies at a single location. Our agents provide the point-of-sale presence and facilitate the interface with Western Union required to complete the transfers. Western Union provides central operating functions such as transaction processing, settlement, marketing support, and consumer relationship management to our agents, as well as compliance training and related support. Some of our agents outside the United States manage subagents. We refer to these agents as superagents. Although the subagents are under contract with these superagents (and not with Western Union directly), the subagent locations typically have access to similar technology and services as our other agent locations. Our international agents often customize services as appropriate for their geographic markets. In some markets, individual agents are independently offering specific services

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such as stored-value card or account payout options. While we typically perform services under the Western Union brand, in certain geographic regions, we operate under other brands targeted to the local market.

We market our services to consumers in a number of ways, directly and indirectly through our agents and their subagents, leveraging promotional activities, grassroots, direct-to-consumer communications and digital advertising. Our marketing strategy includes a loyalty program such as “My WUSM” which is available in certain countries and territories. These programs offer consumers faster service at the point-of-sale and the opportunity to earn points on eligible products, such as money transfers and bill payments, and channels (including westernunion.com and mobile applications) that can be redeemed for rewards, such as reduced transaction fees. Redemption activity has been insignificant to the results of our operations.

We cooperate with various partners around the world to offer a variety of branded, co-branded, and unbranded money transfer services, including services offered exclusively under the partners’ brands. While the terms of these arrangements vary, these services are often marketed by the third-party partner and offered under the partner’s license to provide money transfer services. As a result, the regulatory requirements applicable to us under these arrangements may also vary.

Industry Trends

Trends in the volume of cross-border money transfer activity correlate with migration, global economic opportunity and related employment levels worldwide. A significant trend currently impacting the money transfer industry is increasing regulation. Regulations in the United States and elsewhere focus, in part, on anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing, consumer protection, consumer privacy, data protection, and information security. Regulations require money transfer providers, banks and other financial institutions to develop systems to prevent, detect, monitor and report certain transactions. Such regulations increase the costs to provide money transfer services and can make it more difficult or less desirable for consumers and businesses to use money transfer services, either of which could have an adverse effect on money transfer providers’ revenues and operating income. For further discussion of the regulatory impact on our business, see the Regulation discussion in this section, Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, and the Enhanced Regulatory Compliance section in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. Additionally, our ability to enter into or maintain exclusive arrangements with our agents has been and may continue to be challenged by both regulators and certain of our current and prospective agents.

We are seeing increased competition from, and increased market acceptance of, electronic, mobile, and internet-based money transfer services as well as digital currencies. This trend accelerated during 2020, as consumers responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by sending money increasingly through digital channels. We believe this shift in consumer preference will continue beyond the pandemic, resulting in an increasing proportion of remittances being sent through digital means in the future.

Competition

We face robust competition in the highly fragmented Consumer-to-Consumer money transfer industry. We compete with a variety of remittance providers, including:

Global money transfer providers - Global money transfer providers allow consumers to send money to a wide variety of locations, in both their home countries and abroad.
Regional money transfer providers - Regional money transfer providers, or “niche” providers, provide the same services as global money transfer providers, but focus on a smaller group of geographic corridors or services within one region, such as North America to the Caribbean, Central or South America, or Western Europe to North Africa.
Digital channels - Digital money transfer service providers, including certain payment providers, allow consumers to send and receive money digitally using the internet or through mobile devices. Digital channels also include digital wallets, digital currencies, and social media and other predominantly communication or commerce-oriented platforms that offer money transfer services.

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Banks, postbanks, and post offices - Banks, postbanks, and post offices of all sizes compete with us in a number of ways, including money transfers, bank transfer and wire services, payment instrument issuances, and card-based services.
Informal networks - Informal networks enable people to transfer funds without formal mechanisms and often without compliance with government reporting requirements. We believe that such networks comprise a significant share of the market.
Alternative channels - Alternative channels for sending and receiving money include mail and commercial courier services, and card-based options, such as ATM cards and stored-value cards.

We believe the most significant competitive factors in Consumer-to-Consumer remittances relate to the overall consumer value proposition, including brand recognition, trust, reliability, consumer experience, price, speed of delivery, distribution network, variety of send and receive payment methods, and channel options.

Business Solutions Segment

In our Business Solutions segment, which represented 8% of our total consolidated revenues for 2020, we facilitate payment and foreign exchange solutions, primarily cross-border, cross-currency transactions, for small and medium size enterprises, and other organizations and individuals.

Operations

The significant majority of our revenue in this segment is derived from foreign exchange resulting from the difference between the exchange rate set by us to the customer and the rate available in the wholesale foreign exchange market. The significant majority of Business Solutions revenue was generated outside the United States during all periods presented.

Services

The majority of our Business Solutions business relates to exchanges of currency at spot rates, which enable customers to make cross-currency payments. For certain industries such as educational institutions, financial institutions, and law firms, we provide tailored payment solutions. In addition, in certain countries, we write foreign currency forward and option contracts for customers to facilitate future payments, which usually generate higher revenue per transaction than spot payments. Payments are made predominantly through electronic transfers, wire transfers, or checks.

Distribution and Marketing Channels

Our Business Solutions services are offered primarily through digital channels, including through the internet and third-party channels, and over the phone. Our internet services are marketed through our own websites as well as, from time to time, co-branding arrangements with third-party websites.

Our customer relationships are a core component of our business payments services. No individual customer accounted for greater than 10% of this segment’s revenue.

Industry Trends

The business-to-business payments industry has evolved rapidly with technological innovations that have created new competitors and methods of processing payments from businesses to other businesses. The various products and services within the business-to-business payments industry are in varying stages of development. Business-to-business payments, especially cross-border, cross-currency transactions are also dependent on global trade trends and regulations. Increased anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing, consumer protection regulations and compliance requirements, and increased regulations and compliance requirements applicable to the offering of derivatives are impacting the business-to-

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business payments industry. We believe these increases in competition and regulatory costs are likely to continue in this segment.

Competition

Our Business Solutions segment competes with a diverse set of service providers offering payment services and foreign exchange risk management solutions, including financial institutions, other non-bank competitors, and electronic payment providers. We believe the most significant competitive factors in this segment relate to recurring relationships founded on customer service and expertise in payments and foreign exchange, customized solutions for specific industries and clients, convenience and speed of payments network, availability of derivative products, variety of inbound and outbound payment methods, brand recognition, and price.

Other

Our remaining businesses and services, which primarily consist of our bill payment services in Argentina and the United States and money order services, are included in Other, which also includes certain corporate costs such as costs related to strategic initiatives, including for the review and closing of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Other revenue is derived primarily from transaction fees paid by customers and billers and represented 5% of our total consolidated revenues for 2020.

Our bill payment services provide fast and convenient options to make payments from consumers to businesses and other organizations, including utilities, auto finance companies, mortgage servicers, financial service providers and government agencies. Generally, these bill payment services are initiated by consumers making a cash payment at an agent or at a Company-operated location. We believe our business partners who receive payments through our services benefit from their relationship with Western Union as it provides them with real-time or near real-time posting of their customers’ payments. In many circumstances, our relationships with business partners also provide them with an additional source of income and reduce their expenses for handling of payments.

On February 28, 2019, we entered into an agreement with ACI Worldwide Corp. and ACW Worldwide, Inc. to sell our United States electronic bill payments business known as “Speedpay,” which had been included as a component of Other in our segment reporting. We received approximately $750 million and recorded a pre-tax gain on the sale of approximately $523 million in the all-cash transaction that closed on May 9, 2019.

Consumers use our money orders for making purchases, paying bills, and as an alternative to checks. We derive investment income from interest generated on our money order settlement assets, which are primarily held in United States tax exempt state and municipal debt securities.

Intellectual Property

The Western Union® and WU® trademarks and service marks, and the Company’s Black & Yellow trade dress are used and/or registered worldwide and are material to our Company. We offer money transfer services under the Western Union®, Orlandi Valuta®, and Vigo® brands. We also provide various payment and other financial services under many brands and product names, including Western Union Business SolutionsSM, Pago Fácil®, Quick Collect®, Quick PaySM, Pay@WUSM, Quick Cash®, My WUSM, and Western Union Convenience Pay®. Our operating results have allowed us to invest significantly each year to support our brands, and in some regions, our agents have also contributed financial resources to assist with marketing our services. Additionally, we own patents and patent applications covering various aspects of our products and services, covering a broad range of technologies, including those related to money transfer, compliance analytics, fraud prevention, and mobile applications. We also own a number of application programming interfaces.

Regulation

Our business is subject to a wide range of laws and regulations enacted by the United States federal government, each of the states, many localities, and many other countries and jurisdictions, including the EU. These include increasingly

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strict legal and regulatory requirements intended to help detect and prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and other illicit activity. These also include laws and regulations regarding financial services, consumer disclosure and consumer protection, currency controls, money transfer and payment instrument licensing, payment services, credit and debit cards, electronic payments, foreign exchange hedging services and the sale of spot, forward and option currency contracts, unclaimed property, the regulation of competition, consumer privacy, data protection, and information security. Failure by Western Union, our agents, or their subagents (agents and subagents are third parties, over whom Western Union has limited legal and practical control), and certain of our service providers to comply with any of these requirements or their interpretation could result in regulatory action, the imposition of civil and criminal penalties, including fines and restrictions on our ability to offer services, the suspension or revocation of a license or registration required to provide money transfer services and/or payment services or foreign exchange products, the limitation, suspension or termination of services, changes to our business model, loss of consumer confidence, private class action litigation, and/or the seizure of our assets. For example, in early 2017, we entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the United States Department of Justice and certain United States Attorney’s Offices (the “DPA”), a Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Final Judgment (the “FTC Consent Order”) with the United States Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), a Consent to the Assessment of Civil Money Penalty with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the United States Department of Treasury (the “FinCEN Agreement”), and settlement agreements with various state attorneys general (collectively, the “Joint Settlement Agreements”) and in early 2018, we agreed to a consent order which resolved a matter with the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “NYDFS Consent Order”). For further discussion of these agreements, please see Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors - “Our business is the subject of consent agreements with or enforcement actions by regulators.”

We have developed and continue to enhance our global compliance programs, including our anti-money laundering program, comprised of policies, procedures, systems, and internal controls to monitor and to address various legal and regulatory requirements. In addition, we continue to adapt our business practices and strategies to help us comply with current and evolving legal standards and industry practices, including heightened regulatory focus on compliance with anti-money laundering or fraud prevention requirements. As of December 31, 2020, these programs included dedicated compliance personnel, training and monitoring programs, suspicious activity reporting, regulatory outreach and education, and support and guidance to our agent network on regulatory compliance. Our money transfer and payment service networks operate through third-party agents in most countries, and, therefore, there are limitations on our legal and practical ability to completely control those agents’ compliance activities.

Money Transfer and Payment Instrument Licensing and Regulation

Most of our services are subject to anti-money laundering laws and regulations, including the Bank Secrecy Act in the United States, as amended (collectively, the “BSA”), and similar laws and regulations in the United States and abroad. The BSA, among other things, requires money transfer companies and the issuers and sellers of money orders to develop and implement risk-based anti-money laundering programs, to report large cash transactions and suspicious activity, and in some cases, to collect and maintain information about consumers who use their services and maintain other transaction records. In addition to United States federal laws and regulations, many other countries and states impose similar and, in some cases, more stringent requirements. These requirements may also apply to our agents and their subagents. In addition, the United States Department of the Treasury has interpreted the BSA to require money transfer companies to conduct due diligence into and risk-based monitoring of their agents and subagents inside and outside the United States, and certain states also require money transfer companies to conduct similar due diligence reviews. Compliance with anti-money laundering laws and regulations continues to be a focus of regulatory attention, with recent settlement agreements being reached with Western Union, other money transfer providers, and several large financial institutions. For example, in early 2017, we entered into the Joint Settlement Agreements, and in early 2018, we agreed to the NYDFS Consent Order.

Economic and trade sanctions programs administered by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and by certain foreign jurisdictions prohibit or restrict transactions to or from (or dealings with or involving) certain countries, regions, governments, and in certain circumstances, specified foreign nationals, as well as with certain individuals and entities such as narcotics traffickers, terrorists, and terrorist organizations. We provide limited money transfer and payment services to parties in Syria and the Crimea region of Ukraine in accordance with United States laws authorizing such services, and pursuant to and as authorized by advisory opinions of,

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or specific or general licenses issued by, OFAC. In October 2020, OFAC amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, requiring us to suspend our money transfer services to Cuba.

In the United States, almost all states license certain of our services and many exercise authority over the operations of certain aspects of our business and, as part of this authority, regularly examine us. Many states require us to invest the principal of outstanding money orders, money transfers, or payments in highly-rated, investment grade securities, and our use of such investments is restricted to satisfying outstanding settlement obligations. We regularly monitor credit risk and attempt to mitigate our exposure by investing in highly-rated securities in compliance with these regulations. The substantial majority of our investment securities, classified within Settlement assets in the Consolidated Balance Sheets, are held in order to comply with state licensing requirements in the United States and are required to have credit ratings of “A-” or better from a major credit rating agency.

These licensing laws also cover matters such as government approval of controlling shareholders and senior management of our licensed entities, regulatory approval of agents and in some instances their locations, consumer disclosures and the filing of periodic reports by the licensee, and they may require the licensee to demonstrate and maintain certain net worth levels. Many states also require money transfer providers and their agents to comply with federal and/or state anti-money laundering laws and regulations.

Outside the United States, our money transfer business is subject to some form of regulation in almost all of the countries and territories in which we offer those services. These laws and regulations may include limitations on what types of entities may offer money transfer services, agent registration requirements, limitations on the amount of principal that can be sent into or out of a country, limitations on the number of money transfers that may be sent or received by a consumer, and controls on the rates of exchange between currencies. They also include laws and regulations intended to detect and prevent money laundering or terrorist financing, including obligations to collect and maintain information about consumers, recordkeeping, reporting and due diligence, and supervision of agents and subagents similar to and in some cases exceeding those required under the BSA. In most countries, either we or our agents are required to obtain licenses or to register with a government authority in order to offer money transfer services, and in certain countries, we must maintain sufficient cash or other funds to satisfy payout obligations in these countries. Where we cooperate with partners around the world to offer other branded and unbranded money transfer services, including services offered and marketed exclusively under the partners’ brands, the regulatory requirements applicable to us may vary.

The majority of our EU business is managed through our Irish payment institution subsidiary, which is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland under the Second EU Payment Services Directive EU 2015/2366 (“PSD2”) and local implementing regulations. PSD2 imposes rules on payment service providers like Western Union. It became EU law in January 2016 and required EU member states to transpose it into their national laws by January 2018. Its aim is to drive increased competition, innovation, and transparency across the EU payments market, while enhancing consumer protection and the security of internet payments and account access. To achieve this, PSD2: (i) has increased the supervisory powers granted to member states with respect to activities performed by companies such as Western Union, and our agent network, (ii) provides for customer identity verification and authentication measures, and agent monitoring responsibilities, (iii) provides member states with the ability to limit the types, nature, and amount of charges we may assess, increases customer refund rights, and (iv) increases information security and incident reporting responsibilities.

Under our PSD2 license and local EU member states’ implementing legislation and associated regulatory supervisory powers, we are responsible for the regulatory compliance of our agents and their subagents. We are also subject to requirements such as capital and safeguarding rules, certain consumer protection requirements, information technology, and operational security risk management requirements, outsourcing oversight requirements, and periodic regulatory examinations similar to those in the United States. These rules have resulted in increased compliance and agent monitoring costs and the increased risk of adverse regulatory action against us resulting from the actions of our agents in those areas. In addition to increasing our compliance costs, PSD2 increases the regulatory supervision and enforcement associated with non-compliance with it and the associated increasing body of applicable European Banking Authority guidelines and regulatory technical standards. PSD2 may also result in increased competition arising from other service providers utilizing the enhanced payment initiation and account information access provisions or by our failure to utilize those provisions to innovate our own service offerings. We continue to monitor PSD2’s impact, including indicators of potential increases in competition such as the number of new payment and electronic money license authorizations, including those by

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multinational online service and technology companies, and the number of newly-licensed payment initiation and account information service providers.

In addition to our Irish PSD2 license, which covers most of our retail money transfer business in Europe, our European digital money transfer business is managed through our Austrian banking subsidiary, which is regulated by the Austrian Financial Market Authority under the Austrian Banking Act. Its digital money transfer business is subject to payment services regulated under PSD2 and local implementing legislation.

The United Kingdom (“UK”) left the EU on January 31, 2020 (“Brexit”), following a referendum and a notification to the EU, under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. In advance of Brexit, the UK and the EU ratified an agreement governing the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (the “Withdrawal Agreement”). Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, certain regulated financial service providers were permitted to continue to rely on EU regulatory “passport” rights until December 31, 2020 to provide services between the UK and EU without needing to obtain separate local regulatory authorizations in the relevant jurisdictions. To ensure that our operations will continue in the UK, which represented approximately 6% of our consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020, we set up a new payment institution to conduct money remittance in the UK, which was authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2019, and presently offers retail money transfer services via UK agents.

We have also applied for the UK branch of our Austrian banking subsidiary to be authorized by the UK Prudential Regulation Authority (the “PRA”) as a Third Country Branch (i.e., a UK branch of a non-UK bank) in order to continue to conduct our UK Business Solutions and digital money transfer operations. The PRA has a period of 3 years from December 31, 2020 to determine the application. In the period from December 31, 2020 and the date of the UK branch being authorized, it will operate under the Temporary Permissions Regime established by the UK for this purpose. This UK branch will be subject to certain additional UK regulatory requirements upon authorization. Further, as a result of Brexit, including under the terms of any new regulatory authorizations we have and may obtain, we could be required to comply with differing regulatory requirements in the UK as a result of divergence from established EU regulation. This could make it more costly for us to provide our services.

Regulators worldwide are exercising heightened supervision of money transfer providers and requiring increasing efforts to ensure compliance, including as a result of PSD2 and the 4th and 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directives in the EU. As a result, we continue to incur significant compliance costs related to customer, agent, and subagent due diligence, verification, transaction approval, disclosure, and reporting requirements, including requirements to report transaction data to a greater extent or frequency than previously required, along with other requirements that have had and will continue to have a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Government agencies both inside and outside the United States may impose new or additional rules on money transfers affecting us, our agents, or their subagents, including regulations that:

prohibit, restrict, and/or impose taxes or fees on money transfer transactions in, to, or from certain countries or with certain governments, individuals, and entities;
impose additional customer identification and customer, agent, and subagent due diligence requirements;
impose additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements, or require enhanced transaction monitoring;
limit the types of entities capable of providing money transfer services, impose additional licensing or registration requirements on us, our agents, or their subagents, or impose additional requirements on us with regard to selection or oversight of our agents or their subagents;
impose minimum capital or other financial requirements on us or our agents and their subagents;
limit or restrict the revenue which may be generated from money transfers, including transaction fees and revenue derived from foreign exchange;

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require enhanced disclosures to our money transfer customers;
require the principal amount of money transfers originated in a country to be invested in that country or held in a trust until they are paid;
limit the number or principal amount of money transfers, which may be sent to or from a jurisdiction, whether by an individual, through one agent, or in aggregate;
impose more stringent information technology, cybersecurity, data, and operational security requirements on us or our agents and their subagents, including relating to data transfers and the use of cloud infrastructure;
impose additional risk management and related governance and oversight requirements, including relating to the outsourcing of services to other group companies or to third parties; and
prohibit or limit exclusive arrangements with our agents and subagents.

Consumer Protection Regulations

The Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB, which implements, examines compliance with, and enforces federal consumer protection laws governing financial products and services, including money transfer services. The CFPB has created additional regulatory obligations for us and has the authority to examine and supervise us and our larger competitors, including for matters related to unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices. The CFPB’s regulations implementing the remittance provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act have affected our business in a variety of areas. These include: (i) a requirement to provide consumers sending funds internationally from the United States enhanced, written, pre-transaction disclosures and transaction receipts, including the disclosure of fees, foreign exchange rates and taxes, (ii) an obligation to resolve various errors, including certain errors that may be outside our control, and (iii) an obligation at a consumer’s request to cancel transactions that have not been completed. We have modified certain of our systems, business practices, service offerings, and procedures to comply with these regulations. We also face liability for the failure of our money transfer agents to comply with the rules and have implemented and are continuing to enhance additional policies, procedures, and oversight measures designed to foster compliance by our agents. The extent of our and our agents’ implementation of these policies, procedures, and measures may be considered by the CFPB in any action or proceeding against us for noncompliance with the rules by our agents. The CFPB has also implemented a direct portal for gathering information regarding consumer complaints, including with respect to money transfers. The CFPB uses the information collected to help improve its supervision of companies, enforcement of federal consumer financial laws, and writing of rules and regulations. This effort may lead to additional regulations and regulatory scrutiny of our business.

In addition, various jurisdictions in the United States and outside the United States have consumer protection laws and regulations, and numerous governmental agencies are tasked with enforcing those laws and regulations. Consumer protection principles continue to evolve globally, and new or enhanced consumer protection laws and regulations may be adopted. Governmental agencies tasked with enforcing consumer protection laws or regulations are communicating more frequently and coordinating their efforts to protect consumers. For instance, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (“ICPEN”) is an organization composed of consumer protection authorities from over 60 countries that provides a forum for developing and maintaining regular contact between consumer protection agencies and focusing on consumer protection concerns. By encouraging cooperation between agencies, ICPEN aims to enable its members to have a greater impact with their consumer protection laws and regulations. As the scope of consumer protection laws and regulations change, we may experience increased costs to comply and other adverse effects to our business.

Derivatives Regulations

Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), as well as the provisions of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and its technical standards, which are directly applicable in the member states of the EU and in the UK, have subjected most of our foreign exchange hedging transactions, including certain intercompany hedging transactions, certain of the corporate interest rate hedging transactions we may enter into in

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the future, and certain of the foreign exchange derivatives contracts we offer as part of our Business Solutions segment, to reporting, recordkeeping, and other requirements. Additionally, certain of the corporate interest rate hedging transactions and foreign exchange derivatives transactions we may enter into in the future may be subject to centralized clearing requirements or may be subject to margin requirements in the United States, the EU, and the UK. Other jurisdictions outside of the United States, the EU, and the UK are considering, have implemented, or are implementing regulations similar to those described above. Derivatives regulations have added costs to our business and any additional requirements, such as future registration requirements and increased regulation of derivatives contracts, will result in additional costs or impact the way we conduct our hedging activities as well as impact how we conduct our business within our Business Solutions segment. Although currently unlikely due to our derivative activity levels, there is some risk that we will have to register one or more of our subsidiaries with the CFTC as a swap dealer in the future. Swap dealers are subject to a comprehensive regulatory framework and compliance with this framework would lead to additional costs, including costs relating to regulatory capital and margin requirements, and could impact how we conduct our hedging activities and derivatives business with customers. For further discussion of these risks, see Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors - “The Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the regulations required by that Act and the actions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and similar legislation and regulations enacted by other government authorities, could adversely affect us and the scope of our activities, and could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.” Our implementation of these requirements has resulted, and will continue to result, in additional costs to our business.

Additionally, the regulatory regimes for derivatives in the United States, the EU, and the UK, such as under the Dodd-Frank Act and the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive known as “MiFID II,” are continuing to evolve. Any changes to such regimes, or our designation or the implementation of new rules under these regimes, such as future registration requirements and increased regulation of derivatives contracts, may result in additional costs to our business. Other jurisdictions outside the United States, the EU, and the UK are considering, have implemented, or are implementing regulations similar to those described above and these will result in greater costs to us as well. Moreover, as a result of Brexit, we could be required to comply with differing regulatory requirements in the UK as a result of divergence from established EU regulation. This could make it more costly for us to provide our services. Furthermore, our failure to implement these requirements correctly could result in fines and other sanctions, as well as necessitate a temporary or permanent cessation to some or all of our derivative related activities. Any such fines, sanctions, or limitations on our business could adversely affect our operations and financial results.

Unclaimed Property Regulations

Our Company is subject to unclaimed property laws in the United States and in certain other countries, and our agents are subject to unclaimed property laws in some jurisdictions. These laws require us or our agents, as applicable, to turn over to certain government authorities the property of others held by our Company that has been unclaimed for a specified period of time, such as unpaid money transfers and money orders. We hold property subject to unclaimed property laws and we have an ongoing program designed to help us comply with these laws. We are subject to audits with regard to our escheatment practices. For further discussion of the risks associated with unclaimed property, see Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors - “We are subject to unclaimed property laws, and differences between the amounts we have accrued for unclaimed property and amounts that are claimed by a state or foreign jurisdiction could have a significant impact on our results of operations and cash flows.”

Privacy Regulations and Information Security Standards

We must collect, transfer, disclose, use, and store personal information in order to provide our services. These activities are subject to information security, data privacy, data protection, data breach, and related laws and regulations in the United States, the EU, and many other countries in which we provide services. These laws and requirements continue to evolve and may become increasingly difficult to comply with.

In the United States, federal data privacy laws such as the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and various state laws, such as data privacy and breach laws, apply to a broad range of financial institutions including money transfer providers like Western Union, and to companies that provide services to or on behalf of those institutions. The United States Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), which has jurisdiction over companies such as Western Union, has brought numerous enforcement actions, resulting in multi-year settlements, against companies whose privacy or data security practices

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allegedly violated the law. We are also subject to privacy and data breach laws in various states, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, which became effective on January 1, 2020, that imposes heightened data privacy requirements on companies that collect information from California residents and creates a broad set of privacy rights and remedies modeled in part on the GDPR, as discussed below. The FTC, CFPB, and some states continue to actively investigate companies’ privacy practices including those related to online and mobile applications. Most state laws require notification to be provided to affected individuals, state authorities, and consumer reporting agencies, in the event of a breach of certain types of personal data contained in computer databases and in some cases physical documents. Such notification requirements may be subject to various factors, including the level of encryption, the data elements involved in the incident, and the potential harm to consumers. In addition, we are also subject to United States federal reporting requirements in connection with some such incidents.

Increasingly, data protection laws of countries outside of the United States are having a significant impact on our operations and the manner in which we provide our services. The EU has been particularly active in regulating the collection, transfer, disclosure, use, storage, and other processing of personal information, and the EU’s approach is frequently followed by other jurisdictions. The trend in this area is one of increasingly more stringent regulation, particularly with the EU’s GDPR which took effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR imposes additional obligations and risks upon our businesses, including the risk of substantially increased penalties for non-compliance. We have incurred and we expect to continue to incur expenses to meet the obligations of the GDPR, which have required us to make changes to our business operations. The GDPR, and other national and provincial laws throughout the world are frequently not uniform, and cover one or more of the following objectives: (i) regulating the collection, transfer (including in some cases, the transfer outside of the country or region of collection), processing, storage, use and disclosure of personal information, (ii) requiring notice to individuals of the processing of their personal information and our privacy practices, (iii) giving individuals certain access, correction and other rights with respect to their personal information, and (iv) restricting the use or disclosure of personal information for secondary purposes such as marketing. Under certain circumstances, some of these laws require us to provide notification to affected individuals, data protection authorities, and/or other regulators in the event of a data breach.

The pending e-Privacy Regulation in the EU, which will replace the current e-Privacy Directive, will introduce a new privacy legal framework for electronic communications including direct marketing communications and the use of cookies and tracking technologies. The new regulation likely will contain penalty provisions that could result in significant costs for non-compliance.

An emerging trend is the increase in data localization laws which either require that personal information be hosted on local servers or restrict the transfer of personal information outside national borders. These laws present operational and technology challenges that can require companies to make significant changes to the management of personal information and can potentially increase our costs and impact our ability to process personal information. These laws may also restrict or limit our ability to process transactions using centralized databases, including cloud computing infrastructure and software, for example, by requiring that transactions be processed using a database maintained in a particular country or region.

Data privacy regulations, laws, and industry standards also impose requirements for safeguarding personal information. We seek to maintain and upgrade our systems and processes to protect the security of our computer systems, software, networks, and other technology assets to help protect against the risks presented by hackers, nation-states and other threat actors. For further discussion of these risks, see Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors - “Breaches of our information security safeguards could adversely affect our ability to operate and could damage our reputation and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.”

In connection with regulatory requirements to assist in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and pursuant to legal obligations and authorizations, we make information available to certain United States federal, state, and foreign government agencies when required by law. In recent years, we have experienced an increasing number of data sharing requests by these agencies, particularly in connection with efforts to prevent terrorist financing or reduce the risk of identity theft. During the same period, there has also been increased public attention to the corporate use and disclosure of personal information, accompanied by legislation and regulations intended to strengthen data protection, information security, and consumer privacy. These regulatory goals - the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing, and

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identity theft and the protection of the individual’s right to privacy - may conflict, and the law in these areas is not consistent or settled. The legal, political, and business environments in these areas are rapidly changing, and subsequent legislation, regulation, litigation, court rulings, or other events could expose us to increased program costs, liability, and reputational damage.

For further discussion of risks related to current and proposed data privacy and security laws and regulations, see Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors - “Current and proposed regulation addressing consumer privacy and data use and security could increase our costs of operations, which could adversely affect our operations, results of operations and financial condition.”

Banking Regulations

We have subsidiaries that operate under banking licenses granted by the Austrian Financial Market Authority and the Brazilian Central Bank. We are also subject to regulation, examination, and supervision by the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”), which has regulatory authority over our subsidiary that holds our Austrian banking license. Further, an Agreement of Supervision with the NYDFS imposes various regulatory requirements including operational limitations, capital requirements, affiliate transaction limitations, and notice and reporting requirements on this entity and its Austrian subsidiary. However, because this entity and its Austrian subsidiary do not exercise banking powers in the United States, we are not subject to the Bank Holding Company Act in the United States.

Other

Some of our services are subject to card association rules and regulations. For example, an independent standards-setting organization, the Payment Card Industry (“PCI”) Security Standards Council developed a set of comprehensive requirements concerning payment card account security through the transaction process, called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”). All merchants and service providers that store, process and transmit payment card data are required to comply with PCI DSS as a condition to accepting credit cards. We are subject to annual reviews to ensure compliance with PCI regulations worldwide and are subject to fines if we are found to be non-compliant.

Human Capital Management

Our People

As of December 31, 2020, our businesses employed approximately 11,000 individuals, of which approximately 1,700 employees are located inside the United States. Our employees span more than 50 countries.

Attracting, Developing, and Engaging Employees

Recruitment

Our recruitment efforts focus on identifying internal and external talent with skills that are critical to our business strategy, including those individuals with cloud, data architecture, cybersecurity, payment systems, and many other areas of expertise. We actively assess our new talent needs, evaluate the extent to which current staff have those critical skills, and provide development to build these capabilities. Our recruiting team uses multiple channels to find, assess, and hire employees, including channels that focus on diverse candidates.

Training and Professional Development

We invest in our people and their growth. Our talent processes endeavor to strike an appropriate balance between global scale and local responsiveness. Our development and training organization has members in many countries, so that training can be made available to all regions of our global workforce.

Our employee development philosophy centers around learning and empowerment. To position our people for success, we provide our employees with access to a variety of learning, including self-paced digital and facilitated formats.

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Employees also gain valuable experiences through on the job learning, special assignments and projects, and coaching and mentoring. We use a variety of assessments to help employees identify and develop areas to both improve current performance as well as areas that prepare them for future opportunities.

Reflecting our commitment to a culture of ethics and compliance, new employees receive mandatory education related to compliance, ethics, privacy, and information security. Existing employees receive continuing education on these same topics every year.

Engagement

We assess employee engagement regularly, and our employee engagement system utilizes monthly surveys, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to help leaders better understand what our employees are thinking, what they value, and what they need. We benchmark our engagement results against global peers to better understand our strengths and areas of opportunity. One of our ongoing goals is to foster greater communication to help ensure that our employees are informed, believe that their concerns are heard, and feel empowered to make decisions. To that end, we have implemented employee engagement and culture teams in certain of our offices worldwide. While each site varies somewhat in its approach, these “Empower” teams are supported by on-site business leaders to focus on the “culture of the customer,” diversity and inclusion, community, the environment, and other issues that are meaningful to employees in those locations.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. We recognize the strategic importance of talent and diversity in our workforce and promote diversity through:

our policies and practices in hiring, promotion, and compensation;
encouraging ethical decision-making via our Code of Conduct and ethics training program;
offering diversity training programs, sponsorship, and mentoring initiatives;
unconscious bias training;
goal setting; and
providing support for grassroots affinity groups and belonging initiatives.  

For example, as of December 31, 2020, over 50% of our global workforce were women, over 35% of senior management-level and above positions were held by women, and one-third of our executive officers were women. Our leadership team has diverse backgrounds, with wide-ranging, global experience. In addition, our Board of Directors considers diversity in gender, ethnicity, geography, background, and cultural viewpoints when selecting nominees. As of December 31, 2020, five of our eleven directors were diverse, including three directors who were female and three directors who identify as Latinx, Asian, or LGBTQ+.

Compensation, Benefits, and Wellness

We seek to provide compensation that motivates, retains, and rewards our employees and attracts future talent. We offer packages designed to inspire the delivery of exceptional performance and results to help us deliver on our business strategy, stockholder commitments, and Company values. To guide our annual compensation assessment, we examine and benchmark market data for countries where we operate, as available data allows.

We strive to achieve equal pay for equal work. We consistently review and update salary ranges and perform internal pay equity reviews, with the goal of developing impartial and competitive pay practices and aligning salaries to local

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market conditions and cost-of-labor changes. We also offer employees multiple channels to raise pay equity concerns, such as our human resources team, ethics helpline, and legal department.

Our benefit packages aim to support the health and well-being of our employees and their families, including same and opposite sex domestic partners in most countries. Our benefit packages vary among countries based on laws, cultural norms, and market practices. Benefits generally available to all full-time employees include medical benefits, risk insurance benefits (life, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment), global adoption assistance, our employee assistance program (counseling, legal, and other professional services), paid leave, a scholarship program available to employees with college-age children, a global recognition and reward program, and business travel assistance and insurance.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have introduced multiple new benefits, working arrangements, and trainings to support the mental and physical health and financial security of our employees. These included the ability to work from home for the majority of employees, along with work-from-home tools, resources, and support, and in certain cases, enhanced back-up and in-home child and elder care, additional paid sick and family leave for employees affected by COVID-19, and telehealth doctor visits and enhanced health insurance services. In addition, we have introduced an internet subsidy and a one-time equipment support bonus for a portion of the employee population below the senior management level. To continue support for employees in 2021, we have expanded the back-up child and elder care benefit to multiple countries, implemented a global tutoring benefit for employees and their children to support remote learning, and supported our employees’ mental and emotional health through the implementation of an award-winning meditation and sleep application.

Available Information

The Western Union Company is a Delaware corporation and its principal executive offices are located at 7001 East Belleview Avenue, Denver, CO, 80237, telephone (866) 405-5012. The Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports are available free of charge through the “Investor Relations” portion of the Company’s website, www.westernunion.com, as soon as reasonably practical after they are filed with the SEC. The SEC maintains a website, www.sec.gov, which contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information filed electronically with the SEC by the Company.

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Information About our Executive Officers

As of February 19, 2021, our executive officers consist of the individuals listed below:

Name

    

Age

    

Position

Hikmet Ersek

 

60

 

President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director

Raj Agrawal

 

55

 

Chief Financial Officer

Jean Claude Farah

 

50

 

President, Global Network

Khalid Fellahi

56

President, Consumer Money Transfer

Jacqueline Molnar

57

Chief Transformation Officer

Michelle Swanback

52

President, Product and Platform

Andrew Summerill

47

President, Payments

Caroline Tsai

 

51

 

Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

Richard Williams

 

55

 

Chief People Officer

Hikmet Ersek is our President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors (from 2010). Also during 2010, Mr. Ersek served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to 2010, Mr. Ersek served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific Region from 2008. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Ersek served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Europe/Middle East/Africa/South Asia. Prior to 2006, Mr. Ersek held various positions of increasing responsibility with Western Union. Prior to joining Western Union in 1999, Mr. Ersek was with GE Capital specializing in European payment systems and consumer finance.

Raj Agrawal is our Chief Financial Officer (from 2014), and previously served as Executive Vice President of Global Operations (from 2017 to 2019), and Executive Vice President and Interim Chief Financial Officer during 2014. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Agrawal served as President, Western Union Business Solutions. From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Agrawal served as General Manager, Business Solutions, and as Senior Vice President of Finance for Business Units. Previously, Mr. Agrawal served as Senior Vice President of Finance of the Company’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa and Asia Pacific regions from 2008 to 2010, and as Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Western Union from 2006 to 2008. Prior to joining Western Union in 2006, Mr. Agrawal served as Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations at Deluxe Corporation, and worked at General Mills, Inc., Chrysler Corporation, and General Motors Corporation.

Jean Claude Farah is our President, Global Network (from 2019). From 2017 to 2019, Mr. Farah served as Executive Vice President and President, Global Payments, from 2013 to 2017, Mr. Farah served as Executive Vice President and President, Middle East, Africa, APAC, Eastern Europe and CIS, and from 2009 to 2013, Mr. Farah served as Senior Vice President for the Middle East and Africa region. Mr. Farah joined Western Union in 1999 as Marketing Manager, Middle East & North Africa. He has held a variety of progressively responsible positions with the company, including Regional Director, Regional Vice President and Senior Vice President for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan region. Mr. Farah started his career in 1995 with Renault SA. Prior to joining Western Union, he was Area Manager for Orangina Pernod Ricard.

Khalid Fellahi is our President, Consumer Money Transfer (from 2019). From 2011 to 2019, Mr. Fellahi served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Western Union Digital, and Head of our Mobile Transaction Services group from 2009 to 2010. Prior to that, Mr. Fellahi served as Head of our Africa region from 2002 to 2009. Prior to joining Western Union in 2002, Mr. Fellahi held roles within SIS-Groupe Compagnie Bancaire (Paribas) and Price Waterhouse Management Consultants. In addition, he has held senior leadership positions at small and medium enterprises in the service industry.

Jacqueline Molnar is our Chief Transformation Officer (from 2020). Ms. Molnar served as Chief Transformation Officer and Global Head of Compliance from 2019 to 2020, Chief Compliance Officer from 2016 to 2019, Interim Chief Compliance Officer from 2015 to 2016, and Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Compliance Officer from 2013 to 2015. Prior to joining Western Union in 2013, Ms. Molnar served as Vice President, Associate Global Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Toronto Dominion Bank Group, as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel at Wells Fargo & Company, and in various roles at Gibson Dunn, Latham & Watkins LLP, and at Herbert Smith Freehills.

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Michelle Swanback is our President, Product and Platform (from 2020). From 2014 to 2020, Ms. Swanback served as the Group Operating Officer at Accenture Digital. She previously served as the lead for Accenture Technology, North America from 2012 to 2014. Prior to that, she served as a managing director in the North American operating unit of the Accenture Communications, Media, and Technology operating group from 2011 to 2012.

Andrew Summerill is our President, Payments (from 2020). From 2019 to 2020, Mr. Summerill served as our Interim President, Payments. From 2015 to 2019, Mr. Summerill served as Chief Financial Officer of Western Union Business Solutions and as Vice-President of Finance for Asia Pacific of Western Union Business Solutions from 2010 to 2015. Mr. Summerill joined Western Union with the 2011 acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments, where he held various positions.  

Caroline Tsai is our Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary (from 2019). From 2017 to 2019, Ms. Tsai served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Prior to joining Western Union in 2017, Ms. Tsai served as Deputy General Counsel and Chief Regulatory Officer of BMO Financial Group, a banking and financial services provider, from 2015 to 2017 and from 2014 to 2015, Ms. Tsai served as Chief Legal Officer, U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking at BMO Harris Bank. Prior to joining BMO Financial Group, Ms. Tsai was Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Bank of America Corporation, a banking and financial services provider, from 2012 to 2013, and from 2005 to 2011, Ms. Tsai served as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel. Ms. Tsai began her legal career as an Associate with the law firm Jones Day, based in Washington, D.C.

Richard Williams is our Chief People Officer (from 2019). Mr. Williams previously served as Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer from 2013 to 2019, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer during 2013 and as Senior Vice President, Human Resources - Global Consumer Financial Services from 2011 to 2013. Mr. Williams joined Western Union in 2009 as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Americas and Global Cards. Before joining Western Union, Mr. Williams worked for Fullerton Financial Holdings (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings) as its Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 2007 to 2009. Previously, Mr. Williams spent 17 years with American Express Company.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

The following is a summary of certain key risk factors with respect to our Company. You should read this summary together with the more detailed descriptions of risks relating to our Company below.

Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry

Demand for our services is dependent on a number of factors that could be materially impacted by adverse changes in the global economy, including related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We operate in highly competitive and rapidly evolving industries and face competition from a wide variety of service providers.
Our business depends on consumer confidence, which could be adversely affected by a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control.
Our Consumer-to-Consumer business is highly dependent on our ability to maintain our agent network under terms consistent with or more advantageous than those currently in place.
Our industry is subject to rapid and significant technological changes.
We are a global company and accordingly are subject to a number of risks related to our international operations.
As a company that transfers and retains large amounts of confidential and personal information, we are exposed to risks relating to ensuring such information is not improperly used or disclosed.
Our ability to provide reliable service largely depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our computer information systems and those of our service providers.
We may not realize all of the anticipated benefits from restructuring and related initiatives.
We face credit, liquidity, and fraud risks from our agents, consumers, businesses, and third-party processors.
Changes in tax laws, or their interpretation, or unfavorable resolution of tax contingencies could adversely affect our tax expense.
Our ability to remain competitive depends in part on our ability to protect our trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights and to defend ourselves against potential intellectual property infringement claims.

Risks Relating to Our Regulatory and Litigation Environment

Our services are subject to increasingly strict legal and regulatory requirements, including those intended to help detect and prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and other illicit activity.
The laws and regulations governing our business are frequently changing and evolving and could require changes in our business model and increase our costs of operations.
The changes in our compliance program required by the consent orders and settlement agreements to which we are party have had, and may continue to have, adverse effects on our business.

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Western Union is the subject of litigation, including purported class action litigation, and regulatory actions, which could result in material settlements, judgments, fines or penalties.

There are many factors that affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows, some of which are beyond our control. These risks include, but are not limited to, the risks described in detail below. Such risks are grouped according to:

Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry; and

Risks Relating to Our Regulatory and Litigation Environment

You should carefully consider all of these risks.

Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry

Risks Relating to our Business Model and COVID-19

Global economic downturns or slower growth or declines in the money transfer, payment service, and other markets in which we operate, including downturns or declines related to interruptions in migration patterns, and difficult conditions in global financial markets and financial market disruptions could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

The global economy has experienced in recent years, and may experience, downturns, volatility and disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic (see risk factor “The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and has negatively impacted our business, and the extent to which it will further impact our business depends on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict. The effects of the pandemic had an adverse effect, and could have a material adverse effect, on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows”), and we face certain risks relating to such events, including:

Demand for our services could soften, including due to low consumer confidence, high unemployment, changes in foreign exchange rates, reduced global trade, including from trade disruptions or trade restrictions, or other events, such as civil unrest, war, terrorism, natural disasters, or public health emergencies or epidemics.
Our Consumer-to-Consumer money transfer business relies in large part on migration, which brings workers to countries with greater economic opportunities than those available in their native countries. A significant portion of money transfers are sent by international migrants. Migration is affected by (among other factors) overall economic conditions, the availability of job opportunities, changes in immigration laws, restrictions on immigration and travel, and political or other events (such as civil unrest, war, terrorism, natural disasters, or public health emergencies or epidemics) that would make it more difficult for workers to migrate or work abroad. Changes to these factors could adversely affect our remittance volume and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Many of our consumers work in industries that may be impacted by deteriorating economic conditions more quickly or significantly than other industries. The prospect of reduced job opportunities, especially in retail, healthcare, construction, hospitality, and technology industries, or weakness in the regional economies could adversely affect the number of money transfer transactions, the principal amounts transferred and correspondingly our results of operations. If general market softness in the economies of countries important to migrant workers occurs, our results of operations could be adversely impacted. Additionally, if our consumer transactions decline, if the amount of money that consumers send per transaction declines, or if migration patterns shift due to weak or deteriorating economic conditions or immigration laws, our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows may be adversely affected.

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Our agents or clients could experience reduced sales or business as a result of a deterioration in economic conditions. As a result, our agents could reduce their numbers of locations or hours of operation, or cease doing business altogether. Businesses using our services may make fewer cross-currency payments or may have fewer customers making payments to them through us, particularly businesses in those industries that may be more affected by an economic downturn.
Our Business Solutions business is heavily dependent on global trade. A downturn in global trade, including as a result of increased tensions regarding trade relationships between countries, or the failure of long-term import growth rates to return to historic levels could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Additionally, as customer hedging activity in our Business Solutions business generally varies with currency volatility, we have experienced and may experience in the future lower foreign exchange revenues in periods of lower currency volatility.
Our exposure to receivables from our agents, consumers and businesses could impact us. For more information on this risk, see risk factor “We face credit, liquidity, and fraud risks from our agents, consumers, businesses, and third-party processors that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.”
The market value of the securities in our investment portfolio may substantially decline. The impact of that decline in value may adversely affect our liquidity, financial condition, and results of operations.
The third-party service providers on whom we depend may experience difficulties in their businesses, which may impair their ability to provide services to us and have a potential impact on our own business. The impact of a change or temporary stoppage of services may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The counterparties to the derivative financial instruments that we use to reduce our exposure to various market risks, including changes in interest rates and foreign exchange rates, may fail to honor their obligations, which could expose us to risks we had sought to mitigate. This includes the exposure generated by the Business Solutions business, where we write derivative contracts to our customers as part of our cross-currency payments business, and we typically hedge the net exposure through offsetting contracts with established financial institution counterparties. That failure could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
We may be unable to refinance our existing indebtedness, or finance our obligations to pay tax on certain of our previously undistributed earnings pursuant to United States tax reform legislation enacted in December 2017 (the “Tax Act”) on favorable terms, as such amounts become due, or we may have to refinance or obtain new financing on unfavorable terms, which could require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our debt or tax obligations, thereby reducing funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, share repurchases, dividends, and other purposes.
Our revolving credit facility with a consortium of banks is one source for funding liquidity needs and also backs our commercial paper program. If any of the banks participating in our credit facility fails to fulfill its lending commitment to us, our short-term liquidity and ability to support borrowings under our commercial paper program could be adversely affected.
Banks upon which we rely to conduct our business could fail or be unable to satisfy their obligations to us. This could lead to our inability to access funds and/or credit losses for us and could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business.
Insurers we utilize to mitigate our exposures to litigation and other risks may be unable to or refuse to satisfy their obligations to us, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

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If market disruption or volatility occurs, we could experience difficulty in accessing capital on favorable terms and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely impacted.

The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and has negatively impacted our business, and the extent to which it will further impact our business depends on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict. The effects of the pandemic had an adverse effect, and could have a material adverse effect, on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

The global spread of COVID-19 has created significant macroeconomic uncertainty, volatility, and disruption. In response, many governments implemented policies intended to stop or slow the further spread of the disease, such as lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, or restricted movement guidelines, and these measures may remain in place for a significant period of time or be reinstated again in the future. These policies have resulted in lower consumer and commercial activity across many markets and the closure of Western Union locations and agent locations in certain areas. As a result, customers have experienced and may continue to experience reduced access to retail agent locations due to localized response policies. Additionally, as money transfer services offered through our retail agent locations contribute a majority of our Consumer-to-Consumer revenue, our business has been and may continue to be negatively impacted by these temporary closures to a greater extent than others in our industry who are not as reliant on retail locations. We experienced declines in our Consumer-to-Consumer transactions from retail locations in each quarter of 2020, compared to the corresponding quarters in the prior year, which we believe is mainly due to economic uncertainty and increased unemployment resulting from the pandemic. Further, a continued global economic downturn, including continued high unemployment, may continue to result from lower consumer and commercial activity and may continue to negatively impact our transaction volumes. While the duration and severity of this pandemic and related impacts are uncertain, we expect that our results of operations in future periods may also be negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices (including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be recommended or required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, clients and business partners. There is no certainty that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus or otherwise be satisfactory to government authorities.

The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict, including, but not limited to, the duration and geographic spread of the pandemic, its severity, the occurrence of additional waves, variants, or periods of increased spread of COVID-19 in key markets in which we operate, the availability and effectiveness of a vaccine, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, including new or additional restrictions imposed by governments, its effects on consumer behavior and demand, its effects on migrants and immigration patterns and regulations, how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume and be sustained, and our ability to adapt to changing conditions. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any recession, economic downturn, changes in customer behavior or demand, or increased unemployment that has occurred or may occur in the future.

There are no comparable recent events which may provide guidance as to the effect of the spread of COVID-19, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the pandemic or a similar health epidemic is highly uncertain and subject to change. We do not yet know the full extent of the impacts on our business, our operations, or the global economy as a whole. However, the effects have had an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows and could have a material adverse effect in the future.

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We face competition from global and niche or corridor money transfer providers, United States and international banks, card associations, card-based payments providers and a number of other types of service providers, including electronic, mobile and internet-based services, and from digital currencies and related protocols, and other innovations in technology and business models. Our future growth depends on our ability to compete effectively in the industry.

Money transfer and business payments are highly competitive industries which include service providers from a variety of financial and non-financial business groups. Our competitors include consumer money transfer companies, banks and credit unions (including interbank partnerships), card associations, web-based services, mobile money transfer services, payment processors, card-based payments providers such as issuers of e-money, travel cards or stored-value cards, informal remittance systems, automated teller machine providers and operators, phone payment systems (including mobile phone networks), postal organizations, retailers, check cashers, mail and courier services, currency exchanges, and digital currencies. These services are differentiated by features and functionalities such as brand recognition, customer service, trust and reliability, distribution network and channel options, convenience, price, speed, variety of payment methods, service offerings and innovation. Our business, distribution network and channel options, such as our digital channels, have been and may continue to be impacted by increased competition, including from new competitors and the consolidation of competitors and the expansion of their services, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. For example, we have experienced increased competition in money transfers sent and received within the United States from competitors that do not charge a fee to send or receive money through bank accounts. The potential international expansion of these competitors could represent significant competition to us.

Our future growth depends on our ability to compete effectively in money transfer and business payments. For example, if we fail to price our services appropriately, consumers may not use our services, which could adversely affect our business and financial results. In addition, we have historically implemented and will likely continue to implement price reductions from time to time in response to competition and other factors. Price reductions generally reduce margins and adversely affect financial results in the short term and may also adversely affect financial results in the long term if transaction volumes do not increase sufficiently. Further, failure to compete on service differentiation and service quality could significantly affect our future growth potential and results of operations.

As noted below under risk factor “Risks associated with operations outside the United States and foreign currencies could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows, many of our agents outside the United States are national post offices. These entities are usually governmental organizations that may enjoy special privileges or protections that could allow them to simultaneously develop their own money transfer businesses. International postal organizations could agree to establish a money transfer network among themselves. Due to the size of these organizations and the number of locations they have, any such network could represent significant competition to us.

If customer confidence in our business or in consumer money transfer and payment service providers generally deteriorates, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely affected.

Our business is built on customer confidence in our brands and our ability to provide fast, reliable money transfer and payment services. Erosion in customer confidence in our business, or in consumer money transfer and payment service providers as a means to transfer money, could adversely impact transaction volumes which would in turn adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

A number of factors could adversely affect customer confidence in our business, or in consumer money transfer and payment service providers generally, many of which are beyond our control, and could have an adverse impact on our results of operations. These factors include:

changes or proposed changes in laws or regulations or regulator or judicial interpretation thereof that have the effect of making it more difficult or less desirable to transfer money using consumer money transfer and payment service providers, including additional consumer due diligence, identification, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements;

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the quality of our services and our customer experience, and our ability to meet evolving customer needs and preferences, including consumer preferences related to our westernunion.com and other Digital Money Transfer services;
failure of our agents or their subagents to deliver services in accordance with our requirements;
reputational concerns resulting from actual or perceived events, including those related to fraud, consumer protection, data breaches, or other matters;
actions by federal, state or foreign regulators that interfere with our ability to transfer consumers’ money reliably, for example, attempts to seize money transfer funds, or limit our ability to or prohibit us from transferring money in certain corridors;
federal, state or foreign legal requirements, including those that require us to provide consumer or transaction data either pursuant to requirements under the Joint Settlement Agreements or other requirements or to a greater extent than is currently required;
any significant interruption in our systems, including by unauthorized entry and computer viruses, fire, natural disaster, power loss, telecommunications failure, terrorism, vendor failure, or disruptions in our workforce; and
any breach of our computer systems or other data storage facilities, or of certain of our third-party providers, resulting in a compromise of personal or other data.

Many of our money transfer consumers are migrants. Consumer advocacy groups or governmental agencies could consider migrants to be disadvantaged and entitled to protection, enhanced consumer disclosure, or other different treatment. If consumer advocacy groups are able to generate widespread support for actions that are detrimental to our business, then our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely affected.

If we are unable to maintain our agent, subagent or global business relationships under terms acceptable to us or consistent with those currently in place, including due to increased costs or loss of business as a result of increased compliance requirements or difficulty for us, our agents or their subagents in establishing or maintaining relationships with banks needed to conduct our services, or if our agents or their subagents fail to comply with our business and technology standards and contract requirements, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows would be adversely affected.

Most of our Consumer-to-Consumer revenue is derived through our agent network. Some of our international agents have subagent relationships in which we are not directly involved. If, due to competition or other reasons, agents or their subagents decide to leave our network, or if we are unable to sign new agents or maintain our agent network under terms acceptable to us or consistent with those currently in place, or if our agents are unable to maintain relationships with or sign new subagents, our revenue and profits may be adversely affected. Agent attrition might occur for a number of reasons, including a competitor engaging an agent, an agent’s dissatisfaction with its relationship with us or the revenue derived from that relationship, an agent’s or its subagents’ unwillingness or inability to comply with our standards or legal requirements, including those related to compliance with anti-money laundering regulations, anti-fraud measures, or agent registration and monitoring requirements or increased costs or loss of business as a result of difficulty for us, our agents or their subagents in establishing or maintaining relationships with banks needed to conduct our services. For example, the Joint Settlement Agreements and the NYDFS Consent Order subjected us to heightened requirements relating to agent oversight, which resulted in and may continue to result in agent attrition. Further, certain agents decided to leave our network due to reputational concerns related to the Joint Settlement Agreements and the NYDFS Consent Order. In addition, agents may generate fewer transactions or less revenue for various reasons, including increased competition, political unrest, changes in the economy, or factors impacting our agents’ ability to settle with us, and the cost of maintaining agent or subagent locations has increased and may continue to increase because of enhanced compliance efforts or changes to compliance requirements. Because an agent is a third-party that engages in a variety of activities in

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addition to providing our services, it may encounter business difficulties unrelated to its provision of our services, which could cause the agent to reduce its number of locations, hours of operation, or cease doing business altogether.

Changes in laws regulating competition or in the interpretation of those laws could undermine our ability to enter into or maintain our exclusive arrangements with our current and prospective agents. See risk factor “Regulatory initiatives and changes in laws, regulations and industry practices and standards affecting us, our agents or their subagents, or the banks with which we or our agents maintain bank accounts needed to provide our services could require changes in our business model and increase our costs of operations, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity” below. In addition, certain of our agents and subagents have refused to enter into exclusive arrangements recently, including a significant agent in the United States. The inability to enter into exclusive arrangements or to maintain our exclusive rights in agent contracts in certain situations could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows by, for example, allowing competitors to benefit from the goodwill associated with the Western Union brand at our agent locations.

In Business Solutions, we facilitate payment and foreign exchange solutions, primarily cross-border, cross-currency transactions, for small and medium size enterprises and other organizations and individuals. In our various bill payments services, we provide services for making one-time or recurring payments from consumers to businesses and other organizations, including utilities, auto finance companies, mortgage servicers, financial service providers and government agencies. Our relationships with these businesses and other organizations are a core component of our payments services, and we derive a substantial portion of our revenue from payment services through these relationships. Increased regulation and compliance requirements are impacting these businesses by making it more costly for us to provide our services or by making it more cumbersome for businesses or consumers to do business with us. We have also had difficulty establishing or maintaining banking relationships needed to conduct our services due to banks’ policies. If we are unable to maintain our current business or banking relationships or establish new relationships under terms acceptable to us or consistent with those currently in place, our ability to continue to offer our services may be adversely impacted, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

As a result of offering our services, our agents may be subject to various taxes, as governments outside the United States have viewed and may continue to view our agents’ services as subject to income, withholding, and other taxes. Any such taxes that are levied on our agents could make it less desirable for agents to offer our services, which could result in increased agent attrition, agents ceasing to offer some of our services, or increased costs to maintain our agent network, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our ability to adopt new technology and develop and gain market acceptance of new and enhanced products and services in response to changing industry and regulatory standards and evolving customer needs poses a challenge to our business.

Our industry is subject to rapid and significant technological changes, with the constant introduction of new and enhanced products and services and evolving industry and regulatory standards and consumer needs and preferences. Our ability to enhance our current products and services and introduce new products and services that address these changes has a significant impact on our ability to be successful. We actively seek to respond in a timely manner to changes in customer (both consumer and business) needs and preferences, technology advances and new and enhanced products and services such as technology-based money transfer and Business Solutions payments services, including internet, phone-based and other mobile money transfer services. Failure to respond timely and well to these challenges could adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Further, even if we respond well to these challenges, the business and financial models offered by many of these alternative, more technology-reliant means of money transfer and electronic payment solutions may be less advantageous to us than our traditional cash/agent model or our current electronic money transfer model.

Risks associated with operations outside the United States and foreign currencies could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

A substantial portion of our revenue is generated in currencies other than the United States dollar. As a result, we are subject to risks associated with changes in the value of our revenues and net monetary assets denominated in foreign

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currencies. For example, a considerable portion of our revenue is generated in the euro. In an environment of a rising United States dollar relative to the euro, the value of our euro-denominated revenue, operating income and net monetary assets would be reduced when translated into United States dollars for inclusion in our financial statements. Some of these adverse financial effects may be partially mitigated by foreign currency hedging activities. In an environment of a declining United States dollar relative to the euro, some of the translation benefits on our reported financial results could be limited by the impact of foreign currency hedging activities. We are also subject to changes in the value of other foreign currencies.

We operate in almost all developing markets throughout the world. In many of these markets, our foreign currency exposure is limited because most transactions are receive transactions and we currently reimburse the substantial majority of our agents in United States dollars, euros, or Mexican pesos for the payment of these transactions. However, in certain of these developing markets we settle transactions in local currencies and generate revenue from send transactions. Our exposure to foreign currency fluctuations in those markets is increased as these fluctuations impact our revenues and operating income.

We have additional foreign exchange risk and associated foreign exchange risk management requirements due to the nature of our Business Solutions business. The majority of this business’ revenue is from exchanges of currency at spot rates, which enable customers to make cross-currency payments. In certain countries, this business also writes foreign currency forward and option contracts for our customers. The significant majority of these derivative contracts have a duration at inception of less than one year. The credit risk associated with our derivative contracts increases when foreign currency exchange rates move against our customers, possibly impacting their ability to honor their obligations to deliver currency to us or to maintain appropriate collateral with us. Business Solutions aggregates its foreign exchange exposures arising from customer contracts, including the derivative contracts described above, and hedges the resulting net currency risks by entering into offsetting contracts with established financial institution counterparties. However, these contracts do not eliminate all of the risks related to fluctuating foreign currency rates. If we are unable to obtain offsetting positions, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely affected.

A substantial portion of our revenue is generated outside the United States. We utilize a variety of planning and financial strategies to help ensure that our worldwide cash is available where needed, including decisions related to the amounts, timing, and manner by which cash is repatriated or otherwise made available from our international subsidiaries. Changes in the amounts, timing, and manner by which cash is repatriated (or deemed repatriated) or otherwise made available from our international subsidiaries, including changes arising from new legal or tax rules, disagreements with legal or tax authorities concerning existing rules that are ultimately resolved in their favor, or changes in our operations or business, could result in material adverse effects on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows including our ability to pay future dividends or make share repurchases. For further discussion regarding the risk that our future effective tax rates could be adversely impacted by changes in tax laws, both domestically and internationally, see risk factor “Changes in tax laws, or their interpretation, and unfavorable resolution of tax contingencies could adversely affect our tax expense” below.

Money transfers and payments to, from, within, or between countries may be limited or prohibited by law. At times in the past, we have been required to cease operations in particular countries due to political uncertainties or government restrictions imposed by foreign governments or the United States. Occasionally agents or their subagents have been required by their regulators to cease offering our services; see risk factor “Regulatory initiatives and changes in laws, regulations and industry practices and standards affecting us, our agents or their subagents, or the banks with which we or our agents maintain bank accounts needed to provide our services could require changes in our business model and increase our costs of operations, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity” below. Additionally, economic or political instability or natural disasters may make money transfers to, from, within, or between particular countries difficult or impossible, such as when banks are closed, when currency devaluation makes exchange rates difficult to manage or when natural disasters or civil unrest makes access to agent locations unsafe. These risks could negatively impact our ability to offer our services, to make payments to or receive payments from international agents or our subsidiaries or to recoup funds that have been advanced to international agents or are held by our subsidiaries, and as a result could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. In addition, the general state of telecommunications and infrastructure in some lesser developed countries, including countries where we have a large number of transactions, creates operational risks for us and our agents that generally are not present in our operations in the United States and other more developed countries.

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Many of our agents outside the United States are post offices, which are usually owned and operated by national governments. These governments may decide to change the terms under which they allow post offices to offer remittances and other financial services. For example, governments may decide to separate financial service operations from postal operations, or mandate the creation or privatization of a “post bank,” which could result in the loss of agent locations, or they may require multiple service providers in their network. These changes could have an adverse effect on our ability to distribute or offer our services in countries that are material to our business.

We face credit, liquidity and fraud risks from our agents, consumers, businesses, and third-party processors that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

The majority of our Consumer-to-Consumer money transfer activity and our walk-in bill payment and money order activity is conducted through third-party agents that provide our services to consumers at their retail locations. These agents sell our services, collect funds from consumers and are required to pay the proceeds from these transactions to us. As a result, we have credit exposure to our agents. In some countries, our agent networks include superagents that establish subagent relationships; these agents must collect funds from their subagents in order to pay us. We are generally not insured against credit losses, except in certain circumstances related to agent theft or fraud. If an agent becomes insolvent, files for bankruptcy, commits fraud or otherwise fails to pay money order, money transfer or payment services proceeds to us, we must nonetheless pay the money order or complete the money transfer or payment services on behalf of the consumer.

The liquidity of our agents and other parties we transact with directly, including merchant acquirers, is necessary for our business to remain strong and to continue to provide our services. If our agents or other partners fail to settle with us in a timely manner, our liquidity could be affected.

From time to time, we have made, and may in the future make, advances to our agents. We generally owe settlement funds payable to these agents that offset these advances. However, the failure of these borrowing agents to repay these advances constitutes a credit risk to us.

We are exposed to credit risk in our Business Solutions business relating to: (i) derivatives written by us to our customers and (ii) the extension of trade credit when transactions are paid to recipients prior to our receiving cleared funds from the sending customers. The credit risk associated with our derivative contracts increases when foreign currency exchange rates move against our customers, possibly impacting their ability to honor their obligations to deliver currency to us or to maintain appropriate collateral with us. If a customer becomes insolvent, files for bankruptcy, commits fraud or otherwise fails to pay us, we may be exposed to the value of an offsetting position with a financial institution counterparty for the derivatives or may bear financial risk for those receivables where we have extended trade credit.

We offer consumers in select countries the ability to transfer money utilizing their bank account or credit or debit card via websites and mobile devices. These transactions have experienced and continue to experience a greater risk of fraud and higher fraud losses than transactions initiated at agent locations. Additionally, money transfers funded by ACH, or similar methods, are not preauthorized by the sender’s bank and carry the risk that the account may not exist or have sufficient funds to cover the transaction. We apply verification and other tools to help authenticate transactions and protect against fraud. However, these tools are not always successful in protecting us against fraud. As the merchant of these transactions, we may bear the financial risk of the full amount sent in some of the fraudulent transactions. Issuers of credit and debit cards may also incur losses due to fraudulent transactions through our distribution channels and may elect to block transactions by their cardholders in these channels with or without notice. We may be subject to additional fees or penalties if the amount of chargebacks exceeds a certain percentage of our transaction volume. Such fees and penalties increase over time if we do not take effective action to reduce chargebacks below the threshold, and if chargeback levels are not ultimately reduced to acceptable levels, our merchant accounts could be suspended or revoked, which would adversely affect our results of operations.

To help ensure availability of our worldwide cash where needed, we utilize a variety of planning and financial strategies, including decisions related to the amounts, timing and manner by which cash is repatriated or otherwise made available from our international subsidiaries. These decisions can influence our overall tax rate and impact our total liquidity. Our overall liquidity may also be impacted by regulations or their interpretations that, if fully enacted or

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implemented, could require us to register as a swap dealer and post collateral in connection with our derivative financial instruments used to hedge our exposures arising in connection with changes to foreign currency exchange rates.

Risks Relating to Cybersecurity and Third-Party Vendors

Breaches of our information security safeguards could adversely affect our ability to operate and could damage our reputation and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

We collect, transfer and retain confidential and personal information about consumers, business customer representatives, employees, applicants, agents and other individuals as part of our business. With our services being offered in more than 200 countries and territories, these activities are subject to laws and regulations in the United States and many other jurisdictions; see risk factor “Current and proposed regulation addressing consumer privacy and data use and security could increase our costs of operations, which could adversely affect our operations, results of operations and financial condition” below. The requirements imposed by these laws and regulations, which often differ materially among the many jurisdictions in which we operate and can have impacts on our business operations, are designed to protect the privacy of personal information and prevent that information from being inappropriately accessed, used or disclosed and protect financial services providers and other regulated entities and their customers, as well as information technology systems, from cyber attacks. We believe we have developed and maintain administrative, technical and physical safeguards designed to comply with applicable legal requirements. It is possible that hackers, employees acting contrary to our policies or others could circumvent these safeguards to improperly access our systems or documents, or the systems or documents of our business partners, agents, or service providers, and improperly access, obtain, misuse or disclose sensitive business information or personal information about our consumers, business customer representatives, employees, applicants, agents or others, or that a third-party service provider could experience a cybersecurity incident or intentionally or inadvertently use, disclose or make available sensitive business information or personal information to unauthorized parties or in violation of law. In addition, a significant and increasing amount of our data is collected and stored by third parties, including providers of cloud-based software services. Security incidents have the potential to impose material costs on the Company and there can be no assurance that security incidents will not occur in the future. The methods used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service or sabotage systems are also constantly changing and evolving and may be difficult to anticipate or detect for long periods of time. Additionally, transactions undertaken through our websites or other digital channels may create risks of fraud, hacking, unauthorized access or acquisition, and other deceptive practices. Any security incident resulting in a compromise of sensitive business information or the personal information of consumers, business customer representatives, employees, applicants, agents or other individuals, could result in material costs to us and require us to notify impacted individuals, and in some cases regulators, of a possible or actual incident, expose us to regulatory enforcement actions, including substantial fines, limit our ability to provide services, subject us to litigation, damage our reputation, and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Interruptions in our systems, including as a result of cyber attacks, or disruptions in our workforce may have a significant adverse effect on our business.

Our ability to provide reliable service largely depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our computer information systems and those of our service providers. Any significant interruptions could harm our business and reputation and result in a loss of business. These systems and operations could be exposed to damage or interruption from unauthorized entry and computer viruses, fire, natural disaster, power loss, telecommunications failure, terrorism, vendor failure, or other causes, many of which may be beyond our control or that of our service providers. Additionally, any significant damage or interruptions in the computer information systems of our agents or other partners could result in a disruption in providing our services to consumers at their locations. Further, we have been and continue to be the subject of cyber attacks, including distributed denial of service attacks. These attackers and attacks, which may even be initiated by nation-states, have continued to become more sophisticated and are primarily aimed at interrupting our business, exposing us to financial losses, or exploiting information security vulnerabilities. Historically, none of these attacks or breaches has individually or in the aggregate resulted in any material liability to us or any material damage to our reputation, and disruptions related to cybersecurity have not caused any material disruption to the Company’s business. The safeguards we have designed to help prevent future security incidents and systems disruptions and comply with applicable legal requirements may not be successful, and we may experience material security incidents, disruptions or

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other problems in the future. We also may experience software defects, development delays, installation difficulties and other systems problems, which could harm our business and reputation and expose us to potential liability which may not be fully covered by our business interruption insurance. In addition, hardware, software, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security. These applications may not be sufficient to address technological advances, regulatory requirements, changing market conditions or other developments. In addition, any work stoppages or other labor actions by employees, the significant majority of whom are located outside the United States, could adversely affect our business.

We receive services from third-party vendors that would be difficult to replace if those vendors ceased providing such services adequately or at all. Cessation of or defects in various services provided to us by third-party vendors could cause temporary disruption to our business.

Some services relating to our business, such as cloud-based software service providers, software application support, the development, hosting and maintenance of our operating systems, merchant acquiring services, call center services, check clearing, processing of returned checks, and other operating activities are outsourced to third-party vendors, which would be difficult to replace quickly. If our third-party vendors were unwilling or unable to provide us with these services in the future, our business and operations could be adversely affected.

Risks Relating to Acquisitions, Divestitures, and Restructuring Activities

Acquisitions and integration of new businesses create risks and may affect operating results.

We have acquired and may acquire businesses both inside and outside the United States. As of December 31, 2020, we had $2,566.6 million of goodwill comprising approximately 27% of our total assets, including $1,980.7 million of goodwill in our Consumer-to-Consumer reporting unit and $532.0 million of goodwill in our Business Solutions reporting unit. If we or our reporting units do not generate operating cash flows at levels consistent with our expectations, we may be required to write down the goodwill on our balance sheet, which could have a significant adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations in future periods.

For example, for the year ended December 31, 2017, we recognized a non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to our Business Solutions reporting unit. The fair value of the Business Solutions reporting unit continues to be sensitive to changes in projections for revenue growth rates and Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (“EBITDA”) margins. Any reduction in anticipated future operating cash flows or the occurrence of further negative factors impacting the fair value of the Business Solutions reporting unit could result in another write down of goodwill, which could have a significant adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations. See the "Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" discussion in Part II, Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, for more detail.

In addition to the risk of goodwill impairment, the acquisition and integration of businesses involve a number of other risks. The core risks involve valuation (negotiating a fair price for the business based on inherently limited due diligence) and integration (managing the complex process of integrating the acquired company’s people, products and services, technology and other assets in an effort to realize the projected value of the acquired company and the projected synergies of the acquisition). Another risk is the need in some cases to improve regulatory compliance; see “Risks Relating to Our Regulatory and Litigation Environment” below. Acquisitions often involve additional or increased risks including, for example:

realizing the anticipated financial benefits from these acquisitions and where necessary, improving internal controls of these acquired businesses;
managing geographically separated organizations, systems and facilities;
managing multi-jurisdictional operating, tax and financing structures;
integrating personnel with diverse business backgrounds and organizational cultures;

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integrating the acquired technologies into our Company;
complying with regulatory requirements, including those particular to the industry and jurisdiction of the acquired business;
obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights in some foreign countries;
entering new markets with the services of the acquired businesses; and
general economic and political conditions, including legal and other barriers to cross-border investment in general, or by United States companies in particular.

Integrating operations could cause an interruption of, or divert resources from, one or more of our businesses and could result in the loss of key personnel. The diversion of management’s attention and any delays or difficulties encountered in connection with an acquisition and the integration of the acquired company’s operations could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Divestitures and contingent liabilities from divested businesses could adversely affect our business and financial results.

We continually evaluate the performance and strategic fit of all of our businesses and may sell businesses or product lines. For example, in May 2019, we sold a substantial majority of our United States based electronic bill payments services, as previously discussed. Divestitures involve risks, including difficulties in the separation of operations, services, products and personnel, the diversion of management's attention from other business concerns, the disruption of our business, the potential loss of key employees and the retention of uncertain contingent liabilities related to the divested business. When we decide to sell assets or a business, we may encounter difficulty in finding buyers or alternative exit strategies on acceptable terms in a timely manner, which could delay the achievement of our strategic objectives. We may also dispose of a business at a price or on terms that are less desirable than we had anticipated, which could result in significant asset impairment charges, including those related to goodwill and other intangible assets, that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we may experience greater dis-synergies than expected, the impact of the divestiture on our revenue growth may be larger than projected, and some divestitures may be dilutive to earnings. There can be no assurance whether the strategic benefits and expected financial impact of the divestiture will be achieved. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in managing these or any other significant risks that we encounter in divesting a business or product line, and any divestiture we undertake could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We may not realize all of the anticipated benefits from restructuring and other related initiatives, which may include decisions to downsize or to transition operating activities from one location to another, and we may experience disruptions in our workforce as a result of those initiatives.

Over the past few years, we have been engaged in restructuring actions and activities associated with business transformation, productivity improvement initiatives, and expense reduction measures. See Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 4, Restructuring-Related Expenses for further discussion regarding our restructuring plan initiated in 2019 designed to change our operating model and improve our business processes and cost structure by reorganizing our senior management, reducing our headcount, and consolidating various facilities. We may implement additional initiatives in future periods. While these initiatives are designed to increase operational effectiveness and productivity and result in improved profitability, there can be no assurance that the anticipated benefits will be realized, and the costs to implement such initiatives may be greater than expected. In addition, these initiatives have resulted and will likely result in the loss of personnel, some of whom may support significant systems or operations, and may make it more difficult to attract and retain key personnel, any of which could negatively impact our results of operations. Consequently, these initiatives could result in a disruption to our workforce. If we do not realize the anticipated benefits from these or similar initiatives, the costs to implement future initiatives are greater than expected, or if the actions result in a disruption to our workforce greater than anticipated, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely affected.

General Risks

Changes in tax laws, or their interpretation, and unfavorable resolution of tax contingencies could adversely affect our tax expense.

Our future effective tax rates could be adversely affected by changes in tax laws or their interpretation, both domestically and internationally. For example, in December 2017, the Tax Act was enacted into United States law. Among other things, the Tax Act imposes a tax on certain previously undistributed foreign earnings, establishes minimum taxes related to certain payments deemed to erode the United States tax base, and retains and expands United States taxation on a broad range of foreign earnings (whether or not the earnings have been repatriated) while effectively exempting certain types of foreign earnings from United States tax. In addition, the Tax Act is broad and complex, and any changes or clarifications in the interpretation of the Tax Act or other legislative proposals or amendments could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Furthermore, the effect of certain aspects of the Tax Act on state income tax frameworks could change as states update their laws for these aspects, and potential changes to state income tax laws or their interpretation could further increase our income tax expense. During his 2020 presidential campaign, the president of the United States proposed several changes in current United States tax laws to increase taxes on corporations. If any or all of these (or similar) proposals are ultimately enacted into law, in whole or in part, such increases could negatively impact our effective tax rate.

Additionally, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (“OECD”) has asked countries around the globe to act to prevent what it refers to as base erosion and profit shifting (“BEPS”). The OECD considers BEPS to refer to tax planning strategies that shift, perhaps artificially, profits across borders to take advantage of differing tax laws and rates among countries. Tax reforms recommended in the BEPS action plan include changes that would impact, among other things, global tax reporting, intercompany transfer pricing arrangements, the definition of taxable permanent establishments, and other legal or financial arrangements that are viewed as causing BEPS. Significant components of the BEPS action plan were published by the OECD in October 2015 and a number of governments have enacted or proposed rules to implement changes specifically suggested in the recommendations or other changes, such as specific “economic substance” rules, inspired by BEPS-style considerations. Furthermore, the OECD is seeking to gain consensus around further changes in traditional international tax principles to address, among other things, perceived challenges presented by global digital commerce, under a so-called “BEPS 2.0” initiative. Any material change in tax laws or policies, or their interpretation, resulting from BEPS, BEPS 2.0, or other legislative proposals or inquiries could result in a higher effective tax rate on our earnings and have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our tax returns and positions (including positions regarding jurisdictional authority of foreign governments to impose tax) are subject to review and audit by federal, state, local and foreign taxing authorities. An unfavorable outcome to a tax

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audit could result in higher tax expense, thereby negatively impacting our results of operations. We have established contingency reserves for a variety of material, known tax exposures. As of December 31, 2020, the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits was a liability of $310.5 million, including accrued interest and penalties, net of related items. Our reserves reflect our judgment as to the resolution of the issues involved if subject to judicial review. While we believe that our reserves are adequate to cover reasonably expected tax risks, there can be no assurance that, in all instances, an issue raised by a tax authority will be resolved at a financial cost that does not exceed our related reserve, and such resolution could have a material effect on our effective tax rate, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows in the current period and/or future periods. With respect to these reserves, our income tax expense would include: (i) any changes in tax reserves arising from material changes during the period in the facts and circumstances (i.e., new information) surrounding a tax issue and (ii) any difference from the Company’s tax position as recorded in the financial statements and the final resolution of a tax issue during the period. Such resolution could increase or decrease income tax expense in our consolidated financial statements in future periods and could impact our operating cash flows.

Our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be harmed by adverse rating actions by credit rating agencies.

Downgrades in our credit ratings, or their review or revision to a negative outlook, could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows, and could damage perceptions of our financial strength, which could adversely affect our relationships with our agents, particularly those agents that are financial institutions or post offices, and our banking and other business relationships. In addition, adverse ratings actions could result in regulators imposing additional capital and other requirements on us, including imposing restrictions on the ability of our regulated subsidiaries to pay dividends. Also, a downgrade below investment grade will increase our interest expense under certain of our notes, our revolving credit facility, and our term loan facility, and any significant downgrade could increase our costs of borrowing money more generally or adversely impact or eliminate our access to the commercial paper market, each of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

There can be no guarantee that we will continue to make dividend payments or repurchase stock.

For risks associated with our ability to continue to make dividend payments or repurchase shares, please see Part II, Item 5, Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Our ability to remain competitive depends in part on our ability to protect our trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights and to defend ourselves against potential intellectual property infringement claims.

The Western Union and WU brands, which are protected by trademark registrations in many countries, are material to our Company. The loss of the Western Union or WU trademarks or a diminution in the perceived quality of products or services associated with the names would harm our business. Similar to the Western Union and WU trademarks, the Orlandi Valuta, Vigo, Western Union Business Solutions, Pago Fácil, Quick Collect, Quick Pay, Pay@WU, Quick Cash, My WU, Western Union Convenience Pay, and other trademarks and service marks are also important to our Company and a loss of the service mark or trademarks or a diminution in the perceived quality associated with these names could harm our business.

Our intellectual property rights are an important element in the value of our business. Our failure to take appropriate actions against those who infringe upon our intellectual property could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

The laws of certain foreign countries in which we do business do not always protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States. Adverse determinations in judicial or administrative proceedings in the United States or in foreign countries could impair our ability to sell our products or services or license or protect our intellectual property, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

We own patents and patent applications covering various aspects of our processes and services. We have been, are and in the future may be, subject to claims alleging that our platform, mobile application, or other products and services infringe third-party intellectual property or other proprietary rights, both inside and outside the United States. Unfavorable

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resolution of these claims could require us to change how we deliver or promote a service, result in significant financial consequences, or both, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Material changes in the market value or liquidity of the securities we hold may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

As of December 31, 2020, we held $2.0 billion in investment securities, the significant majority of which are state and municipal debt securities. The majority of this money represents the principal of money orders issued by us to consumers primarily in the United States and money transfers sent by consumers. We regularly monitor our credit risk and attempt to mitigate our exposure by investing in highly-rated securities and by diversifying our investments. Despite those measures, it is possible that the value of our portfolio may decline in the future due to any number of factors, including general market conditions, credit issues, the viability of the issuer of the security, failure by a fund manager to manage the investment portfolio consistently with the fund prospectus or increases in interest rates. Any such decline in value may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

The trust holding the assets of our pension plan has assets totaling $280.6 million as of December 31, 2020. The fair value of these assets held in the trust are compared to the plan’s projected benefit obligation of $240.7 million to determine the prepaid pension costs of $39.9 million recorded within Other assets in our Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2020. We attempt to mitigate risk through diversification, and we regularly monitor investment risk in our portfolio through quarterly investment portfolio reviews and periodic asset and liability studies. Despite these measures, it is possible that the value of our portfolio may decline in the future due to any number of factors, including general market conditions and credit issues. Such declines could have an impact on the funded status of our pension plan and future funding requirements.

We have substantial debt and other obligations that could restrict our operations.

As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $3.1 billion in consolidated indebtedness, and we may also incur additional indebtedness in the future. Furthermore, the Tax Act imposes a tax on certain of our previously undistributed foreign earnings, which we have elected to pay in periodic installments through 2025.

Our indebtedness and tax obligations could have adverse consequences, including:

limiting our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders or to repurchase stock consistent with our historical practices;
increasing our vulnerability to changing economic, regulatory and industry conditions;
limiting our ability to compete and our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry;
limiting our ability to borrow additional funds; and
requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our debt or tax obligations, thereby reducing funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other purposes.

In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom (“UK”), which regulates LIBOR, publicly announced that it will no longer compel or persuade banks to make LIBOR submissions after 2021. This announcement is expected to effectively end LIBOR rates beginning in 2022, and while other alternatives, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, have been proposed, it is unclear which, if any, alternative to LIBOR will be available and widely accepted in major financial markets. We currently have borrowings that are subject to LIBOR-based interest rates, including borrowings under our term loan facility. The governing agreements for these borrowings contain provisions to amend the rate and payment terms in order to conform to an appropriate LIBOR alternative, and we intend to exercise and negotiate

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these options in accordance with market standards. Historically, we have utilized LIBOR-based interest rate swaps to vary the percentage of fixed to floating rate debt, subject to market conditions, and we may continue to use similar instruments in the future. If an alternative to LIBOR is not available and widely accepted after 2021, our ability to borrow at floating interest rates may be adversely impacted, as the costs associated with any potential future borrowings or interest rate swaps requiring us to pay floating interest rates may increase.

Risks Relating to Our Regulatory and Litigation Environment

As described under Part I, Item 1, Business, our business is subject to a wide range of laws and regulations enacted by the United States federal government, each of the states (including licensing requirements), many localities and many other countries and jurisdictions. Laws and regulations to which we are subject include those related to: financial services, anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, sanctions and anti-fraud, consumer disclosure and consumer protection, currency controls, money transfer and payment instrument licensing, payment services, credit and debit cards, electronic payments, foreign exchange hedging services and the sale of spot, forward and option currency contracts, unclaimed property, the regulation of competition, consumer privacy, data protection and information security, cybersecurity, operational security, outsourcing, risk management, and other governance requirements applicable to regulated financial service providers. Further, where we cooperate with partners around the world to offer other branded and unbranded money transfer services, including services offered and marketed exclusively under the partners’ brands, the regulatory requirements applicable to us may vary. The failure by us, our agents, their subagents, or our partners to comply with any such laws or regulations could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows and could seriously damage our reputation and brands, and result in diminished revenue and profit and increased operating costs.

Risks Relating to Significant Regulatory Requirements

Our business is subject to a wide range and increasing number of laws and regulations. Liabilities or loss of business resulting from a failure by us, our agents or their subagents to comply with laws and regulations and regulatory or judicial interpretations thereof, including laws and regulations designed to protect consumers, or detect and prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud and other illicit activity, and increased costs or loss of business associated with compliance with those laws and regulations has had and we expect will continue to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our services are subject to increasingly strict legal and regulatory requirements, including those intended to help detect and prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and other illicit activity. The interpretation of those requirements by judges, regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies may change quickly and with little notice. Additionally, these requirements or their interpretations in one jurisdiction may conflict with those of another jurisdiction. As United States federal and state as well as foreign legislative and regulatory scrutiny and enforcement action in these areas increase, we expect that our costs of complying with these requirements could continue to increase, perhaps substantially, and may make it more difficult or less desirable for consumers and others to use our services or for us to contract with certain intermediaries, either of which would have an adverse effect on our revenue and operating income. For example, in recent years we have made significant additional investments in our compliance programs based on the rapidly evolving and increasingly complex global regulatory and enforcement environment and our internal reviews. These additional investments relate to enhancing our compliance capabilities, including our consumer protection efforts. Further, failure by Western Union, our agents, or their subagents (agents and subagents are third parties, over whom Western Union has limited legal and practical control), and service providers to comply with any of these requirements or their interpretation could result in the suspension or revocation of a license or registration required to provide money transfer, payment or foreign exchange services, the limitation, suspension or termination of services, changes to our business model, loss of consumer confidence, the seizure of our assets, and/or the imposition of civil and criminal penalties, including fines and restrictions on our ability to offer services.

We are subject to regulations imposed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) in the United States and similar laws in other countries, such as the Bribery Act in the UK, which generally prohibit companies and those acting on their behalf from making improper payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Some of these laws, such as the Bribery Act, also prohibit improper payments between commercial enterprises.

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Because our services are offered in virtually every country of the world, we face significant risks associated with our obligations under the FCPA, the Bribery Act, and other national anti-corruption laws. Any determination that we have violated these laws could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our United States business is subject to reporting, recordkeeping and anti-money laundering provisions of the BSA and to regulatory oversight and enforcement by FinCEN. We have subsidiaries in Brazil and Austria that are subject to banking regulations. Our Austrian banking subsidiary is also subject to regulation, examination and supervision by the NYDFS. We also operate through a small number of licensed payment institutions in the EU. Under the Payment Services Directive (“PSD”), as amended by a revised Payment Services Directive known as PSD2, and the 4th and 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive in the EU, our operating companies that are licensed in the EU have increasingly become directly subject to reporting, recordkeeping, and anti-money laundering regulations, agent oversight and monitoring requirements, as well as broader supervision by EU member states. Additionally, the financial penalties associated with the failure to comply with anti-money laundering laws have increased in recent regulation, including the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive in the EU. These laws have increased and will continue to increase our costs and could also increase competition in some or all of our areas of service. Legislation that has been enacted or proposed in other jurisdictions could have similar effects.

The remittance industry, including Western Union, has come under increasing scrutiny from government regulators and others in connection with its ability to prevent its services from being abused by people seeking to defraud others. For example, in early 2017, we entered into the Joint Settlement Agreements with the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), certain United States Attorney’s Offices, the FTC, FinCEN, and various state attorneys general to resolve the respective investigations of those agencies, and in early 2018, we agreed to the NYDFS Consent Order. The ingenuity of criminal fraudsters, combined with the potential susceptibility to fraud by consumers, make the prevention of consumer fraud a significant and challenging problem. Our failure to continue to help prevent such frauds and increased costs related to the implementation of enhanced anti-fraud measures, or a change in fraud prevention laws or their interpretation or the manner in which they are enforced has had, and could in the future have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Further, any determination that our agents or their subagents have violated laws and regulations could seriously damage our reputation and brands, resulting in diminished revenue and profit and increased operating costs. In some cases, we could be liable for the failure of our agents or their subagents to comply with laws which also could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. In many jurisdictions where Western Union is licensed to offer money transfer services, the license holder is responsible for ensuring the agent’s compliance with the rules that govern the money transfer service. For example, in the EU, Western Union is responsible for the compliance of our agents and their subagents when they are acting on behalf of our Irish payment institution subsidiary, which is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The majority of our EU consumer money transfer activity is managed through our Irish payment institution. Thus, the risk of adverse regulatory action against Western Union because of actions by our agents or their subagents and the costs to monitor our agents or their subagents in those areas has increased. The regulations implementing the remittance provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act also impose responsibility on us for any related compliance failures of our agents and their subagents.

The requirements under the PSD/PSD2, the Dodd-Frank Act and similar legislation enacted or proposed in other countries have resulted and will likely continue to result in increased compliance costs, and in the event we or our agents are unable to comply, could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Additional countries may adopt similar legislation.

In view of the UK’s departure from the EU on January 31, 2020, to ensure that our operations will continue in the UK, we set up a new payment institution to conduct money remittance in the UK, which was authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2019, and presently offers retail money transfer services via UK agents. We also applied for the UK branch of our Austrian banking subsidiary to be authorized by the UK PRA as a Third Country Branch (i.e., a UK branch of a non-UK bank) in order to continue to conduct our UK Business Solutions and Digital Money Transfer operations. In the period from December 31, 2020 until the date of the UK branch being authorized, it will operate under the Temporary Permissions Regime introduced in the UK. This UK branch will be subject to certain additional UK regulatory requirements upon authorization. Further, as a result of Brexit, including under the terms of any new regulatory

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authorizations we have and may obtain, we could be required to comply with differing regulatory requirements in the UK as a result of divergence from established EU regulation. This could make it more costly for us to provide our services.

Our fees, profit margins and/or foreign exchange spreads may be reduced or limited because of regulatory initiatives and changes in laws and regulations or their interpretation and industry practices and standards that are either industry wide or specifically targeted at our Company.

The evolving regulatory environment, including increased fees or taxes, regulatory initiatives, and changes in laws and regulations or their interpretation, industry practices and standards imposed by state, federal or foreign governments and expectations regarding our compliance efforts, is impacting the manner in which we operate our business, may change the competitive landscape and is expected to continue to adversely affect our financial results. Existing, new, and proposed legislation relating to financial services providers and consumer protection in various jurisdictions around the world has affected and may continue to affect the manner in which we provide our services; see risk factor “The Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the regulations required by that Act and the actions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and similar legislation and regulations enacted by other government authorities, could adversely affect us and the scope of our activities, and could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Recently proposed and enacted legislation related to financial services providers and consumer protection in various jurisdictions around the world and at the federal and state level in the United States has subjected and may continue to subject us to additional regulatory oversight, mandate additional consumer disclosures and remedies, including refunds to consumers, or otherwise impact the manner in which we provide our services. If governments implement new laws or regulations that limit our right to set fees and/or foreign exchange spreads, then our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely affected. In addition, changes in regulatory expectations, interpretations or practices could increase the risk of regulatory enforcement actions, fines and penalties. For example, in early 2017, we entered into the Joint Settlement Agreements, and in early 2018, we agreed to the NYDFS Consent Order.

In addition, U.S. policy makers have sought and may continue to seek heightened customer due diligence requirements on, or restrict, remittances from the United States to Mexico or other jurisdictions. For example, in October 2020, OFAC amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, requiring us to suspend our money transfer services to Cuba. Policy makers have also discussed potential legislation to add taxes to remittances from the United States to Mexico and/or other countries. Further, one state has passed a law imposing a fee on certain money transfer transactions, and certain other states have proposed similar legislation. Several foreign countries have enacted or proposed rules imposing taxes or fees on certain money transfer transactions, as well. The approach of policy makers, the ongoing budget shortfalls in many jurisdictions, combined with future federal action or inaction on immigration reform, may lead other states or localities to impose similar taxes or fees, or other requirements or restrictions. Foreign countries in similar circumstances have invoked and could continue to invoke the imposition of sales, service or similar taxes, or other requirements or restrictions, on money transfer services. A tax, fee, or other requirement or restriction exclusively on money transfer services like Western Union could put us at a competitive disadvantage to other means of remittance which are not subject to the same taxes, fees, requirements or restrictions. Other examples of changes to our financial environment include the possibility of regulatory initiatives that focus on lowering international remittance costs. Such initiatives may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Regulators around the world look at each other’s approaches to the regulation of the payments and other industries. Consequently, a development in any one country, state or region may influence regulatory approaches in other countries, states or regions. Similarly, new laws and regulations in a country, state or region involving one service may cause lawmakers there to extend the regulations to another service. As a result, the risks created by any one new law or regulation are magnified by the potential they may be replicated, affecting our business in another place or involving another service. Conversely, if widely varying regulations come into existence worldwide, we may have difficulty adjusting our services, fees, foreign exchange spreads and other important aspects of our business, with the same effect. Further, political changes and trends such as populism, economic nationalism, protectionism, and negative sentiment towards multinational companies could result in laws or regulations that adversely impact our ability to conduct business in certain jurisdictions. Any of these eventualities could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

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Regulatory initiatives and changes in laws, regulations and industry practices and standards affecting us, our agents or their subagents, or the banks with which we or our agents maintain bank accounts needed to provide our services could require changes in our business model and increase our costs of operations, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity.

Our agents and their subagents are subject to a variety of regulatory requirements, which differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and are subject to change. Material changes in the regulatory requirements for offering money transfer services, including with respect to anti-money laundering requirements, fraud prevention, licensing requirements, consumer protection, customer due diligence, agent registration, or increased requirements to monitor our agents or their subagents in a jurisdiction important to our business have meant and could continue to mean increased costs and/or operational demands on our agents and their subagents, which have resulted and could continue to result in their attrition, a decrease in the number of locations at which money transfer services are offered, an increase in the commissions paid to agents and their subagents to compensate for their increased costs, and other negative consequences.

We rely on our agents’ technology systems and/or processes to obtain transaction data. If an agent or its subagent experiences a breach of its systems, if there is a significant disruption to the technology systems of an agent or its subagent, if an agent or its subagent does not maintain the appropriate controls over their systems, or if we are unable to demonstrate adequate oversight of an agent’s or subagent’s handling of those matters, we may experience reputational and other harm which could result in losses to the Company.

Our regulatory status and the regulatory status of our agents and their subagents could affect our and their ability to offer our services. For example, we and our agents and their subagents rely on bank accounts to provide our Consumer-to-Consumer money transfer services. We also rely on bank accounts to provide our payment services. We and our agents and their subagents are considered Money Service Businesses (“MSBs”) under the BSA, including our Business Solutions operations. Many banks view MSBs as a class of higher risk customers for purposes of their anti-money laundering programs. We and some of our agents and their subagents have had, and in the future may have, difficulty establishing or maintaining banking relationships due to the banks’ policies. If we or a significant number of our agents or their subagents are unable to maintain existing or establish new banking relationships, or if we or these agents face higher fees to maintain or establish new bank accounts, our ability and the ability of our agents and their subagents to continue to offer our services may be adversely impacted, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

The types of enterprises that are legally authorized to act as our agents and their subagents vary significantly from one country to another. Changes in the laws affecting the kinds of entities that are permitted to act as money transfer agents or their subagents (such as changes in requirements for capitalization or ownership) could adversely affect our ability to distribute our services and the cost of providing such services, both by us and our agents and their subagents. For example, a requirement that a money transfer provider be a bank or other highly regulated financial entity could increase significantly the cost of providing our services in many countries where that requirement does not exist today or could prevent us from offering our services in an affected country. Further, any changes in law that would require us to provide money transfer services directly to consumers as opposed to through an agent network (which would effectively change our business model) or that would prohibit or impede the use of subagents could significantly adversely impact our ability to provide our services, and/or the cost of our services, in the relevant jurisdiction. Changes mandated by laws which make Western Union responsible for acts of its agents and their subagents while they are providing the Western Union money transfer service increase our risk of regulatory liability and our costs to monitor our agents’ or their subagents’ performance.

Although most of our Orlandi Valuta and Vigo branded agents also offer money transfer services of our competitors, many of our Western Union branded agents have agreed to offer only our money transfer services. While we expect to continue signing certain agents under exclusive arrangements and believe that these agreements are valid and enforceable, changes in laws regulating competition or in the interpretation of those laws could undermine our ability to enforce them in the future. Various jurisdictions continue to increase their focus on the potential impact of agent agreements on competition. In addition, over the past several years, several countries in Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Africa, and Asia have promulgated laws or regulations, or authorities in these countries have issued orders, which effectively prohibit payment service providers, such as money transfer companies, from agreeing to exclusive arrangements with agents in those countries. Certain institutions, non-governmental organizations and others are

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actively advocating against exclusive arrangements in money transfer agent agreements. Advocates for laws prohibiting or limiting exclusive agreements continue to push for enactment of similar laws in other jurisdictions. In addition to legal challenges, certain of our agents and their subagents have refused to enter into exclusive arrangements. See risk factor “If we are unable to maintain our agent, subagent or global business relationships under terms acceptable to us or consistent with those currently in place, including due to increased costs or loss of business as a result of increased compliance requirements or difficulty for us, our agents or their subagents in establishing or maintaining relationships with banks needed to conduct our services, or if our agents or their subagents fail to comply with our business and technology standards and contract requirements, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows would be adversely affected” above. The inability to enter into exclusive arrangements or to maintain our exclusive rights in agent contracts in certain situations could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows by, for example, allowing competitors to benefit from the goodwill associated with the Western Union brand at our agent locations.

In addition to legal or regulatory restrictions discussed in the Capital Resources and Liquidity section in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, some jurisdictions use tangible net worth and other financial strength guidelines to evaluate financial position. If our regulated subsidiaries do not abide by these guidelines, they may be subject to heightened review by these jurisdictions, and the jurisdictions may be more likely to impose new formal financial strength requirements. Additional financial strength requirements imposed on our regulated subsidiaries or significant changes in the regulatory environment for money transfer providers could impact our primary source of liquidity.

The Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the regulations required by that Act and the actions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and similar legislation and regulations enacted by other government authorities, could adversely affect us and the scope of our activities, and could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Rules and regulations implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act have made and continue to make significant structural reforms and new substantive regulation across the financial services industry. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB, which implements, examines compliance with and enforces federal consumer protection laws governing financial products and services, including money transfer services. The CFPB has created additional regulatory obligations for us and has the authority to examine and supervise us and our larger competitors, including for matters related to unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (“UDAAP”). The CFPB’s regulations implementing the remittance provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act have affected our business in a variety of areas. These include: (i) a requirement to provide consumers sending funds internationally from the United States enhanced, written, pre-transaction disclosures and transaction receipts, including the disclosure of fees, foreign exchange rates and taxes, (ii) an obligation to resolve various errors, including certain errors that may be outside our control, and (iii) an obligation at a consumer’s request to cancel transactions that have not been completed. These requirements have changed the way we operate our business and along with other potential changes under CFPB regulations could adversely affect our operations and financial results. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act and interpretations and actions by the CFPB have had, and could continue to have a significant impact on us by, for example, requiring us to limit or change our business practices, limiting our ability to pursue business opportunities, requiring us to invest valuable management time and resources in compliance efforts, imposing additional costs on us, delaying our ability to respond to marketplace changes, requiring us to alter our products and services in a manner that would make them less attractive to consumers and impair our ability to offer them profitably, or requiring us to make other changes that could adversely affect our business. In addition, these regulations impose responsibility on us for any related compliance failures of our agents.

The CFPB has broad authority to enforce consumer protection laws. The CFPB has a large staff and budget, which is not subject to Congressional appropriation, and has broad authority with respect to our money transfer service and related business. It is authorized to collect fines and provide consumer restitution in the event of violations, engage in consumer financial education, track and solicit consumer complaints, request data and promote the availability of financial services to underserved consumers and communities. In addition, the CFPB may adopt other regulations governing consumer financial services, including regulations defining UDAAP, and new model disclosures. The CFPB’s authority to change regulations adopted in the past by other regulators, or to rescind or ignore past regulatory guidance, could increase our

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compliance costs and litigation exposure. In addition, attorneys general of the various states of the United States also have authority to enforce the consumer protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act in their respective jurisdictions.

We have been and continue to be subject to examination by the CFPB, which defines “larger participants of a market for other consumer financial products or services” as including companies, such as Western Union, that make at least one million aggregate annual international money transfers. The CFPB has the authority to examine and supervise us and our larger competitors, which will involve providing reports to the CFPB. The CFPB has used information gained in examinations as the basis for enforcement actions resulting in settlements involving monetary penalties and other remedies.

The effect of the Dodd-Frank Act and the CFPB on our business and operations has been and will continue to be significant and the application of the Dodd-Frank Act’s implementing regulations to our business may differ from the application to certain of our competitors, including banks. Further, and in addition to our own compliance costs, implementation of requirements under Dodd-Frank could impact our business relationships with financial institution customers who outsource processing of consumer transactions to our Business Solutions segment. These financial institutions may determine that the compliance costs associated with providing consumer services are too burdensome and consequently may limit or discontinue offering such services.

Various jurisdictions in the United States and outside the United States have consumer protection laws and regulations, and numerous governmental agencies are tasked with enforcing those laws and regulations. Consumer protection principles continue to evolve globally, and new or enhanced consumer protection laws and regulations may be adopted. Governmental agencies tasked with enforcing consumer protection laws or regulations are communicating more frequently and coordinating their efforts to protect consumers. For instance, ICPEN is an organization composed of consumer protection authorities from over 60 countries that provides a forum for developing and maintaining regular contact between consumer protection agencies and focusing on consumer protection concerns. By encouraging cooperation between agencies, ICPEN aims to enable its members to have a greater impact with their consumer protection laws and regulations. As the scope of consumer protection laws and regulations change, we may experience increased costs to comply and other adverse effects to our business.

Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act by the CFTC, as well as the provisions of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and its technical standards, which are directly applicable in the member states of the EU and in the UK, have subjected most of our foreign exchange hedging transactions, including certain intercompany hedging transactions, certain of the corporate interest rate hedging transactions we may enter into in the future, and certain of the foreign exchange derivatives contracts we offer as part of our Business Solutions segment, to reporting, recordkeeping, and other requirements. Additionally, certain of the corporate interest rate hedging transactions and foreign exchange derivatives transactions we may enter into in the future may be subject to centralized clearing requirements or may be subject to margin requirements in the United States, the EU, and the UK. Other jurisdictions outside of the United States, the EU, and the UK are considering, have implemented, or are implementing regulations similar to those described above. Derivatives regulations have added costs to our business and any additional requirements, such as future registration requirements and increased regulation of derivatives contracts, will result in additional costs or impact the way we conduct our hedging activities as well as impact how we conduct our business within our Business Solutions segment. Although currently unlikely due to our derivative activity levels, there is some risk that we will have to register one or more of our subsidiaries with the CFTC as a swap dealer in the future. Swap dealers are subject to a comprehensive regulatory framework and compliance with this framework would lead to additional costs, including costs relating to regulatory capital and margin requirements, and could impact how we conduct our hedging activities and derivatives business with customers. Additionally, the regulatory regimes for derivatives in the United States, the EU, and the UK, such as under the Dodd-Frank Act and MiFID II, are continuing to evolve and changes to such regimes, our designation under such regimes, or the implementation of new rules under such regimes, such as future registration requirements and increased regulation of derivatives contracts, may result in additional costs to our business. Other jurisdictions outside the United States, the EU, and the UK are considering, have implemented, or are implementing regulations similar to those described above and these will result in greater costs to us as well. Our implementation of these requirements has resulted, and will continue to result, in additional costs to our business. Moreover, as a result of Brexit, we could be required to comply with differing regulatory requirements in the UK as a result of divergence from established EU regulation. This could make it more costly for us to provide our services. Furthermore, our failure to implement these requirements correctly could result in fines and other sanctions, as well as necessitate a temporary or permanent cessation to some or all of our derivative

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related activities. Any such fines, sanctions or limitations on our business could adversely affect our operations and financial results.

Current and proposed regulation addressing consumer privacy and data use and security could increase our costs of operations, which could adversely affect our operations, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to extensive requirements relating to data privacy and security under federal, state and foreign laws. These laws and requirements continue to evolve and may become increasingly difficult to comply with. For example, the FTC continues to investigate the privacy practices of many companies and has brought numerous enforcement actions, resulting in multi-year agreements governing the settling companies’ privacy practices. Furthermore, certain industry groups require us to adhere to privacy requirements in addition to federal, state and foreign laws, and certain of our business relationships depend upon our compliance with these requirements. As the number of countries enacting privacy and related laws increases and the scope of these laws and enforcement efforts expand, we will increasingly become subject to new and varying requirements. For example, in 2018 the EU implemented the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), and other countries have enacted similar legislation, such as Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (“LGPD”), which became effective on September 18, 2020. Both the GDPR and the LGPD impose additional obligations and risks upon our businesses, including the risk of substantially increased penalties for non-compliance. Such penalties could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. In addition, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which provided a mechanism for companies transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S., and imposed additional obligations on companies such as Western Union when transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S. and other jurisdictions. This may result in increased costs of compliance and limitations on us. Further, this CJEU decision or other regulatory changes relating to cross-border data transfers may serve as a basis for challenges to our personal data handling practices, which could also adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results. We have incurred and we expect to continue to incur expenses to meet the obligations of the GDPR and other similar legislation, and new interpretations of their requirements. We are also subject to data privacy and security laws in various states, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, which became effective on January 1, 2020, that imposes heightened data privacy requirements on companies that collect information from California residents and creates a broad set of privacy rights and remedies modeled in part on the GDPR. Failure to comply with existing or future data privacy and security laws, regulations, and requirements to which we are subject or could become subject, including by reason of inadvertent disclosure of confidential information, could result in fines, sanctions, penalties or other adverse consequences and loss of consumer confidence, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations, overall business, and reputation.

Pursuant to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which is a free trade agreement signed on December 30, 2020 between the European Union and the United Kingdom, all transfers of personal data between entities subject to GDPR and UK entities will not be considered transfers to a third country subject to the data transfer provisions of the GDPR through June 30, 2021. The European Commission has until June 30, 2021 to issue an adequacy decision as to the data protection regime of the UK as per Article 45 GDPR. If the European Commission does not issue an adequacy decision, transfers of personal data between UK entities and entities subject to the GDPR could be challenged, which could adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results.

In addition, in connection with regulatory requirements to assist in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and pursuant to legal obligations and authorizations, Western Union makes information available to certain United States federal, state, and foreign government agencies when required by law. In recent years, Western Union has experienced an increasing number of data sharing requests by these agencies, particularly in connection with efforts to prevent terrorist financing or reduce the risk of identity theft. During the same period, there has also been increased public attention to the corporate use and disclosure of personal information, accompanied by legislation and regulations intended to strengthen data protection, information security and consumer privacy. These regulatory goals - the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing and identity theft and the protection of the individual’s right to privacy - may conflict, and the law in these areas is not consistent or settled. The legal, political and business environments in these areas are rapidly changing, and subsequent legislation, regulation, litigation, court rulings or other events could expose Western Union to increased program costs, liability, and reputational damage.

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We are subject to unclaimed property laws, and differences between the amounts we have accrued for unclaimed property and amounts that are claimed by a state or foreign jurisdiction could have a significant impact on our results of operations and cash flows.

We are subject to unclaimed property laws in the United States and abroad and some of our agents are subject to unclaimed property laws in their respective jurisdictions which require us, or our agents, to turn over to certain government authorities the property of others held by us that has been unclaimed for a specified period of time, such as unpaid money transfers and money orders. We have an ongoing program to help us comply with those laws. These laws are evolving and are frequently unclear and inconsistent among various jurisdictions, making compliance challenging. In addition, we are subject to audits with regard to our escheatment practices. Currently in the United States, approximately 30 states are conducting a multi-year audit of our escheatment practices through a contracted third-party auditor. We have also commenced a contemporaneous internal review as part of our participation in Delaware’s voluntary disclosure program. Any difference between the amounts we have accrued for unclaimed property and amounts that are claimed by a state, foreign jurisdiction, or representative thereof could have a significant impact on our results of operations and cash flows.

Our consolidated balance sheets may not contain sufficient amounts or types of regulatory capital to meet the changing requirements of our various regulators worldwide, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our regulators expect us to possess sufficient financial soundness and strength to adequately support our regulated subsidiaries. We have substantial indebtedness and other obligations, including those related to the tax imposed on certain of our previously undistributed foreign earnings pursuant to the Tax Act, which could make it more difficult to meet these requirements or any additional requirements. In addition, although we are not a bank holding company for purposes of United States law or the law of any other jurisdiction, as a global provider of payments services and in light of the changing regulatory environment in various jurisdictions, we could become subject to new capital requirements introduced or imposed by our regulators that could require us to issue securities that would qualify as Tier 1 regulatory capital under the Basel Committee accords or retain earnings over a period of time. Also, our regulators specify the amount and composition of eligible assets that certain of our subsidiaries must hold in order to satisfy our outstanding settlement obligations. These regulators could further restrict the type of instruments that qualify as permissible investments or require our regulated subsidiaries to maintain higher levels of eligible assets. Any change or increase in these regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Relating to Consent Agreements and Litigation

Our business is the subject of consent agreements with or enforcement actions by regulators.

In early 2017, the Company entered into Joint Settlement Agreements with the DOJ, certain United States Attorney’s Offices, the FTC, FinCEN, and various state attorneys general to resolve the respective investigations of those agencies. Under the Joint Settlement Agreements, the Company was required, among other things, to pay an aggregate amount of $586 million to the DOJ to be used to reimburse consumers who were the victims of third-party fraud conducted through the Company’s money transfer services, and retain an independent compliance auditor for three years to review and assess actions taken by the Company to further enhance its oversight of agents and protection of consumers, both of which were performed by the Company during 2017. The Joint Settlement Agreements also required the Company to adopt certain new or enhanced practices with respect to its compliance program, relating to, among other things, consumer reimbursement, agent due diligence, agent training, monitoring, reporting, and record-keeping by the Company and its agents, consumer fraud disclosures, and agent suspensions and terminations. Western Union has continuing obligations under the FTC Consent Order, which is a permanent injunction, as well as the requirement to submit annual reports to the FTC through January 2028. The ongoing obligations under the Joint Settlement Agreements could have adverse effects on the Company’s business, including additional costs and potential loss of business. The Company has also faced actions from other regulators as a result of the Joint Settlement Agreements. For example, on July 28, 2017, the NYDFS informed the Company that the facts set forth in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (the “DPA”) with the DOJ and with certain other United States Attorney’s Offices regarding the Company’s anti-money laundering programs over the 2004 through 2012 period gave the NYDFS a basis to take additional enforcement action. In January 2018, the Company agreed to the NYDFS Consent Order with the NYDFS which required the Company to pay a civil monetary penalty of $60 million to

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the NYDFS and resolved its investigation into these matters. The term of the DPA expired in January 2020 and it was dismissed in March 2020, and the term of the Independent Compliance Auditor under the FTC Consent Order ended in May 2020. Notwithstanding, if the Company fails to comply with its continuing obligations under the Joint Settlement Agreements, it could face criminal prosecution, civil litigation, significant fines, damage awards or other regulatory consequences. Any or all of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our business is the subject of litigation, including purported class action litigation, and regulatory actions, which could result in material settlements, judgments, fines or penalties.

As a company that provides global financial services primarily to consumers, we are subject to litigation, including purported class action litigation, and regulatory actions alleging violations of consumer protection, anti-money laundering, sanctions, securities laws and other laws, both foreign and domestic. We also are subject to claims asserted by consumers based on individual transactions. There can be no guarantee that we will be successful in defending ourselves in these matters, and such failure may result in substantial fines, damages and expenses, revocation of required licenses or other limitations on our ability to conduct business. Any of these outcomes could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Further, we believe increasingly strict legal and regulatory requirements and increased regulatory investigations and enforcement, any of which could occur or intensify as a result of the Joint Settlement Agreements, are likely to continue to result in changes to our business, as well as increased costs, supervision and examination for both ourselves and our agents and subagents. These developments have had, and we believe will continue to have, an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and in turn may result in additional litigation, or other actions. For more information, please see Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 6, Commitments and Contingencies.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

Not applicable.

Item 2. Properties

Properties and Facilities

As of December 31, 2020, we occupied facilities in nearly 50 countries. Substantially all these facilities were leased. Our office in Denver, Colorado serves as our corporate headquarters. Our offices in Dublin, Ireland and in Barbados (which we began expanding in 2020) represent key operational and leadership locations. We also operate shared service centers in Lithuania, Costa Rica, India, and the Philippines. Our facilities are primarily used for operational, sales, and administrative purposes in support of our Consumer-to-Consumer and Business Solutions segments, and other services. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices (including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be recommended or required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, clients, and business partners.

We believe that our facilities are suitable and adequate for our current business; however, we periodically review our facility requirements, and may consolidate and dispose of, or sublet facilities, which are no longer required, or acquire new facilities and update existing facilities to meet the needs of our business.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The information required by this Item 3 is incorporated herein by reference to the discussion in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 6, Commitments and Contingencies.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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PART II

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

Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “WU.” There were 3,099 stockholders of record as of February 16, 2021. This figure does not include an estimate of the indeterminate number of beneficial holders whose shares may be held of record by brokerage firms and clearing agencies.

The following table sets forth stock repurchases for each of the three months of the quarter ended December 31, 2020:

Approximate Dollar

Total Number of Shares

Value of Shares that

Purchased as Part of

<