October 17, 2021

Earn Money

Business Life

Edited Transcript of PYDS earnings conference call or presentation 30-Mar-20 9:00pm GMT

San Antonio Apr 2, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) — Edited Transcript of Usio Inc earnings conference call or presentation Monday, March 30, 2020 at 9:00:00pm GMT

Usio, Inc. – IR

* Louis A. Hoch

Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO

Usio, Inc. – Senior VP & CFO

* Vaden C. Landers

Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer

Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Usio Earnings Conference Call for the Fourth Quarter and Year ended — Fourth Quarter ended December 31, 2019. (Operator Instructions) Participants of this call are advised that the audio of this conference call is being broadcast live over the Internet and is also being recorded for playback purposes. A replay will be available shortly after the end of the call through April 13, 2020.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Joe Hassett, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Joseph Hassett, Usio, Inc. – IR [2]

Thanks, Ailey, and thank you, everyone, for participating today. Welcome to Usio’s Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year-End 2019 Financial Results Conference Call. The earnings release, which Usio issued earlier this afternoon is available on the company’s investor relations website at usio.com/investor under News.

On the call today are Louis Hoch, President and CEO; Vaden Landers, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer; Tom Jewell, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Houston Frost, Senior Vice President of Prepaid Services. Management will provide prepared remarks, and then we’ll open the call to your questions.

Before we begin, please remember that comments on today’s call include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of such words as estimate, anticipate, expect, believe, intend, may, will, should, seek, approximate or plan or the negative of these words and other similar words and phrases. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve estimates, projections, goals, forecasts and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Including risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the economy, the realization and opportunities from the Singular acquisition, management of the company’s growth, the loss of key resellers, relationships with the automated clearing house network, bank sponsors, third-party card processing providers and merchants, the volatility of stock price, the loss of key personnel, growing competition in the electronic commerce market, the security of the company’s software, hardware and information, compliance with complex federal, state and local laws and regulations and other risks detailed in the company’s filings with the SEC.

These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this conference call and should not be relied upon as predictions of future events. Usio expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements made today to reflect any change in Usio’s expectations with regard thereto or any other changes in the events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law. Please refer to the company’s SEC filings or Investor Relations website for additional information.

With that, I would now like to turn the call over to Louis. Louis?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [3]

——————————————————————————–

Thank you, Joe, and welcome, everyone. 2019 was another record year for Usio, our third consecutive year of record revenues and transaction processing volumes. Our continued success reflects our strategy to capitalize on the growing demand for a comprehensive electronics payment solution that provides access to issuing, acquiring and ACH enablement technologies, all from Usio. And we continue to invest in our strategy, a technology company that facilitates payments.

It was also a historic year for Usio in other ways. In July, we celebrated the introduction of our new corporate name, Usio, by ringing the NASDAQ closing bell in Times Square in New York. This year, we also opened a new office in Austin, Texas, to capitalize on the region’s rich pool of technology talent. Some of that talent as well as other experienced and accomplished individuals in San Antonio and Nashville from a number of other fields have joined Usio to give us the depth and the breadth of resources needed to accelerate our growth.

We feel really good about what we accomplished in 2019. We grew our total processing dollar volume by 5% to a record $3.54 billion. And in our 2 largest businesses, ACH volume was up 8% and credit card dollar volume was up 12%. Prepaid load volume increased by 74%, and transaction volume increased by 91%, both of a somewhat lower base. This drove a 13% increase in total revenue for the year, which is at the top end of our 12% to 13% range we forecasted last quarter.

And we ended the year on a very strong note. Revenue growth accelerated to 15% in the fourth quarter as compared to the same quarter in 2018, the fastest quarterly growth rate of the year on the strength of significant increase of PayFac transaction processing volumes. Vaden will take you through this in more detail. But in the fourth quarter, PayFac volume increased 134% compared to — compared sequentially to the third quarter. I’m very pleased to see that our continued support and nurturing of our PayFac business is now being rewarded with outstanding growth and unlimited potential.

ACH continues to grow with strong margins and cash flow, providing the resources we’re investing in our growth initiatives. We are seeing nice growth with our remote check capture service that we introduced to our existing ACH clients. And more recently, we became a Tier 1 processor by now having direct access to the federal reserve via our own fed terminal and associated bank routing number. Both of these tools provide a competitive advantage in our ACH business, and these competitive advantages have led us to board over 20 new accounts for ACH and ACH-related services in just the last 2 weeks.

We are expected to see steady continued growth of our ACH business, a market that is already growing at healthy single — mid-single-digit clip. Our goal is to gain share and exceed the industry growth rate and generate attractive margins and cash flow.

As with our remote check capture and the fed terminal, our success is driven by our ability to develop new innovative technology that meets the increasing complex needs of the growing market.

In our prepaid business, after more than doubling in the third quarter, card load and transaction volumes had another strong performance in the fourth quarter so that for the year, prepaid was up 75%. New programs such as our corporate expense solution and new features, such as constantly improving functionality, illustrate our ability to offer integrated card, ACH, prepaid issuing solutions that meet all of our clients’ electronic transaction processing needs. This focus on technology has enabled us to continue to add to our prestigious list of prepaid customers, which already includes University Fancards, Pfizer, Medtronic, Eli Lilly, OpenTable and a list of — a long list of others.

In addition to the organic growth, we feel we are well positioned to opportunistically capitalize on the consolidation transpiring at all levels of our industry. Acquisitions would have to have — provide incremental growth and cash flow as well as complementary resources such as people or technology. In summary, the fourth quarter was a solid end to a great year, providing strong momentum heading into 2020 as we continue to develop innovative and proprietary technology that is hitting the bull’s eye with our target market.

We anticipate revenues to continue to grow in the first quarter as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. And we expect this to be another growth year. We are committed to our strategy to continue to invest in our growth initiatives with the expectation that incremental growth from our PayFac and Prepaid businesses will begin to reach a point that makes them self-sustaining.

Of course, our expectations are tempered by the COVID-19 coronavirus, which has become a threat to our economic growth. Our first concern, of course, is for the safety of our employees as well as our customers. Fortunately, we have a very limited retail exposure or face-to-face businesses that are believed to be at the greatest risk. And because of our positioning, we’re hopeful that any decrease in our card processing volume participated by COVID-19 can be mitigated by the expected increase in ACH and other non face-to-face processing volumes that COVID-19 might create. But we remain uncertain.

All of our offices have been closed for some time, and we’ve been operating with no issues. We believe we can continue to operate remotely as needed and are thrilled that we continue to be very active in closing and implementing customers during these unique times.

With that said, I’d like to conclude my opening remarks and turn the call over to Tom Jewell, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, to discuss our financial results in more detail. Tom?

——————————————————————————–

Lowell Thomas Jewell, Usio, Inc. – Senior VP & CFO [4]

——————————————————————————–

Thank you, Louis, and welcome, everyone. Thanks for joining our call today and your interest in Usio. I’m going to provide a brief review of our financial results before turning the call over to Vaden.

We continue to have a strong balance sheet with cash of $2.1 million and no debt. Looking at Q4 2019 operating results first, revenues in the fourth quarter were $7.4 million, up 15% compared to $6.4 million in the same period last year. The increase was primarily due to strong growth in our card businesses, including both legacy processing and PayFac growth initiatives.

Total card processing volumes were up 27% year-over-year in the quarter. As Louis mentioned, PayFac volumes were up 134% sequentially from the third quarter. The fourth quarter revenue growth was a good indicator of the ongoing growth in our PayFac business.

Gross profits in the quarter were $1.5 million, about the same as last year. Gross margins were down in the quarter due to the lower relative margins of these faster-growing businesses that Louis discussed.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter were $2.1 million, consistent with our recent run rate. The expense level is attributable to our ongoing expenditures in support of our growth initiatives and principally our PayFac and prepaid growth initiatives.

The fourth quarter included a onetime $100,000 expense write-off related to a note receivable. The operating loss for the quarter was $1.5 million, up from the operating loss a year ago, due primarily to the additional personnel-related expenses as we grow the businesses. The adjusted EBITDA loss was approximately $600,000 compared to an adjusted EBITDA loss of $83,000 in the same period a year ago. The net loss for the fourth quarter was $1.5 million or $0.12 per share compared to a net loss of $876,000 or $0.07 per share for the fourth quarter of last year.

Looking at full year operating results. On an annual basis, 2019 revenues were up 13% to $28 million, with growth in all of our businesses, ACH, Prepaid and PayFac. Gross margins were down about 120 basis points due to a higher mix of revenues from the lower-margin credit card and prepaid businesses. Gross profit dollars were up approximately $300,000.

SG&A expenses increased to $7.7 million from $6.2 million in 2018. The incremental expenses are again primarily attributable to incremental salary and related expenses associated with our revenue growth initiatives and principally in support of our payment facilitation and prepaid growth initiatives. For the year, adjusted EBITDA, net income and earnings per share, all reflect the incremental expenses associated with our revenue growth initiatives versus 2018 expense levels.

We believe the double-digit revenue growth achieved this year is indicative of the strength of our strategy. As you heard Louis mention, we expect first quarter revenues to increase compared to fourth quarter of 2019 revenues. As we continue to make progress with our growth initiatives, our ongoing revenue growth initiatives should help improve our overall financial health and cash flows.

At this time, I’d like to turn the call over to Vaden. Vaden?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [5]

——————————————————————————–

Thank you, Louis, Tom, and welcome, everybody. Building on the progress we discussed during our last quarterly earnings call, we have entered into the scale phase of our PayFac business. After sequentially increasing 24% in the third quarter over the second quarter, PayFac volume increased 134% in the fourth quarter compared sequentially to the third quarter. On our third quarter earnings call, we mentioned that we expected to see a significant ramp in volume in the fourth quarter as well as in the foreseeable future, and we’re very pleased to have delivered on this guidance. In fact, with the first quarter of 2020 drawing to close, we expect volume in the quarter to show another significant increase, up to 50%.

While we are hopeful we can sustain the volume momentum we have built in the card business, we know that the coronavirus impact will — coronavirus pandemic will impact segments of the health care verticals we serve, such as dentists, vets and optometrists within our legacy Singular portfolio. And we simply don’t have the clarity needed at this time to provide any guidance as to how our growth may be impacted beyond the first quarter. The inflection in PayFac volumes that we’ve seen over the last few quarters is a natural result of the various sales, marketing and technology initiatives we’ve executed over the last 24-plus months.

Furthermore, we continue to focus on overcoming the 2 primary issues most affecting the speed at which we’re able to scale, that being the pace of implementations, including the customer onboarding process as well as the prioritization ISVs have generally afforded these implementations. In addition to the changes made last year that we believe have been instrumental to the growth we are starting to experience, we are now implementing additional actions such as offering a license option, incorporating success metrics and setting minimum thresholds. The initial results of these aggressive new actions have been encouraging, and we believe they can potentially lead to future volumes much as previous actions have impacted our current volumes. The goal, as always, is to form a true partnership where we can assist ISVs and monetizing the payment volume that is already there, flowing across their software and whatever arrangement might be the most appropriate for each individual partner. All along, we’ve been making improvements that will help accelerate our ability to scale in the near term.

From the beginning, we’ve had confidence in our PayFac model and the opportunity because it is one of the most versatile, technologically advanced payment platforms in the market. Most importantly, it also represents the shortest and clearest path to substantive meaningful revenue for our partners. The volume that is starting to ramp is now illustrating that the market agrees, and the future is extremely bright for Usio.

At this time, we’d like to open up the call to questions. Operator?

================================================================================

Questions and Answers

——————————————————————————–

Operator [1]

——————————————————————————–

(Operator Instructions) And our first question will come from Gary Prestopino with Barrington Research.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [2]

——————————————————————————–

Couple of questions. Can you guys hear me?

——————————————————————————–

Lowell Thomas Jewell, Usio, Inc. – Senior VP & CFO [3]

——————————————————————————–

Yes.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [4]

——————————————————————————–

When you talk about what could possibly happen in Q2 because of this whole issue, do you have any visibility into which of the clients that you’re serving through the ISVs are still operating on the medical side versus whether they’re closed or not? I mean how much direct contact you have with these offices that — so you could — you have any visibility into the quarter at all?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [5]

——————————————————————————–

Well, I’ll answer the first part and Vaden will answer the question about ISVs. We have very little retail exposure that we talked about in our press release. We see some of our competitors like Shift4 that is highly into the service industry, restaurants and hotels and they’re experiencing 70%, 80% drop in volume, we haven’t come to close to any of that. And we only had 2 weeks to really look at and some of that volume, we see it in real time, some of it we don’t.

But we have some exposure, like Vaden talked about in his notes, that dentists, vets — and he’ll talk some more about, yes, and he will talk some more about some of the ISVs. But other parts of our business, we expect that some increases might occur during this time period. So we really want to get in a few more weeks before we are able to tell exactly what’s going on with each industry segment. We think consumer lending will go up during this time period, and we have the big footprint in that industry, financial services.

And so Vaden, do you want to talk about some ISVs that Gary was asking about?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [6]

——————————————————————————–

Yes, sure. Gary, to specifically address your question as it relates to health care ISVs that we’re working with today, none of the current software partners in the health care segment have been impacted from our view in terms of what’s going on. In fact, if anything, they are probably doing a little bit better than you might expect. And then — and one of the reasons that we’re kind of seeing some of that is that we have a partner in the telemedicine side of the business, who is really seeing strong growth during this time in terms of their business. They’ve had a lot of recent wins and even the veterinary industry is starting to do a lot of telemedicine or at least adopt that as an approach during this time where it’s difficult to get in front of the folks. So we haven’t seen any drop-off as of yet in the health care ISVs.

As Louis mentioned, if we’re going to have any impact on our legacy acquiring books of business, it will be in the dental, vet and optometry space, where most of those health care professionals aren’t seeing patients unless it’s an emergency. So hopefully that is the answer.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [7]

——————————————————————————–

Are those big verticals for you at this point?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [8]

——————————————————————————–

The vast majority of our legacy card portfolio that — which was the Singular portfolio that was acquired as part of the transaction in September of 2017 is comprised of health care professionals in those segments, I’d say about 70-plus percent.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [9]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. And then I would assume that new business development over the last couple of weeks has been very hard to accomplish as well. Is that kind of a correct assumption here? Things are just on hold and…

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [10]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. That’s an increase in carry. We’ve been closing deals like crazy. This last 2 weeks, in fact, we actually not only closed but we implemented 30 new — over 30 new accounts during these 2 weeks. Now when it comes to the larger ISV deals, I’ll let Vaden tell you about the sales there, but I think we’re seeing a lot of activity.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [11]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. Great.

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [12]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. And just to follow-up on that. We’ve had probably 5 or 6 new ISV contract signings in the last 2 weeks. I will tell you that it’s been a little bit harder to get meetings and a little bit harder to get people on the phone relative to moving things down the pipe in terms of getting to a contract. But we did sign, I believe it was 4 or 5, I don’t have the exact number in front of me, new contracts in the last 2 weeks, and we’re excited about the fact that we’ve been able to maintain some momentum in a time when most everybody else in our business is effectively on hold or maybe even to some degree out of business.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [13]

——————————————————————————–

Right. I guess what I’m getting at is for what you’re doing and for what the ISV is doing, you’re basically — it’s more or less conquest business. There’s not a lot of touch points at somebody’s office or whatever on the ISV side, it’s just winning the ISV and then having the ISV convert, right? So there’s no pushback where you have — you’re not going into an office to get anything completed.

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [14]

——————————————————————————–

That’s right.

——————————————————————————–

Operator [15]

——————————————————————————–

Our next question comes from Brian Kinstlinger with Alliance Global Partners.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [16]

——————————————————————————–

Following up with those questions, you have visibility, and are you able to talk about how credit card processing volumes as well as ACH volumes have changed over the last 2 to 3 weeks?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [17]

——————————————————————————–

Some of that, we see real time, some of it, we don’t, we see delayed. And we don’t have a lot of data. I can tell you that the quarter was really, really strong. And so it’s — the results that we have could be mitigated by the strength that we saw. But again, it’s too early for us to be seeing if we’ve got any major downturns. So we don’t believe we will. Because we don’t have face-to-face transactions, very little.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [18]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. And Vaden, can you talk about — with revenue up 100 — I think — sorry, processing volumes up 134%, can you give us a rough estimation of what that revenue and volume was in the fourth quarter?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [19]

——————————————————————————–

Well, again, holding true to the policy that we have not done any segment reporting in terms of revenues, Brian, but we’re going to change that as we move forward and we’re committed to doing that, I don’t — we can’t talk specifically about the revenues that came from a particular line of business during the quarter.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [20]

——————————————————————————–

I take it it’s still below 5% of revenue, roughly?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [21]

——————————————————————————–

You would be right about that.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [22]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. And can you tell us maybe how many customers you and ISVs have onboarded?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [23]

——————————————————————————–

It’s north of 2,000. I think we probably — and I don’t have the exact number, so I don’t want to guesstimate, but it’s between 2,000 and 3,000 have been onboarded since April of ’19 when we launched the platform in a commercial state.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [24]

——————————————————————————–

And that means 2,000 to 3,000, somewhere in that range customers are using PayFac to process payments. Is that right?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [25]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. Yes, sure.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [26]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. Okay. And then you in the last couple of quarters, you talked about the 2 large health care systems that have 134 facilities. And I guess I ask specific of this because it speaks to how the sales cycle on how things are progressing. With customers of this size, can you kind of give us an update or how have you penetrated the 134 — 143 facilities?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [27]

——————————————————————————–

Well, we did onboard all of those locations that we talked about, and we’re actually in the process, as I think I maybe mentioned in prior calls, of adding terminals into some of those facilities as the opportunity to accept payments inside those health care facilities has grown beyond a basic portal experience and now has an application for face-to-face transactions. For example, in the long-term care space, you have people who, prior to this pandemic breaking out, would go to visit their loved ones in rehab centers or nursing home, long-term care facilities, and they would eat with them and they would have to pay for that meal or they pay to get their mother or father or grandparents haircut or what have you, and those things are sort of pay at the time of transaction opportunity.

So we started to place terminals in some of these sites and seeing some growth as a result of that, and we’ve obviously seen — we haven’t seen the kind of volume from those 2 particular entities or groups that we installed in the health care space because they’re primarily industries, one being long-term care and the other one being addiction treatment facilities that have forever avoided electronic bill delivery or electronic payment collection mechanisms. And so we’re, to some degree, or actually, to a great degree, we’re dragging them into the 21st century, if you will, in terms of how they think about payments, collecting payments in a more cost-effective and efficient manner. And so the real opportunity there, while we’re seeing volume from those installations, the real opportunity is in continuing to work those client accounts and continue to drive more and more volume as they become more educated and more comfortable with making that transition.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [28]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. Great. Last question I have…

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [29]

——————————————————————————–

Hey, Brian, just go back to your first question about the volume, it’s north of 5%, the revenue.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [30]

——————————————————————————–

Thanks for clarifying. The last question I have is, in terms of installing the technology, is there any need for the ISV or someone from Usio to get to the facility to do an installation? Or can everything be done remotely and get them onboarded?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [31]

——————————————————————————–

Yes, everything can be done remotely. Some of the installations involve a card reader or a chip-enabled device in order for the transaction to take place in a face-to-face environment, and some of them are limited to portal payments or non face-to-face transactions. But the ones that involve a point-of-sale device of some manner, those are typically shipped with instructions. And when you open the box, the first thing you see is an instruction sheet that tells you what to do. And once you plug it in, it’s really plug and play. You just plug it into the system and the next transaction you run that needs a swipe or a chip read can be accomplished very easily.

——————————————————————————–

Operator [32]

——————————————————————————–

Next question comes from Barry Sine with Spartan Capital Securities.

——————————————————————————–

Barry Sine, Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, Research Division – Director of Research [33]

——————————————————————————–

It’s nice to see PayFac is really taking off after all these years of work in the making I know. I want to go back to some comments you made that new business development activity is doing very well, 30 new accounts, 5 or 6 new ISVs. I’m a little surprised by that. I wanted to ask why. For a lot of businesses, with all the dislocations, with all the uncertainty, they’re taking a wait-and-see approach on things like signing up new vendors. So presumably, if there’s something about this crisis that is increasing the attractiveness of your offering that’s benefiting you. Why are you doing so well during the crisis and signing up newer customers?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [34]

——————————————————————————–

Well, I’ll talk to you about the direct accounts and then Vaden can talk to you about the ISVs. But what we experienced these last few weeks, and it was surprising, is great news to us. We’re very busy on the sales front and the implementation front. And it’s coming from mortgage industries, municipalities that are trying to get live before the taxing or fees and fines push. And a big part of it has to do with some enhancements with PINless debit, which is a unique product. There’s not many players in the marketplace. And because of that, we’re getting mortgage clients and collections accounts that are very much interested in that product line. The other thing is we’re just pushing hard in the first quarter. So we’ve had great success. We haven’t anybody tell us — haven’t had anybody tell us that they are going to wait. And we’ve been closing ACH deals, PINless debit deals really well during these last 2 weeks. And it’s still continuing. So…

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [35]

——————————————————————————–

Yes, Barry. Yes. On the PayFac side, I think it’s less about the technology. Although it’s great and has broad application, it’s more about the industries, I think, we focus on and when we’re targeting with the system. Again, we’ve long said that we are heavily focused on bill-centric verticals where there is the opportunity for lots of transactions, lots of recurring transactions, high average tickets. And that tends to lend itself well to environment such as the one we find ourselves in.

I mean given that large percentage of our business to date is health care, these health care professionals are busier than they’ve ever been, and it’s psychiatrists included. So in a time like this, not to make light of it, but those guys find themselves very, very busy. But I think it’s more industry-specific than it is anything else. I mean if you look at the industries where we’re focusing our energies and our efforts and where we’ve seen our recent signings, property management, legal, those are all industries that will sustain and/or potentially grow in situations like the one we find ourselves in.

——————————————————————————–

Barry Sine, Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, Research Division – Director of Research [36]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. I also wanted to zero in on return check transactions. In the second half of the year, you had lighter volumes. I believe, if I recall correctly, that’s a relatively lucrative business for you. And I’m guessing, but I’d like to hear your views that if the economy weakens, as it looks like it may, that we may see an uptick in return track — transactions and that may benefit you positively from a financial standpoint?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [37]

——————————————————————————–

We make a lot of money off of return check processing. So we like to have that number up. We don’t like to have it up crazy. So it’s a balancing act when it comes to return checks. We want it to be about 10% to 12% of our volume.

And so if there’s financial crisis that hits our industry segment, then yes, we’re going to see more. But we’ve also been adding a lot of mortgage clients and insurance clients, which typically don’t have a lot of return checks. So there’s a possibility that, that could go up, Barry.

——————————————————————————–

Barry Sine, Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, Research Division – Director of Research [38]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. Last question, just to kind of wrap it all together, maybe for Tom. If I try to think about where this business can go over the next year or so, from an EBITDA standpoint, I know you don’t give guidance, but you’re pretty close already to breakeven EBITDA. We’ve got very good top line growth. It sounds like you’re starting the year with good continued momentum. The margin — the gross margin is a bit lighter because the faster-growing businesses are lighter margin. SG&A, you’ve elevated spending to support these businesses. But it looks to me as if revenue keeps growing that you may be able to have revenue exceed cash expenses and get closer to breakeven or positive EBITDA within the next year or so. Is that fair?

——————————————————————————–

Lowell Thomas Jewell, Usio, Inc. – Senior VP & CFO [39]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. I mean I think that’s certainly what we’re targeting. But at the same time, we recognize that we’ve got to really grow the business to get to where we want it to be. So it’s always a balancing act, but that’s certainly the direction we’re headed.

——————————————————————————–

Barry Sine, Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, Research Division – Director of Research [40]

——————————————————————————–

Do you plan to increase SG&A further to support the growth businesses PayFac and prepaid? Or are we kind of at a level where it’s high enough that can support what you’re seeing?

——————————————————————————–

Lowell Thomas Jewell, Usio, Inc. – Senior VP & CFO [41]

——————————————————————————–

I think we’re pretty close to where we need to be right now. There’ll be a little bit of uptick from where we are, but not to the extent that what we’ve had in the last — in the last 12 months.

——————————————————————————–

Operator [42]

——————————————————————————–

And there’s a follow-up from Gary Prestopino with Barrington Research.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [43]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. I was kind of scribbling down, Louis, while you were talking. Did you say you implemented 30 new deals, 30 new accounts just in the last couple of weeks? Or is that for the quarter?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [44]

——————————————————————————–

Just the last 2 weeks, Gary.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [45]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. So last 2 weeks of the quarter. Okay.

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [46]

——————————————————————————–

Yes, pretty much when all the corona stuff started getting crazy, we were extremely busy and continue to be busy till this day.

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [47]

——————————————————————————–

Gary, just to make sure that you guys are on the same page, last 2 weeks of this quarter, not last quarter.

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [48]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. Q1.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [49]

——————————————————————————–

Right. Q1. Q1.

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [50]

——————————————————————————–

I just want to make sure you guys are saying the same thing.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [51]

——————————————————————————–

So can we extrapolate there that as far as new account signings, you guys had kind of a banner quarter? Or is this just all hit the last 2 weeks?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [52]

——————————————————————————–

Well, we already said in our notes that Q1 is going to be Q4. So you’ll continue to see growth in Q1.

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [53]

——————————————————————————–

And I think on those ACH accounts that Louis is referencing, we had attended a conference and had really good sort of following there. We had a lot of — left with a lot of leads, and our guys have done a great job of really closing up some of those transactions on-boarding them to the extent that they could become impactful in the near term.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [54]

——————————————————————————–

Okay. And then the last question I had for you. I know you said you opened up an office in Austin, Texas. What is the purpose of that office? Because I mean you’re a rather small company, you’ve got an office in San Antonio, you’ve got one in — outside of Nashville. Why open an office in Austin with that overhead, when it’s — you can get from point-to-point wherever you’re going in Texas pretty easily.

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [55]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. Well, first thing is, Gary, I don’t know how much time you spend in Texas, but Austin is different than San Antonio. It has a bigger focus on technology. So the makeup in San Antonio is that San Antonio is so resistant to any type of downturn in the economy. That — before all this fun happened, our unemployment rate was just barely 2%. We can’t find the technology people. We had to fight. In Austin, there is more people available. So we went out and we got one of the temporary leases where it’s 2 months type of commitment. It’s a shared space. And we’re pretty much piloting what’s going on there and seeing if it works. But we were able to hire some really talented people in Austin. And so it’s close enough that we can collaborate but it’s as far enough that we can get some resources that will help us meet our goals.

——————————————————————————–

Gary Frank Prestopino, Barrington Research Associates, Inc., Research Division – MD [56]

——————————————————————————–

So it’s a lot of coding, things like that, technology issues being taken care of?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [57]

——————————————————————————–

It’s a 100% development there.

——————————————————————————–

Operator [58]

——————————————————————————–

Our next question is a follow-up from Brian Kinstlinger with Alliance Global Partners.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [59]

——————————————————————————–

Great. I think, Vaden, I think you responded to one of the questions, 70% of Singular’s revenue was for professionals such as dentists, optometrists and similar professionals, if I understood it correctly. Can you remind us how much of the revenue is Singular?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [60]

——————————————————————————–

70%, Brian, is volume.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [61]

——————————————————————————–

70% of the volume, yes. Can you remind us how much revenue Singular generated annually at the time of the acquisition? And then can you also remind us the geographies that we’re focused on at that time?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [62]

——————————————————————————–

It’s the same basic mix, and we haven’t really done anything to grow our legacy book of business. It’s not a core growth focus. Obviously, you guys know what that is. It’s PayFac and it’s prepaid. Our goal and mission in life is to maintain that book of business and the revenue streams associated with it. I think when we closed the acquisition, it was high 11s in terms of revenue. And I believe, Tom can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think last year it was just north of 12%.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [63]

——————————————————————————–

Yes. So I guess what I’m trying to just to make sure I understand, supposing these types of offices remain closed through April and May, a lot of them, depending on what region they’re in, is it — is there any reason we should believe your volumes will not be sequentially lower in 2Q, at least temporarily until things get back to normal?

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [64]

——————————————————————————–

Well, look, I think there’s going to be an impact in volumes it’ll be in those industries, and it will be in Q2 and potentially into Q3. That is the real risk, and the opportunity is that the industries that we’re focused on, specifically the health care verticals and other verticals that we’re focused on the PayFac side will — should serve to help offset some of that as should some of the other activities that we’re anticipating on the ACH and other PINless debit and other product side.

——————————————————————————–

Brian David Kinstlinger, Alliance Global Partners, Research Division – Head of TMT Research, MD & Senior Technology Analyst [65]

——————————————————————————–

Can you remind us one more thing, why does ACH react? Why do you expect it to perform much better in this time than, say, other businesses in the processing space, not necessarily, obviously, the professionals for dentists and optometrists, but just in general, why does ACH performed well in this kind of time?

——————————————————————————–

Louis A. Hoch, Usio, Inc. – Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, President, CEO & COO [66]

——————————————————————————–

Well, ACH is all electronic, right? It’s never face-to-face for us. It has — we have a lot of churches that the giving actually goes up during time periods like this. We have — I mean we just have tons of industry segments. We’re big in the finance space, financial services, which the activity there should increase during this time period. We have businesses that are just kind of on cruise control. We have a lot of government municipalities, fees and fines and taxes. They’re going to continue to operate. So all those transactions are, again, not face-to-face. They’re not retail. They’re not service industries. And during these time periods like this, we see consumer lending going up. And we think we’ll get some other people — other segments that will go up during that time period.

——————————————————————————–

Vaden C. Landers, Usio, Inc. – Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer [67]

——————————————————————————–

People are still giving the money to their churches. And we have a church software platform we’re working with, and we’ve seen some good growth in that business over the last few weeks also. So Louis’ point, those electronics non face-to-face transactions in industries where payments are likely to happen in the worst of times are where you’ll find most of the ACH volumes coming from.

——————————————————————————–

Operator [68]

——————————————————————————–

This will conclude our question-and-answer session as well as today’s conference call. Thank you for attending today’s presentation. You may now disconnect.

Source Article