Categories Earnings, Earnings Call Transcripts, Industrials

TransUnion (TRU) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

TRU Earnings Call – Final Transcript

TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Q4 2020 earnings call dated Feb. 16, 2021

Corporate Participants:

Aaron Hoffman — Vice President, Investor Relations

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Todd M. Cello — Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Jeffrey Meuler — Robert W. Baird & Co. — Analyst

Manav Patnaik — Barclays Capital — Analyst

Toni Kaplan — Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC — Analyst

Andrew Steinerman — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Gary Bisbee — Bank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Andrew Jeffrey — Truist Securities — Analyst

George Mihalos — Cowen & Company, LLC — Analyst

Shlomo Rosenbaum — Stifel Nicolaus — Analyst

Hamzah Mazari — Jefferies LLC — Analyst

Kevin McVeigh — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, and welcome to the 2020 Fourth Quarter Earning Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please note this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Aaron Hoffman. Please go ahead.

Aaron Hoffman — Vice President, Investor Relations

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. I hope that all of you remain safe and healthy. On the call today, we have Chris Cartwright, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Todd Cello, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. We posted our earnings release and slides to accompany this call on the TransUnion Investor Relations website. Our earnings release and the accompanying slides include various schedules, which contain more detailed information about revenue, operating expenses and other items, as well as certain non-GAAP disclosures and financial measures along with the corresponding reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP measures.

Today’s call will be recorded and a replay will be available on our website. We will also be making statements during this call that are forward-looking. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could different materially from those described in the forward-looking statements because of factors discussed in today’s earnings release and the comments made during this conference call and in our most recent Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q and other reports and filings with the SEC. We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statements.

With that, let me turn the time over to Chris.

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Aaron. And let me add my welcome and my best wishes that you and your families are healthy. As we start a new year, I want to, once again, thanks more than 8,000 TransUnion associates, who continue to work diligently from their homes throughout this pandemic, in order to support the needs of our customers and consumers in these uncertain times. Our client service hasn’t missed a beat and it’s all due to their amazing efforts. I also appreciate how we’ve supported TransUnion’s embrace of social justice causes during this time of turmoil and transition in the U.S. We continue to focus on diversity and inclusion among our associates and in the communities we serve.

On our last call, I discussed our Total Impact Taskforce. To more clearly convey the intention of the taskforce, we renamed it Racial Equity Taskforce. While the name’s changed, the mission remains the same, to combine and connect TransUnion’s efforts to support racial equity and social justice. The taskforce will amplify our advocacy and outreach through consumer tools and support designed to improve access to economic opportunity. For example, we partner with the Credit Builders Alliance, which helps underserved communities build credit. Additionally, we will double our corporate giving in 2021 in Chicago and Philadelphia, the locations of TransUnion’s two largest offices. We also have reallocated funds from sports partnerships to charities in our communities that support racial equity.

We see further opportunities to partner with local organizations that promote grassroots, targeted support for underserved communities such as My Block, My Hood, My City in Chicago and the Covenant House in Philadelphia. The taskforce will also reexamine the use of data in our analytics and solutions to ensure that all users are consistent with our values and the goal of financial inclusion in the economies that we serve. To that end, we engaged a specialized consultancy in the fourth quarter of last year to objectively assess our data and model development to identify opportunities to improve our practices. And finally, the taskforce working with TransUnion’s Chief Talent and Diversity Officer is formulating clear commitments for diversity and new hires and promotions.

We’ve also expanded racial bias training throughout the organization, and it provided managers with direction and tools to build a more inclusive workplace. These actions support our public commitments including the Chicago Network’s Equity Principles Campaign. They pledged to work toward achieving gender equity and global leadership roles by 2030 and the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to advance diversity and inclusion in our workplaces. In a short time, the taskforce has made encouraging progress, and I have no doubt that we will achieve our goal of making TransUnion a truly diverse and inclusive organization that plays a positive role in the communities that we serve.

Now, I’d like to lay out the agenda for this morning’s call. First, I will review the global organizational changes we’ve made and the considerable investments we are making in solutions, operations and technology to ensure that we continue to deliver strong growth and margins in the years ahead. Over the past 18 months, we’ve established global centers of excellence in solutions, operations and technology. We also commenced Project Rise, a multi-year effort to streamline, standardize and migrate our technology stack to a hybrid public and private cloud model. Less known are the considerable efforts and investments we’ve self-funded to improve our core solutions and to establish an effective and shared global operational spine.

Together, these actions strengthen our foundation for future success. Next, I’ll review the performance trends in the fourth quarter across the various geographies we serve. Throughout this presentation you will hear a consistent story of TransUnion advancing our solutions, services, and go-to-market approach to respond to current conditions while also re-architecting our business to free resources to invest in future growth. Finally, I’ll pass the baton to Todd to discuss our fourth quarter results in detail along with first quarter and full year ’21 guidance. Now, since taking over as CEO of TransUnion, my leadership and I have developed an ambitious set of initiatives to fundamentally strengthen TransUnion while navigating the challenges created by the global pandemic and the need to address social justice issues.

Now, clearly we began with a strong business with a history of success. However, we recognized the opportunity to raise our performance and create an even better version of TU for our stakeholders. Over the past year you’ve heard me discuss the areas for improvement on which we’re focused: technology via project drives, global operations, and global solutions. Today, I want to review the opportunities before us and our progress to-date. These various initiatives together form a transformational program to strengthen TransUnion. Internally, we refer to this program as our Path to Possible meaning our path to building the best version possible of TransUnion and to maintain high rates of revenue growth and increasing margins into the future. So, let’s start with Project Rise, our accelerated initiative to make TransUnion’s technology more scalable, secure, efficient and effective.

I begin here as technology forms the bedrock of TransUnion, and in many ways, we are a technology company. Rise builds upon Project Spark, a systems migration from costly complicated mainframe technology to a modern, flexible distributed and hybrid cloud architecture. And since Spark’s completion, we’ve implemented new technologies and tools as they became available to improve system’s reliability and security. Importantly, we also integrated acquisitions such as Callcredit, iovation and eBureau that utilized the public cloud, gaining important experience in hybrid, public and private cloud architectures. This consistent investment in technology has laid the groundwork for Project Rise. So, let me remind you of some of the expected benefits. First, like many technology-enabled companies, we have the opportunity to further streamline our application ecosystem.

We’ve already worked through more than 1,000 applications and determined their paths forward whether we re-factor, re-host or platform or retire that, allowing us to simplify the delivery of IP on a global basis, reduce costs and increase our speed to market. Second, we’ll implement a hybrid cloud infrastructure to create economies of scale around computing and intellectual property distribution. Our on-premise infrastructure currently operates at high levels of efficiency and the additional use of public cloud helps us to optimize our computing capabilities. This approach has already allowed us to power key international opportunities in countries such as India and Chile, as well as to provide the spine for our Media vertical, which I’ll talk about in more detail shortly.

Third, we will leverage the growing arsenal of innovative cloud-based tools to enable faster product development. Examples include new compliance tools, analytics stacks, model training, machine learning and other cutting-edge technologies. We have delivered the first set of foundational cloud services to our development teams and expect the first deployments into production in the second half of this year. Given our focus on talent and building continuity for the long term, we continue to embrace up-skilling our workforce. In this regard, we’ve made considerable progress in training our internal teams with 80% having completed or currently enrolled in cloud training including hundreds receiving full AWS certification in addition to the new hires that we brought on this past year.

We believe developing our internal talent will make our company cloud native just like our technology. This will allow us to continuously evolve and stay nimble in the future. Beyond these very attractive marketplace benefits, we expect Project Rise to deliver between $20 million and $30 million per year of operating expense reductions beginning in the year ’23. Project Rise represents a critical evolution of our technology strategy and enables significant long-term opportunities and efficiencies for TransUnion. Global operations provides another way to deliver efficiencies and facilitate commercial success through centralization, process optimization, and automation leading to a better customer experience, as well as cost savings that we will reinvest in growth projects.

Our team has identified three areas of greatest potential impact and they’ve made significant progress thus far. First, we expanded our disciplined procurement processes to all of our purchasing. We renegotiated our largest contracts and recently began to focus on the remaining opportunities. We’ve reduced costs while adding features and functionality. We also began implementing a life-cycle procure-to-pay system from Coupa, enabling complete spend visibility globally. We’ve already deployed the tool in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, and we’ll add more of our major markets in ’21. Second, we continue to expand on the success of our Global Capability Center or GCC in Chennai, India, which now employs more than 900 associates. We added another center in Pune, India in the fourth quarter of last year, focused on providing analytics services across our organization.

And this year, we opened a GCC in Johannesburg, South Africa, to provide a range of business services in order to flex capacity and to create continuity safeguards. Each GCC meets the growing needs of our customers while refining our delivery and support capabilities in eliminating concentration risk. They also allow us to cost effectively process more sophisticated and confidential work than we could using third parties. And finally, we’re focused on business process refinement and automation to enhance customer experience. Most significantly, we are implementing a standardized global CRM system that when coupled with our GCCs forms an effective technology and operational fulfillment spine for transparent, high-quality customer support.

Said another way, we’re creating a structure to efficiently process work, so we can focus on delivering the best experience for our customers. Together, we are confident that Global Operations will deliver significant effectiveness and cost benefits, and we will reinvest these in growth and enhanced margins in order to drive shareholder value. Now, moving to Global Solutions; in a short time, this team has delivered some exciting successes along with an array of important partnerships and acquisitions. We’ve organized around key horizontal solutions such as credit, fraud, analytics, decisioning, and others, and then staff these teams with experienced leaders, develop and diffused, configurable platform solutions across our various geographies and vertical markets.

First, let me talk about our internally generated opportunities. And then, I’ll turn to how we’ve leveraged our core capabilities into new areas through partnerships and acquisitions. So, let’s start with our refocused strategy in Fraud, the second largest solution offering at TransUnion behind credit. We have an outstanding starting point with our suite of fraud solutions. In fact, in November of last year, Javelin Strategy & Research ranked TransUnion Best in Class among 26 providers on its Identity Proofing Scorecard. After hiring security industry veteran Shai Cohen, we undertook an extensive review of our solutions and market position. The outcome of this work suggested an opportunity to rebrand, standardize and integrate our various fraud mitigation products into a unified solution, which utilizes our best capabilities.

While this will require time and investment, we’ve already begun to rebrand all of our cloud solutions globally under the umbrella of TruValidate. We will also refocus our sales efforts on the most appropriate market segments and user profiles. This strategic repositioning represents a starting point for creating a truly integrated and global fraud mitigation business within TransUnion. I also want to share another recent success in solutions from our international markets. As COVID led to an explosion of e-commerce, many customers in emerging markets lack an integrated, data-enabled solution for activating new accounts. To meet this need, we created a digital on-boarding solution that bundles our suite of data pre-fill, ID verification, credit scoring and origination decisioning tools through a common orchestration layer.

We delivered this tool in a single API that customers can deploy as a mobile application, as a mobile website, as a white-label tool and integrated into their own platforms. The modular design allows them to buy a whole solution or individual components based on their needs. The Digital On-boarding solution suite represents a great example of our global diffusion strategy at work. We rapidly launched in India, South Africa, Colombia and the Philippines creating a multimillion-dollar business in under a year. We built a strong inventory of sales wins in these markets that will ramp this year. And we’re also exploring applications in more developed markets. In addition to these two efforts, we brought to market several solutions to aid customers with the uncertainties created by the COVID pandemic including our CreditVision Acute Relief Attributes, which were adopted rapidly to enhance portfolio risk assessment, as well as new customer acquisition.

Now, turning to how we leverage partnerships to create new growth vectors, let’s talk about employment and income verification. On our October earnings call, we announced a partnership with MX, which aggregates financial information on more than 45 million consumers through consumer permission connectivity with a myriad of banks, credit unions, and FinTech players. Through this partnership, which covers the U.S. and Canada, TransUnion will enable consumers to enrich their credit profiles while helping lenders to make more informed decisions. I’ll ask you to hold onto these thoughts about MX for a moment while I review another highly-complementary partnership with the largest payroll provider in the U.S. Just a few days after our last earnings call, we announced this partnership and immediately introduced a differentiated income and employment verification solution. We understood that our customers wanted these tools combined with their credit search in order to simplify their workflow.

The solution we launched in late October did exactly that and customers have responded favorably. Since the announcement, we received numerous inbound inquiries from a variety of industries and lenders and closed multiple contracts with clients who have begun to transact. Now, let’s talk about how these two partnerships fit together. Fundamentally, they provide a more complete view of consumers to better informed decisions about customer acquisition and risks. More tangibly, we will create a solution that first pings our payroll processing partner. If we don’t get a hit there, we can then query MX to determine if they have checking account data that indicates employment and income. By doing so, we expand the universe of consumers that we can reliably verify.

We expect this tiered solution to launch in the second half of ’21. Verification solutions complement our credit base solutions, thus expanding our addressable market and providing another long-term growth vector. Before I move on, I want to note the solutions team also played an instrumental role in a number of other recent investments. We completed a minority equity investment and formed a commercial partnership with FinLocker, a secure online data store that enables consumers to gather their financial information online and then grant permission to lenders, initially in mortgage, to access it for underwriting purposes. We also partnered with Socially Determined, a social health risk analytics company to create tools to assess and mitigate health risks by using a combination of social risk and clinical data.

This creates another growth path for our healthcare vertical. On the last earnings call, we highlighted our growth plans in Media which focused primarily on digital marketing solutions. We built the vertical through a series of acquisitions TruSignal, Signal, and Tru Optik that complement the array of data and world-class linking and matching logic of TransUnion. Together, these acquisitions and our in-house capabilities, allow us to compete for audience segmentation and identity resolution market share to growing categories within the larger digital marketing ecosystem. As we scaled up this business, we’ve added new high-caliber talent like Jessica Hindlian who recently joined us from Nielsen where she served as SVP of Product for Advanced Video Advertising and Identity.

She will lead our vertical specific channel and our product partnerships. We’ve also quickly realized meaningful commercial success. We have completed partnerships with Comscore to enable precision-targeting in a cookie-free environment and wide orbit to bring enhanced audience targeting to their streaming radio and podcast advertising solutions, and we have expanded an existing relationship and will now power connectivity for our leading retailers’ ad marketplace. So this concludes my discussion of our significant investments. I’ll reiterate that there are immense opportunities that we’ve created to Project Rise, global operations, and global solutions. And we’ve accomplished a lot in a short time giving us even greater confidence in the long-term impact from these initiatives.

Now, I’d like to pivot to our fourth quarter results and walk you through some of the business and market trends. I’ll start with U.S. markets with a review of the online transaction volumes for Financial Services, our largest vertical market. Volumes remained strong in mortgage, improved in consumer lending while auto and card had relatively stable quarter-over-quarter. I would note that in card, we continue to compare against strong volumes from the successful launch of a new card in the second half of 2019. Now excluding that impact, our volumes in card would better reflect the underlying market. I also want to let you know now that going forward, we do not intend to provide this level of volume detail. We introduce these slides in response to the severe impact of the pandemic on Financial Services. Given the relative stability in the market and hopefully the early stages of a recovery, we will return to our normal disclosure practices beginning with the first quarter of 2021.

Now, let’s spend some time on the key lending markets that comprise the vertical. So beginning with consumer lending, it continued to recover during the quarter as larger FinTech lenders slowly returned to customer acquisition fueled by solid levels of investor commitment to funding loans. Consumer demand remains tepid as low credit card balances, cash-out refinancings and stimulus payments have reduced the demand for certain installment products like debt consolidation and short-term loans. On the other hand, we continue to see significant growth with point-of-sale lenders both from their own success as well as share gains. Auto lending was relatively stable quarter-over-quarter as new car sales picked up while the used car market tightened as inventory levels remain challenged.

As digital auto retailing grows, we continue to see demand for our prequalification solutions including Auto Payment Shopper. And positively, we also have seen some early signs of lenders returning to marketing activities as their portfolios stabilized. The credit card market remains fairly stable as the industry showed modest signs of recovery from the sharp declines in the second quarter. We also continued to see a slow recovery in marketing and believe that there is considerable pent-up consumer demand that should fuel this category in the future. Now, I want to spend a minute taking a slightly deeper dive on our mortgage business, which delivered outstanding growth in 2020 on the strength of both refinancing and home purchase activities as interest rates remained historically low.

On this chart, you can see the incredible growth in the market [Indecipherable] over these last two years creating a very challenging stack of comparisons as we enter 2021. As always, we have spent considerable time with our customers and the advisory boards while also incorporating an array of public data to develop our outlook for the market this year. Based on this rigorous work, we believe that the mortgage market will decline about 10% in 2021. More specifically, we anticipate continued strength in mortgage in the first half of the year, particularly the first quarter, and then weaker second half as volumes taper off and comparisons remain very challenging. Now, we will update you if our view changes as the year unfolds.

I want to wrap up though with a quick view of our Financial Services sales pipeline. Despite the impact of the pandemic on our markets, our sales team delivered exceptionally strong results. Our healthy pipeline reflects our effective customer engagement and highly relevant product offerings including a substantial number of CreditVision wins that demonstrate the long runway for the solution. For the full year, we increased our new wins in dollars by almost 40% behind a win rate that’s just shy of 50%. We attribute the success to the nimble changes our sales teams made to conduct business virtually along with our thought leadership that provided tangible assistance to customers and of course the strength and breadth of our product portfolio.

And now shifting to our U.S. emerging verticals, most of them saw trends generally improve or at least stabilize during the fourth quarter. Beginning with healthcare, performance played out largely as we expected during the quarter. Front-end volumes continued to slowly recover as providers saw outpatient volumes return to pre-COVID levels. Inpatient visits remain depressed but stable as patients showed caution about returning to the healthcare venues. Emergency department visits continued to show weaker but stable trends. The impact of reduced front-end volumes negatively affects the back end of the business resulting in a reduced number of potential coverage discovery opportunities. Despite the headwinds that we faced, the vertical only declined mid-single digits for the full year, reflecting the importance of our offerings.

And even as the U.S. healthcare system lost more than $320 billion in 2020, we saw solid levels of new business wins last year. As our business helps providers recover cash, we remain well-positioned to help healthcare providers protect their revenue and balance sheets. And as we look forward, we see no structural change to this market such that we won’t return to a more steady growth profile post-pandemic. Now, shifting to insurance, this vertical declined slightly in the fourth quarter as we had a modestly more challenging comparison than in the third quarter. However, the vertical delivered growth for the full year as a result of our successful diversification into areas such as commercial auto, life, group life and other types of property and casualty insurance.

Notably, we realized significant growth in our sales pipeline with new business won in ’20 exceeding our strong 2019 levels. Many of the deals involved multi-product wins, reflecting our attractive suite of products. And our partnership with Neuro-ID began to generate revenue. As a reminder, Neuro-ID helps customers understand biometric behavior during the online application, providing insight into potential fraud based on how consumers enter data. The solution uses the same data to explain why consumers abandon applications so processes can be refined. As online applications increase in insurance, this partnership positions us to capitalize on that trend. And public sector grew significantly as most government agencies operate as business as usual, providing meeting — necessary support for their constituents.

We posted strong new sales in the quarter at the state and federal levels, and also increased our opportunity pipeline. Our media vertical grew both on a reported and organic basis as we continue to make meaningful progress against the strategy I highlighted earlier. We also delivered growth in our Screening business, which includes both tenant and employment screening. We saw solid performance in tenant screening as leasing companies remained active and our SmartMove screening product made additional inroads in the marketplace. Employment screening remains depressed as it mirrors employment trends. And the telco market recovered largely as we expected with consumers returning to more normal device-purchasing levels.

And finally, although collections is countercyclical over time, we don’t expect any uptick in the near future as loan forbearance programs and collections moratoriums delayed demand. Further, government payments during the pandemic had helped many consumers stay current on their loans or reduced their debt loads. Now, moving to Consumer Interactive; we delivered double-digit revenue growth in our direct business due to increased advertising and higher conversion rates on our — to our subscription products. Consumers continue to value our credit health and identity protection services. Our indirect channel remains soft as financial products lead aggregators have experienced diminished demand from the lenders they serve for new client acquisition.

Reduced acquisition levels has caused some of our clients to cut back on their own marketing, causing a decline in their subscribers and negatively impacting our revenues, a portion of which are based on subscriber levels. Although this dynamic is now stabilized and we are seeing some recovery, it created a growth headwind for our business in 2020. Wrapping up with our international segment, let’s look at revenue trends, which illustrate the ongoing recovery across our geographic footprint. Generally, successful reopenings have allowed economies to restart, leading to increased overall economic activity. However, as we’ve all seen, the duration and the durability of reopenings varies greatly market-to-market. At the same time, our team has done an outstanding job partnering with customers to assist them in managing through the impacts of the pandemic.

You’ll hear about new products, new business wins and creative ways that we deliver thought leadership. Now, let me turn to the specifics for each region. In the UK, we returned to growth excluding the impact of a divestment earlier in the year. While lending markets remain depressed, they did improve in the fourth quarter particularly for mortgage. As in previous quarters, the alternative lending market continues to see pressure, though the burgeoning Buy Now Pay Later space has provided a source of growth as we hold a strong leadership position. Our fraud in gaming and gambling positions also showed further improvement. In setting the stage for future growth, we have inked contracts with one of the UK’s largest lenders to provide them the CreditView platform and our open banking solution.

Now, our Canadian business grew again in the fourth quarter despite generally weak lending market and continually escalating COVID mitigation restrictions. Our good performance reflects the meaningful portfolio diversification that we’ve intentionally developed including insurance and public sector expansion, direct-to-consumer offerings and growth in the emerging FinTech market. And in India, the country has now fully reopened resulting in slowly improving transaction volumes, including very strong volumes during Diwali, which typically drives the strongest business in the year. We continue to benefit from our diverse product portfolio, as well as specific programs to address critical pandemic-driven issues. For instance, we extended our string of significant business wins supporting the Indian government as they work with lenders, small businesses, and consumers to provide incremental oversight and stimulus during pandemic.

We also engaged with our FinTech customers by setting up our innovation lab on the cloud and inviting them to compete with our developers to see who can deliver the best performing models. And through our TGIF or TransUnion Great Insight Fridays, we’ve had interactions with more than 300 discrete lenders bringing them important insights about the market, consumers in their own businesses. As we look ahead, India remains a singularly vibrant and innovative market with significant growth potential for years to come. As the lending market transitions from traditional products, high velocity, short-term, low-dollar loans, we expect hundreds of millions of Indians to enter the credit economy. And in the case of small businesses, only about 10 million of the 60 million currently have loans.

These changes have meaningful implications for TransUnion’s addressable market, and we remain extremely well-positioned to benefit from them. In Latin America, we serve a variety of markets. And most remain somewhat stable, albeit at depressed levels compared to last year. Notably, Colombia delivered a solid quarter of growth on the strength of our FinTech, Insurance and Telco businesses. As we’ve discussed previously, we expect a slow and long linear recovery in many of these markets. In Asia-Pacific, the market in Hong Kong has stabilized, though at generally depressed levels, as the fallout from the pandemic and political unrest continues. We returned to growth on the strength of our re-launched direct-to-consumer offering. We expect it to provide a meaningful source of growth in ’21, likely exceeding the previous revenue run rate over time.

Now, rounding up APAC, the Philippines continues to face significant headwinds, as the country has struggled to reopen, impacting consumers and our customers. Our team held its first Lending Summit to bring more sophisticated thought leadership to the market even as we roll out CreditVision, which provides a superior tool for our customers to assess lending risk particularly in this current environment. Longer term, we remain confident and optimistic that the Philippines will return to attractive growth. The South African economy remains challenged particularly with the second wave of COVID spread causing further lockdowns recently. As in other markets, our team has responded by prioritizing our customers’ needs like account management, collections and e-commerce. They have successfully expanded uptake of key solutions such as CreditVision, TruValidate and digital on-boarding to drive value for customers. Now, just taking you through how TransUnion is managed effectively through the global pandemic while also accelerating investments that set up our path to what is possible.

So I’ll now turn it over to Todd to walk you through our financial results in detail and our first quarter and full-year 2021 guidance. So over to you, Todd.

Todd M. Cello — Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Chris. We delivered solid results at the high end of our guidance as we benefited from gradual improvement across almost all of our markets, as well as the strength and diversity of our portfolio. I’ll start with our consolidated results. And for the sake of simplicity, all of the comparisons I discuss today will be against the fourth quarter of 2019 unless noted otherwise. So, starting with the income statement; fourth quarter consolidated revenue increased 2% on a reported and constant currency basis. The Signal and Tru Optik acquisitions had just under one point of impact. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 2% on a reported basis and constant currency basis. Our adjusted EBITDA margin was 38.5%, down about 170 basis points compared with the year-ago quarter.

As Chris pointed out, we have aggressively invested in our business this year, and that had some impact on the margins along with the broader macro challenges of the pandemic. Fourth quarter adjusted diluted EPS increased 7%. While adjusted EBITDA was down slightly, we continue to benefit from reduced interest expense related to our debt refinancings and lower LIBOR rates, as well as a lower adjusted tax rate of 21.9%. A lower tax rate reflects our tax planning initiatives and the reduction in the statutory rate in India. Now, looking at segment financial performance, U.S. markets revenue was up 4% compared to year-ago quarter. The two media acquisitions had about 1.5 points of impact on revenue. Our Financial Services vertical revenue grew 7%.

As Chris discussed, we saw improvement in Consumer Lending, continued strength in Mortgage, as well as stability in Card and Auto. And to address the significant impact of mortgage in the quarter excluding the cyclical growth, the vertical would have declined mid-single digits. Emerging Verticals were flat on a reported basis and down 3% excluding the revenue associated with the two media vertical acquisitions. Growth in public sector, media, and tenant employment screening helped moderate decline in the other verticals. Adjusted EBITDA for U.S. markets decreased 2% as reported and 1% on an organic basis. Adjusted EBITDA margin declined largely as a result of the strategic and operational investment that Chris discussed, the cost to integrate and scale our recent media acquisitions as well as the normal quarter-over-quarter seasonality from the third to the fourth quarter.

Consumer Interactive revenue increased 3%, driven by growth in the direct channel. Adjusted EBITDA for Consumer Interactive was down 2% as we continue to increase marketing behind the direct channel during the quarter and see solid returns on that investment. For my comments about International, all comparisons will be in constant currency. For the total segment, revenue fell 2% as we saw trends improve in most of our regions as Chris discussed in detail. As we mentioned on our February 2020 call, we invested — we divested a small business in the UK, Recipero. Excluding that divestiture, international would have been down only 1% and our UK business would have flipped from being down 1% to up 2%. Adjusted EBITDA for international declined 4%.

One of the many strengths of TransUnion is our balance sheet and our ability to rapidly generate cash. This provides us with consistent optionality to make the best decisions for the company and our shareholders. We finished the quarter with $493 million of cash on the balance sheet after voluntarily prepaying $150 million of our term loans and funding the first tranche of the Tru Optik acquisition and several smaller investments. For clarity, the Tru Optik transaction entails an initial payment and a subsequent smaller earn-out in 2021 based on the performance of the business. At the same time, our net leverage ratio continued to decline from 2.9 times at the end of the third quarter to 2.8 times at the end of December.

With our strong balance sheet, we remain in a good position to continue to be proactive in pursuit of additional attractive investments as an important part of our overall long-term growth strategy. So that brings us to our outlook for the first quarter and the full year, which is based on the current market conditions and doesn’t incorporate the potential for a much stronger second half driven by the possibility of a more rapid economic recovery. As you come to expect from us, we won’t hopefully build plans based on best-case scenarios, rather we’ll take a balanced, realistic approach. We firmly believe that doing so is in the best interest of our shareholders as it avoids unnecessary risk. Starting with first quarter revenue, we expect slightly less than 1 point of M&A contribution from Signal and Tru Optik as well as a similar tailwind to revenue from FX and we expect a 50 basis point benefit to adjusted EBITDA.

Revenue is expected to come in between $698 million and $707 million or a 2% to 3% increase. This results in organic constant currency revenue growth being flat to up 1%. Embedded in our revenue guidance is an approximately 3 point benefit from mortgage, which lines up with Chris’s comments about our expectations for a strong first half followed by headwinds in the second half of the year. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $268 million and $275 million, an increase of 2% to 4%. Adjusted diluted earnings per share are expected to be between $0.78 and $0.81, an increase of 6% to 10%. And for the full year we expect 50 basis points of benefit from M&A and 1 point of tailwind to revenue from FX. Revenue is expected to be between $2.817 billion to $2.877 billion, up 4% to 6%.

Based on the mortgage expectation Chris shared, our guidance includes about two points of headwind from our anticipation of a 10% decline in our mortgage revenue. So, on an organic, constant currency basis excluding mortgage, the remainder of the business is expected to grow 4% to 6%. I would also like to point out that the cadence of the year will be fairly lumpy. The first quarter should look somewhat similar to the third and fourth quarters of 2020. The second quarter of 2021 should be the strongest on a year-over-year basis given the relatively easy comps. And in the back half, we would expect the benefits of ongoing economic recovery to be offset by mortgage headwinds. For our business segments, we expect U.S. Markets to grow revenue mid-single digits, financial Services to be flat and Emerging Verticals to be up high-single-digit.

Excluding the impact of mortgage, U.S. Markets would be up high-single digits and Financial Services would be up mid-single digits. We anticipate that international will grow high-single digits in constant currency as we continue to see a very patient recovery across our markets. And we expect Consumer Interactive to be up slightly as the lead aggregators slowly return to customer acquisition. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $1.083 billion and $1.121 billion, up 4% to 7%. We expect 1 point of benefit from FX. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the year are expected to be between $3.16 and $3.31, up 5% to 10%. I want to wrap up with some thoughts about some of our other annual guidance items.

First, we expect our tax rate to be about 23%, which is fairly consistent with the 2020 rate of 22.6%. Second, total depreciation and amortization is expected to be about $375 million, a modest increase from 2020. Excluding the step-up from our 2012 change in control and subsequent acquisitions, appreciation and amortization should be approximately $190 million. Third, net interest expense should be about $100 million, down about $20 million in 2020 as a result of a lower forward LIBOR curve in our voluntary debt prepayment. Fourth, capital expenditures will be around 8% of revenue. And finally, for the full year of 2020, we spent about $19 million on Project Rise that was added back for our non-GAAP metrics. We expect this add back to nearly triple in 2021, a significant step-up from the first — the second year of the project as we expected and has — as have rebuilt significant momentum.

I’ll now turn the call back to Chris for some final comments.

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you, Todd. And to conclude, this morning you’ve heard more about the meaningful progress we’ve made in fundamentally improving TransUnion to Project Rise, global operations and solutions. Each delivers immense value to TransUnion over the long term and in tandem to have an even greater potential to help us sustain industry-leading top line growth and an attractive and growing market. At the same time, our business continues to perform well in the midst of some very challenging conditions. I’ll end by reiterating my hope that all of you and your families are safe and healthy. And thank you for joining us this morning.

So with that, I’ll turn the time back to Aaron.

Aaron Hoffman — Vice President, Investor Relations

Great. Thanks, Chris. That concludes our prepared remarks. So for the Q&A, we ask that you each ask only one question so that we can include more participants. And now, let’s jump into those questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] The first question comes from Jeff Meuler with Baird. Please go ahead.

Jeffrey Meuler — Robert W. Baird & Co. — Analyst

Yes. Thank you. On mortgage, what percentage of your consolidated revenue was U.S. mortgage in 2020? And the reason I ask is I thought it was lower than 20%. But you’re saying a 10% market decline is about a 2 point headwind. I wouldn’t think that there’s share shifts given that it’s mostly selling to the tri-merge resellers. But if you could just clarify what the exposure and maybe help square the minus 10% 2-point headwind? Thanks.

Todd M. Cello — Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Hey, Jeff, good morning, and thank you for the question. This is Todd. I’ll take that one. So, as far as mortgage earned, historically TransUnion’s spoken about our overall exposure to U.S. mortgage, being roughly maybe 7% to 8% of revenue. That went up last year to about 13%, which is very — obviously very significant. But — and that’s something that we anticipate that will stay at that level throughout 2021, as I — as we both kind of alluded to in our opening remarks. We do expect mortgage to continue to be relatively stable to maybe slightly decline in the first half of the year. But right now, the visibility that we have with mortgage would just suggest that there would be a slowdown. And the way again that we’ve put it is 10% decline in our mortgage revenues specifically in — for the full year. And again that will primarily happen in the second half of 2021.

Jeffrey Meuler — Robert W. Baird & Co. — Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

The next question comes from Manav Patnaik with Barclays. Please go ahead.

Manav Patnaik — Barclays Capital — Analyst

Thank you. Just a broad question, Chris. 2021 was always going be a lot of moving pieces and it sounds like you’ve taken a relatively conservative approach to start the year, correct me if I’m wrong there. But just looking out into 2022, do you see any notable moving pieces, perhaps media, gaming, some other categories where you think could be a notable contributor to the growth to getting you back to kind of what they used to historically?

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Good morning, Manav. So as I commented before, I think ’21 will be a bit of a mixed bag. The first half and the second halves will be different. The first half is likely to be choppier just given the state of the public health situation. But in markets like the U.S. as vaccines are rolled out and I think the population returns to health, you’ll see a material strengthening across the different verticals in which we compete, and that leads to a stronger second half. And also, I expect that we will roll with some good momentum into 2022 and start to compound the top line in a manner consistent with what we have done previously. That’s certainly the aspiration at this point.

I would say that mortgage remains the critical wildcard here over the course of ’21. As Todd just said, we are modeling in about a 10% decline in the category, and it has swelled to 13% of our revenues. So it’s more material than previous. With that said, nobody’s crystal ball is perfect, and it is quite material to the financial results that we’ve outlined in our guidance this morning. So the best I can tell you is: one, we’ve provided more detail into how we arrived at the number than we typically would and will ongoing. And two, if we see a material change in our assumptions, we’ll certainly communicate with the market quickly because it will have a direct bearing on the results.

And then the last thing I would say is, look, as our economy heals from the pandemic, when we start to get back to normal and I take more of a global perspective here, there are key components of our portfolio that will return to health and growth that have been somewhat uniquely impacted in the pandemic. The first comes in our consumer direct business where 60% of the revenues are focused on providing reports of analytics to indirect players, the marketing lead aggregators for Financial Services. And as lenders pulled out of the market in terms of client acquisition, their businesses were materially impacted and that became quite a headwind for us.

Additionally, as you know, we have strong and disproportionate market share in the FinTech space and in consumer lending. And that was also an area that I think was the hardest hit of the different Financial Services verticals in the U.S. And then finally, our international portfolio which is over $600 million now, was a consistent double-digit compound grower. And those three things have been muted somewhat because of the pandemic. They’re all stable now and they’re all resuming growth. But again, as the global health situation improves and the pandemic recedes, you’re going to see acceleration in those three components as well as the other piece — parts of our portfolio. And I think we’re well-positioned for recovery.

And again, I guess just one concluding remark. If you look at the guidance that we have provided where we’ve broken out the Financial Services performance and then attempted to isolate the mortgage component within that, but then also highlighted the growth rates across our emerging verticals portfolio in the U.S., you can see that we’re really expecting quite a bit of strengthening across the vast majority of our portfolio in ’21. Some very attractive high-single digits organic growth rates but again, somewhat muted by the mortgage headwind and the general uncertainly in that category. So I’ll pause there. Todd, if you — do you want to add anything?

Todd M. Cello — Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Chris. I think that was very comprehensive. I would just highlight a couple of more things, and I think it just comes again out of our opening remarks. We’ve deliberately made a significant effort into the media vertical, so we are expecting at least in about ’22 that media will be a meaningful — starts to be a meaningful contributor for us as well as our Fraud business. And as Chris again spoke about in his opening comments, we’ve done a significant amount of work to get that on a common platform, rebranded it to TruValidate.

We’re expecting some really good growth there as well as, let’s not lose sight of the fact that our FinTech customers have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and I think our expectation is they’ll get more aggressive as we go through ’21 with our marketing campaigns. I think the key point there is let’s not get excited of the strong relationships that we have already intact and in the leading position there, and that we fully back that market to rebound. So, that’ll be another really nice growth driver for us in ’22. And our Insurance and Healthcare verticals as well, too, I think are poised to continue to recover this year, but continues to grow nicely.

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So, I mean, look, Manav, you touched on a really good question. So, the way I think about how we resume the growth at the markets come to expect from us, it really breaks down into four buckets. The first is that as the pandemic recedes, the underlying geographies and verticals that we serve are going to heal. And there’s nothing structural that’s changed there. Two, we’ll also resume the momentum from our product portfolio that represents all the investment and innovation that we’ve accumulated, right? We’ve got a strong — we have many generations of product development that are still in the early to mid stages of adoption.

And as the market heals, you’re going to see those driving growth. On top of it, and again referencing the point Todd just made, we’ve got other vintages of growth that we’re layering on. One is the repositioning of our CROA business, which we’ve talked about in some detail, where we’re bringing together the multiple fraud assets that we’ve acquired in creating a single, global fraud growth platform focused on the most growable segments of our business. We’ve also invested a lot in data analytics and modeling tools via Prama.

We’re launching the employment verification in income vector. We continue to add new data types. And, look, there’s a multitude of growth categories in addition to what we’ve done with media. That represents the third component. And again as always, we remain active looking for complementary M&A. Internationally we’re always hopeful we can find geographies that we can enter, and typically, we can really improve the operations of the credit bureau. And in the U.S. and really at 2Q, our global product development, we’re looking to add capabilities that complement the needs that we’re servicing in our clients. So, Manav, potentially more than you bargained for. But that’s our thorough answer.

Manav Patnaik — Barclays Capital — Analyst

No. I appreciate that. Thank you very much.

Operator

The next question comes from Toni Kaplan with Morgan Stanley. Please go ahead.

Toni Kaplan — Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC — Analyst

Thank you. Wanted to ask about verification. How quickly can you ramp up that business? I know you mentioned some wins already and the tiered launch in second half with your MX partnership. Can you just talk about your go-to-market strategy and the differentiation versus competition? And then in terms of records growth, I guess, have you added more records since that initial payroll provider? And what kind of pace do you expect to grow records going forward? I imagine it may be tougher after that sort of initial really large number that you got from that partnership. Thanks.

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Sure, Toni. I mean, obviously, this is a really exciting extension to our product portfolio. And we think we can differentiate by really streamlining access to the credit and the employment and income verification through a common digital connection, right? Really leveraging the pathways that we established already. But as you know from my comments last time around, I’ve tried to caution the market that this is not a category that we’re going to achieve parity with the market leader in one quarter. This is a entry into an area that is strategically important and complementary that we’re going to put the full weight of our product resources and innovation behind developing a product that really can compete, but that will take time.

In the interim, we’re in a phase where we are productizing the data and the pipeline relationships that we’ve established via the large payroll processor and MX technologies. And you’re right, Toni. Over time, our focus is going to be on broader and broader market coverage which means you’ve got to establish more relationships. And then market coverage would be both with payroll processors, potentially other types of data providers and these financial aggregators that will allow us to cascade broad market coverage across banks, FinTechs and credit providers. So, we’re in this for the long haul. We’re just — I’m just not able right now to give you like financial precision on dollar or growth rates. But, look, as you know, this is a really big market. I love the competitive dynamics. I love the fact that we can pull together an offering and we can start attacking, and learning, and gaining share. And that’s our intention.

Toni Kaplan — Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC — Analyst

Thanks a lot.

Operator

The next question comes from Andrew Steinerman with J.P. Morgan. Please go ahead.

Andrew Steinerman — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Hi. It’s Andrew. I’d like to look back at slide 11 and 12 for the U.S. financial markets. This is the consumer credit activity, which really is broadly up in not just mortgage but auto, card, consumer lending. This orange line over blue — over yellow line. And so I’m just a little bit puzzled by the first quarter organic revenue guide of 0% to 1% year-over-year which is a bit of a deceleration total company from the 1% you guys just reported. And so given the credit activity, I’m asking do you see organic revenue growth acceleration in Financial Services in the first quarter? And if not, why and maybe puzzle together the other segments to help us understand the 0% to 1% better in total?

Todd M. Cello — Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Hey. Good morning, Andrew. This is Todd. Let me take that question from you, and I think it’s an important one to talk through in some more detail. So starting first when you do look at slides 11 and 12, it is important to remember that this represents online credit report volumes for our U.S. markets’ Financial Services vertical only. And just to give you kind of a perspective on that, in 2020., our Financial Services vertical did about $939 million, so roughly about 35% of our revenues. So just that’s important to keep in mind that given the $939 million, the volumes represent a certain percentage that probably higher goal online but we also do a significant amount of batch work as you know already, right? That’s also part of that number.

So I think the way that with that set as context, so I think that the thing that’s important also to keep in mind is just simply the comparable that we’re up against in Q1 of ’21 compared to last year. At a consolidated basis, if you were to look at Q4 2019 to Q1 2020, our growth rate on a consolidated basis went from 9.9 times to 10.8 times which is about 1 point of growth. And for our US markets Financial Services vertical, the growth rate went from 16.5 up to 21.8 in Q1 of 2020. So that’s about 5 points of growth. But think about the comparable that we’re up against. So when you look at that then and go, okay, but now go sequentially from Q4 2020, the quarter that we just exited where our percentage we grew at 1.5% and now you’re looking at our guide, so we’re calling for flat to up 1% in Q1 of ’21.

When you get into the decimals on this, that one might actually be maybe 1.5% potentially at the high end. So, for all intents and purposes, if we achieved the high we could be at the same growth rate that we experienced in Q4 of 2020. So the comp and that growth rate is important. Now, to the point about just the overall mix of what we’re looking at on slides 11 and 12, please do keep in mind the international business has had a different recovery than what we’ve experienced in the U.S. So when we look at ’21, we would expect our International business to experience their softest quarter in Q1 relative to the rest of the year. And as you saw, we’re calling for the full year to be up high-single digits for international. So a lot to cover — hopefully answers your question, Andrew.

Andrew Steinerman — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Sure. Thank you.

Operator

The next question comes from Gary Bisbee with Bank of America. Please go ahead.

Gary Bisbee — Bank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Hey, guys. Good morning. This is I think the second quarter in either in a row or in the last couple where you’ve given some numbers around new business wins in U.S. Financial Services. And I guess I’ll ask a question that was asked last time if you can help us understand any more. But how does that 40% increase in dollar value flow through to revenue? Is there anything about that that would make it flow through more slowly, like higher mix of multi-year versus one year or anything like that because it — that’s a big number and maybe the other part of it too, that’s just new wins, what about losses or what about — customers leaving stuff like that? Just help frame how to think about that as a driver of revenue in the next year. Thank you.

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Good question, Gary. The first thing I would say is that in terms of attrition for whatever reasons, there’s no change that we’re aware of, right? And so, there’s nothing to really counteract that increase in the estimated annual contract value of the deals that we closed in 2020. Now, revenue arrival is a different animal than contracted sales. And it varies based on variety factors. One is the time it’s going to take to integrate the clients and establish those relationships and in certain cases, how long it takes them to incorporate their data or rather our data into their models, be it marketing or origination or collections, etc. So, there can be a lag time related to that. There can also be some time to tell clients to ramp to their full volume potential.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that sometimes salespeople can be overly enthusiastic with the potential deal, size of the deal although I can’t give you any evidence that their enthusiasm has changed over the course of the pandemic. So, look, a 40% increase and dollar close doesn’t lead to a 40% increase in the new portion of our revenues in the coming year. But it is a really tremendous indication of the health of our product line, our sales efforts and our client’s health as well. And anything, I would just mention is that new wins represent a new layer of revenue that we’re laying upon a deep and established foundation. And it’s really the volume movements in the foundation have a much more material impact on our revenue in the coming year or in the current period than does the increment, right? So, I’ll just pause there.

Gary Bisbee — Bank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

That’s helpful. Thank you.

Operator

The next question comes from Andrew Jeffrey with Truist Securities. Please go ahead.

Andrew Jeffrey — Truist Securities — Analyst

Hi. Good morning, gentlemen. I appreciate the question and all the comments and color. There are a lot of moving pieces here. Chris, I’ve got a question specifically about your media initiatives. TransUnion has terrific differentiated data and you’ve been — you’ve done a great job differentiated data, and you’ve done a great job commercializing in the past. It strikes me media is one of these spaces that is very competitive, and there have been some companies, we’ve seen it in and around FinTech that have tried to crack the code and maybe even less successful than they would have expected or anticipated. Can you just elaborate on why you think TU has the ability to outperform in that vertical?

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Sure. Well, look, to your point, the media market or the market for digital advertising services is enormous and varied. We have chosen kind of a surgical entry into a portion of that market where I feel that our matching logic in some differentiated data provides us with an advantage with an opportunity to introduce a best-in-class solution. Now, before we had a media vertical, we were supporting various ad tech companies in matching online and offline data because TransUnion and the bureaus in general are just really good at that, and we know that our matching logic is superior to the standard that prevails in that marketplace.

And so with that experience and that insight, we decided to formalize the offering into a specific vertical offering. As we started to gain more experience, we realized that we needed to deliver our data, all of our customer-identifying data, demographic, and segmentation type of data on a different platform with a user-friendly access so media clients could come in and slice and dice and free the audiences that they were interested in. And then we could append the digital identity and other offline characterizing information that they could use to drive their advertising campaigns. When we bought Tru Optik though we gained a differentiated dataset because they are one of the early leaders in the market to provide insight as to which homes are consuming content via which streaming devices, be it video or audio, right?

And so now we have differentiated data set that we can add to our universe of data and our segmentation tool and then also combine that with our matching. Practical example of it is an advertiser can find out now that a particular home address, mine or yours, has Apple TV, has Netflix, uses Hulu, etc but they don’t know much about the household. With TransUnion we can do that matching and say that the occupants of the household have certain characteristics, be they demographic, care — just the whole range or type of marketing characterizing and segmenting variables. So, again, it’s our narrow and surgical focus into a portion of this market where I think we’re upping the game. That’s our value proposition. And that’s why we’re confident we can achieve growth.

Andrew Jeffrey — Truist Securities — Analyst

Thank you. Appreciate that.

Operator

The next question is from George Mihalos at Cowen. Please go ahead.

George Mihalos — Cowen & Company, LLC — Analyst

Hey, guys. Thanks for taking my questions. Just wanted to ask on the on the consumer interactive vertical and specifically the guide of up slightly for revenue. How should we be thinking about the direct versus indirect throughout the course of 2021? And is there any reason why the indirect shouldn’t return to growth by the back half of the year? Thank you.

Todd M. Cello — Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Hey, George, good morning. This is Todd. I’ll take that question for you. So, I think what we’re anticipating in our Consumer Interactive business is, obviously, specific to each panel. So, first, in the direct channel throughout 2020, we did experience heightened level of consumer interest in monitoring credit. And we took that by doing some marketing to attract consumers to our webpage and offer those services. And conversely, in the indirect channel, as we’ve spoken about, definitely some headwinds with the [Technical Issues] as many of our client services customers pulled back on their market activity. So, as we get into ’21, we are expecting probably a more normalized growth level in the direct channel and so, not as high as [Technical Issues] in ’20. And then in the indirect channel, we’re still expecting some softness in the lead aggregator base. The softness that we’ve seen over the last couple of quarters persist — going forward with the potential for a recovery probably in the later [Technical Issues].

George Mihalos — Cowen & Company, LLC — Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

The next question comes from Shlomo Rosenbaum with Stifel. Please go ahead.

Shlomo Rosenbaum — Stifel Nicolaus — Analyst

Hi. Good morning. Thank you for taking my question. Hey, Chris, can you talk a little bit more about the reorientation of the Fraud business strategically. What’s involved in there besides pulling it together under one platform or one brand? Like what — I guess on the ground, what are you going to be doing differently really and the business from what I understand is actually a particularly strong business. And so what’s going to change now?

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Thanks for the question, Shlomo. Yeah. It is a strong business that continues to deliver nice growth across all of our markets. As you know from our prior commentary, it’s a business that’s composed variety of piece parts. Some of which are overlapping or redundant as you look at the different geographies that we serve. And so part of what we’re trying to do is and what we have done is we look across our portfolio and we said, what are the best-in-class within TransUnion product components that we have and how do we integrate those on top of the single from fraud plateau with orchestration, with case management, with all of the different reporting and measurement controls that you would like.

And look, the ultimate integration around an enterprise architecture in a single product platform, that’s going to happen over a period of time because that’s heavy-lifting engineering type of work, right? And the need to do the work is just a function of the fact that the business developed in the U.S., they develop internationally. We acquired iovation. We acquired a really nice and fast-growing business in Callcredit. And frankly, when you talk about integration there’s multiple levels from kind of more surface to the deep and foundational. And we’re committed to doing all of it. Excuse me. The next thing is really just a function of the market segments that we’re prioritizing. So different types of customers have different fraud needs.

And we have a particular strength serving those market segments where they are initiating a relationship — a financial relationship of some nature where the magnitude of the transactions and the risks associated with the transactions over the term of the relationship is going to be somewhat significant. And therefore, the upfront customer identification, device verification, and just the general authentication process will take a little bit of time, will be triangulated from multiple different points because it’s really important to know who you’re dealing with, the counterparty you’re dealing with, and have confidence in that. And so we’re focused on that part of the market. But again, this is an enormous and multifaceted market because we have a great constellation of products that comes together to serve it most effectively and so that will get most of the focus for our product development.

Now that said, we also — we successfully compete for business in other segments where what you really need is a superfast but more superficial level of authentication based on device history, perhaps geolocation, and onsite behavior, right? And that could be an e-commerce-based retail transaction where we’ve got really material share, etcetera. But think of those transactions as different from establishing a relationship with a lender or onsite gaming or gambling where there’s just a lot of dollars flowing. So, look, to be successful, we got to concentrate our resources in a particular segment.

As we pulled these different assets, we’ve come to appreciate the segment — the segmentation landscape, if you will, at a more granular level. We’ll continue to serve the market in its entirety. It’s just the product development focus will be more around the segments I described. And those customers that are really looking for broad authoritative solutions which we possess, but also assistance from their provider in implementing and configuring the solutions to get best results.

Shlomo Rosenbaum — Stifel Nicolaus — Analyst

Great. Thank you so much.

Operator

The next question comes from Hamzah Mazari with Jefferies. Please go ahead.

Hamzah Mazari — Jefferies LLC — Analyst

Hey. Good morning. Thank you. You had touched a little on sort of project raise contributing $20 million to $30 million in savings in 2023. Maybe if you could just touch on how to think about global operations and global solutions? What inning are we in terms of seeing those benefits rolled through the P&L? Is that more of a 2023 event too?

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. It’s a good question. Yeah. I think global operations and global solutions in the latter solutions you can really think of is like the product management layer with [Indecipherable]. They’re delivering benefits already. However, as I’ve mentioned, we’re aggressively investing in new product development and entering new markets and also in operational streamlining and automation and all of those things. So we’re using some of the early benefits that we’re getting from those initiatives to self-fund and accelerate the implementations of full global programs that are going to free up a lot of resources that we will then invest in both product development to accelerate and really secure high-single-digit or top-line compounding that we aspire to but also delivering margin improvements to the business. Collectively, Project Rise or the technology retooling, the operations and the solutions, they’re going to have really material impact on how effectively we operate in the market. And having spent a year strategizing and implementing which was ’20 and now going into ’21 it really accelerated the implementation, I’m really excited and increasingly confident of the positive impact it could have.

Hamzah Mazari — Jefferies LLC — Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

Our final question comes from Kevin McVeigh with Credit Suisse. Please go ahead.

Kevin McVeigh — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Great. Thanks so much. Hey, Chris or Todd, I wonder given the investments you’re making particularly around Spark and things like, is there any way to think about how that impacts new product innovation [Indecipherable] innovate more effectively, ultimately what that could mean to your organic growth for the business as those products come into market?

Christopher A. Cartwright — President & Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Good. So I think what you’re asking, Kevin, is how is the current wave of tech innovation that’s coming after products — Project Spark, which we can call Project Rise and the migration to the cloud and the standardization around an enterprise architecture, all of that. And the short answer is that it will most definitely speed to market new product ideas, right? Because, one, we’ll be leveraging IT globally; and two, by utilizing the public cloud, there’s a lot of utility functionality around the acquisition, the care and the maintenance of underlying hardware and connectivity, and even security infrastructure that we will purchase as a service. And there’s also components to software development that we can acquire directly from our cloud service providers as services. And so, the technology new product development for TransUnion becomes more focused on those areas of unique IP and value-add that we bring as diversified information services provider anchored in credit and all of the unique insights we have around vertical market needs.

Aaron Hoffman — Vice President, Investor Relations

Excellent. So that brings us to the end of the call to today. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. We hope again that you are all well, doing well, and staying safe and healthy. We’ll look forward to seeing you and talking with you in the New Year. Have a great rest of the day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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