Heartland Payment Systems

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Heartland Payment Systems, Inc.
Public company
Traded as NYSEHPY
Industry Electronic Payment Processing
Founded 1997
Founder Robert O. Carr [1]
Headquarters Princeton, NJ
Area served
United States
Key people
Robert O. Carr
Revenue $2.1 Billion (2014) [2]
Number of employees
3,734 (2014)
Website [3]

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 U.S.-based payment processing and technology provider. Founded by Robert O. Carr in 1997, Heartland Payment Systems is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey.

Heartland Payment Systems provides payment processing for more than 275,000 business locations in the United States and processes more than 11 million transactions a day and more than $80 billion in transactions a year.[2] In 2014, the Nilson Report ranked Heartland the 6th largest payment processor in the country by transaction count, and the 8th largest by processed dollar volume.[4]

Associated businesses[edit]

In addition to payment processing, Heartland has developed or acquired businesses in payroll processing, gift card and campus card solutions, point of sale systems, school payments and nutrition, network management, mobile payments and ordering, ecommerce, billing solutions, and lending services.

Historical Highlights[edit]

Heartland processed its first card transaction on July 15, 1997 and went public on the New York Stock Exchange on August 11, 2005. On May 17, 2010, Heartland announced its debut on the list of America’s largest companies at #954.[3]

Security breach[edit]

On January 20, 2009 Heartland announced that it had been "the victim of a security breach within its processing system in 2008".[4] The data stolen included the digital information encoded onto the magnetic stripe built into the backs of credit and debit cards; with that data, thieves can fashion counterfeit credit cards by imprinting the same stolen information onto fabricated cards.[5] One estimate claimed 100 million cards and more than 650 financial services companies were compromised; at the time, it was characterized as the largest ever criminal breach of card data.[6]

An American computer hacker, Albert Gonzalez, was sentenced in March 2010 to 20 years in prison for his role in the hacking ring that broke into the Heartland computer systems.[7]

On May 1, 2009, Visa and Heartland issued a statement that Heartland successfully validated its compliance with PCI DSS and was returned to Visa's list of PCI DSS Validated Service Providers.[8]

End-to-End Encryption[edit]

On May 24, 2009, Heartland commercially launched their E3 solution, an end-to-end encryption technology designed to safeguard credit and debit card account information from the moment of card swipe and through the Heartland network.[9] Several days later, on May 8, 2009, Gartner Analyst Avivah Litan stated that Heartland "is basically leading the way for the rest of the industry." She also characterized its plan for end-to-end encryption as the first effort of its kind in the US.[10]

Other processors including Worldpay US and several First Data ISO's announced end-to-end encryption initiatives soon after Heartland announced theirs.[3][11]

Open letter to the Electronic Payments Industry[edit]

Following a keynote address to the Strategic Leadership Forum of the Electronic Transactions Association in October 2013, Heartland CEO Bob Carr published an open letter to the electronic payment processing industry urging an end to unethical, dishonest and illegal pricing practices, referencing the practice of deliberately falsifying interchange rates, deliberately falsifying merchant category codes (MCC), and the use of confusing small print to extort large fines from merchants.[12]

Litigation against Mercury Payment Systems[edit]

In January 2014, Heartland filed a lawsuit against the company Mercury Payment Systems, an electronic payment provider, for alleged false advertising and "other deceptive trade practices".[13] The lawsuit concerns interchange fees charged by credit card networks and alleges violations of the Lanham Act and state laws.[14]

Heartland Secure[edit]

In May 2014, Heartland Secure is launched. Backed by a breach warranty, Heartland Secure combines three technologies to provide merchants with security and guard against monetization of stolen card data.


  • May 30, 2008 – Heartland completes acquisition of Alliance Data Systems, a leading provider of payment processing solutions, serving a variety of industries such as petroleum, convenience store, parking and retail.[5]
  • November 18, 2008 – Heartland acquires Chockstone, a privately held provider of gift card programs and loyalty solutions [6]
  • October 11, 2011 – Heartland School Solutions acquired School-Link Technologies, Inc., a privately held provider of comprehensive K-12 school nutrition and point-of-sale (POS) solutions.[7]
  • July 9, 2012 – Heartland acquired LunchByte Systems, Inc., a school foodservice back office management and point-of-sale (POS) company led by its NUTRIKIDS solution of menu management, inventory management and POS solutions for K-12 administrators, staff, parents and students.[8]
  • December 17, 2012 – Heartland expanded its Campus Solutions division by acquiring ECSI, a leading provider of customized payment processing solutions for the high education industry.[9]
  • January 7, 2013 – Heartland expanded its Payroll Services business by acquiring Ovation Payroll, a leading U.S. payroll outsourcing company that offers payroll tax preparation and administration, internet payroll reporting, direct deposit, and other services.[10]
  • February 15, 2014, Heartland acquired Merchant Software Corp. (Liquor POS), a provider of POS systems to the liquor retail vertical.[11]
  • April 10, 2014 – Heartland acquired MCS Software, an innovative provider of school foodservice point-of-sale (POS), back office and online payment solutions for more than 4,000 K-12 schools nationwide.[12]
  • August 14, 2014 – Heartland announces the acquisition of Leaf, creator of a mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) tablet specifically designed for commerce. Leaf’s cost-effective product helps retail stores, restaurants, and other local merchants improve the speed and ease of checkout and offers easy-to-use business management, analytics, and customer engagement.[13]
  • September 4, 2014 – Heartland acquired TouchNet Information Systems, Inc., an integrated commerce solutions provider to higher-education institutions. TouchNet adds over 600 higher education clients serving over six million students—nearly one-third of the higher-education enrollment in the United States—to Heartland’s Campus Solutions business.[14]
  • November 1, 2014 – Heartland announced it acquired XPIENT Solutions, an enterprise-level restaurant POS software service.[15]
  • February 13, 2015 – Heartland acquired Dinerware and PC America, both point of sale systems specializing in the restauant and retail space.[16]
  • March 1, 2015 – Heartland acquires Payroll 1, a provider of comprehensive payroll and tax filing products and services for employers in diverse industries throughout the United States [17]
  • October 30, 2015 – Heartland acquired Digital Dining, a point of sale system specializing in the restaurant space [18].


External links[edit]