If you're using your card to charge throughout the heartland, Heartland Payment Systems makes sure the transactions don't get lost along the way. The company performs credit, debit, and prepaid card processing services to more than 250,000 business and education locations nationwide. Customers include restaurants, retailers, convenience stores, and professional service providers. Heartland provides bankcard processing services to more than 10,200 merchants in Canada through its Collective Point of Sale Solutions subsidiary. Another unit, Heartland Payroll Solutions, provides payroll processing, including check printing and direct deposit, for more than 10,000 customers.
In a move that will strengthen its Heartland Payroll Solutions business, in 2013 the firm acquired Rochester, New York-based Ovation Payroll, a payroll outsourcing company that offers payroll tax preparation and administration, Internet payroll reporting, direct deposit, and other services.
To strengthen its Campus Solutions division, in late 2012 the company acquired ECSI, a provider to customized payments processing to more than 2,000 colleges and universities across North America. Previously, in 2011 the company acquired a handful of companies that provide payment processing services related to student lunches and activity fees for elementary and high schools. In 2012 Heartland continued its expansion into the school-related payment processing segment and acquired LunchByte Systems, a school foodservice point-of-sale company. Now Heartland School Solutions services more than 29,000 schools in the US.
Heartland Payment Systems handles some 4 billion transactions each year with a value of approximately $80 billion. Other activities include electronic check processing, gift card marketing and processing, online payments, and the sale and rental of point-of-sale processing equipment.
Heartland sees great potential in the payment processing industry as bankcards and other cards become more widely used and accepted. The company has forged ahead by making new alliances with trade organizations in its markets. One such agreement came in 2010 when Heartland teamed with the National Restaurant Association to become its exclusive card processor and check and tip management system.
Several factors affected Heartland during the economic downturn. Not only did soft consumer spending send processing volumes for existing customers down, but also a damaging security breach in 2008 put financial and legal stress on the company. The economy is slowly recovering, and Heartland was quick to move forward after the security breach, which left the company paying more than $147 million in legal fees and fines. The breach did have a positive side. Heartland made improvements to its data security system (including the development of new end-to-end encryption technology).
An uptick in consumer spending has led to increased transaction volume and more processing fees. Heartland's revenues grew by 7% in 2011, thanks mainly to that upswing in processing revenue. – less