United Refining Partners With Heartland Payment Systems

Will implement network solution at New York, Pennsylvania locations

WARREN, Pa. -- United Refining Co., an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, has partnered with Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation's largest payments processors, to provide Heartland's SmartLink network services to all United Refining locations in New York and Pennsylvania. The SmartLink technology consolidates multiple in-store devices onto one high-speed broadband line, saving owners time and money while increasing the efficiency of their operations.

SmartLink is a secure, managed network service that effectively supports transaction data and [image-nocss] back-office systems, allowing petroleum and c-store operators to spend less time managing their networks and more time focusing on their business. SmartLink's merchant gateway provides operators with monitored, firewall-protected, VPN communications for automatic tank gauges, in-store environmental control systems, backoffice systems, digital signs, email and Internet. SmartLink's payment gateway provides a distributed and segmented SSL network to support transactions generated by point-of-sale (POS), money order, check cashing, ATM and fleet card terminals.

"Managing multiple petroleum and c-store sites requires secure connectivity. The SmartLink technology not only helps us protect sensitive payment data and meet PCI compliance standards, but it has revolutionized our operations by enabling us to enhance our loyalty program and use our POS system to its full potential," said Jack Yates, CIO of United Refining.

David Munson, Heartland's executive director of petroleum services, said, "Heartland is proud to be able to deliver SmartLink technology to United Refining locations in New York and Pennsylvania. SmartLink provides solutions for several common industry problems such as dial connectivity issues, transaction security and processing times. Because it is available in several solutions and can accommodate single-store and multi-store, all operators will benefit from this technology."

SmartLink, which is also endorsed by CITGO Petroleum Corp., allows operators to use DSL or broadband to connect all business applications into one fully managed network that supports high-speed POS transactions, ATMs, backoffice reporting, tank gauge monitoring and more, while adding PCI-compliant network security.

Heartland is one of the largest payments processors in the convenience store and petroleum industry, offering a comprehensive suite of products and services including secure card processing, gift marketing, prepaid services, check management, payroll services and more.

Princeton, N.J.-based Heartland Payment Systems, the fifth largest payments processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, gift marketing and loyalty programs, payroll, check management and related business solutions to more than 250,000 business locations nationwide. Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. The company is also a leader in the development of end-to-end encryption technology designed to protect cardholder data, rendering it useless to cybercriminals.

United Refining operates a 70,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Warren, Pa., where it is headquartered. In addition to its wholesale markets, the company also operates 367 Kwik Fill/Red Apple and Country Fair retail gasoline and convenience stores located primarily in western New York and western Pennsylvania.