Bizwatch: Heartland Payment Systems |

Bizwatch: Heartland Payment Systems

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

Business name: Heartland Payment Systems.

Date opened: The company’s first transaction was July 15, 1997.

Owner: Heartland Payment Systems has been publicly traded since Aug. 11, 2005.

Local representative: Chip Howard.

Contact Information: Call 970-390-3403 or e-mail

What goods or services do you provide? The processing of all payments – credit/debit/prepaid card processing, gift marketing and loyalty programs, payroll and check management – as well as other related business solutions.

What’s new or exciting at your place? In recent years, Heartland has been expanding its product offerings to help our customers streamline and increase their business. With our gift card marketing product, we are offering our customers a competitive edge as well as a means to learn more about their own customers’ purchasing habits.

The introduction of Heartland’s PlusOne Payroll is opening the doors for businesses to streamline their payroll process with customizable solutions and interface capabilities for businesses of all sizes. Ultimately the goal is to provide our customers with the products and services that suit their needs, regardless of industry.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Most merchants have difficulty reading their processor’s monthly processing statement. This is no accident. Many processors deliberately make their statements confusing so the average business person can’t understand them.

Processing companies know credit card processing often falls to the bottom of the average business owner’s list. A lot of merchants I talk to don’t even open their statements to try to determine what their fees are.

Heartland prides itself on being a full-disclosure, transparent company that advocates for business owners. My customers know when they open their statements they will understand what they are paying and to whom. With no hidden charges and no increases, our fees are guaranteed.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? I will always be here for my customers, at any time. I give them my cell phone number. Merchants often tell me they get annoyed because they are regularly being called by independent sales people and don’t know who the person is or where he or she is from.

I am proud to be part of this community for many years. I am a local so you might see me at City Market or a local coffee shop. My family has owned a restaurant in the valley for 30 years. When I first came here, I taught children’s ski school for Vail Resorts – even today, I teach during the holidays at Beaver Creek. I am not some faceless guy calling you from New York or California. I am your neighbor.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I grew up in a small town in Maryland, outside of Baltimore. I attended the University of Maryland/ Baltimore County. I followed my sister to Vail after discovering what a beautiful and fun state Colorado was. I’ve climbed all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains.

I was recruited by Heartland and discovered what a great company it was, because even in a tough economy I can help companies improve the way they do business.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? I was having a busy summer work wise, and even though Vail is full of fun things to do, I hadn’t played much. After work I was taking some group golf lessons at Eagle Ranch and decided to take advantage of my newly found skills on a weekday. My golf buddy told me he was glad I was taking a break, but understood that I may need to take a call here or there.

I got a call from a former long-time customer, a florist, who was frantically saying she regretted her decision to drop Heartland and go with another processor. The new company she went with was holding her money and wouldn’t clear it to put it into her bank account. She was looking to change back to Heartland as soon as possible. So for the next three holes I sat in the cart on the phone while my friend played alone as I put everything back into place for the customer.

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