Heartland Payment, AmEx reach breach settlement

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 12:39 PM

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. will pay American Express Co. $3.6 million in a settlement over a criminal breach of Heartland's data network last year.

The settlement resolves "all intrusion-related issues between the two parties," Princeton-based Heartland Payments said on Thursday.

Bob Carr, Heartland's chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the settlement was the first with a payment card brand related to the breach.

Heartland, the nation's fifth-largest payments processor, disclosed in January that its system used to process Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card transactions was breached late last year. Investigators concluded criminals had secretly installed spying software on Heartland's computer network.

Shares of Heartland rose 55 cents, or about 4.4 percent, to $13.01 in midday trading. Shares of American Express dipped 29 cents, or about 0.7 percent, to $40.16.