Financial institutions representing more than 97 percent of eligible Visa-branded credit and debit cards have accepted the Alternative Recovery Offers they received pursuant to the settlement entered into by Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE: HPY) and Heartland's sponsoring acquirers last month.
This level of acceptance fulfills the 80 percent opt-in condition that was one of the requirements of the $60 million settlement. The settlement provides these issuers with a recovery from Heartland with respect to losses they may have incurred from the 2008 criminal breach of the payment processor's payment system network.
To provide additional issuers an opportunity to work through the mechanics of the opt-in process and not be excluded from the benefits of the settlement, Visa, Heartland and Heartland's sponsoring acquirers have agreed to renew the Alternative Recovery Offer to the non-accepting issuers. The renewed offers will remain open until 5:00 p.m. PST on Monday, February 8, 2010.
"Visa is pleased to bring this issue to a close for so many financial institutions," said Ellen Richey, chief enterprise risk officer, Visa Inc. "Working with Heartland on this settlement to provide a certain recovery, prompt payment and a streamlined process resulted in an equitable and expedient resolution for all parties."
Bob Carr, Heartland's chairman and chief executive officer, concurred: "Reaching a fair settlement agreement that helps issuers of Visa-branded cards was a key priority for Heartland. Now, these issuers will be able to immediately obtain a recovery for their Visa-related claims."
The settlement provides recovery for U.S. card issuers who chose to participate in the program and international issuers of accounts Visa considered to have been placed at risk of compromise. Once all remaining conditions of the settlement have been satisfied, Visa will be notifying participating U.S. issuers and international issuers with details about the payment process.