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    CITGO Petroleum Corp. Offers New Payment Option to Marketers and Retailers

    Heartland Payment Systems’s SmartLink solution available at more than 6,500 CITGO-branded gas stations.

    PRINCETON, N.J. -- CITGO Petroleum Corp. is now offering Heartland Payment Systems’ SmartLink network services to its marketers and retailers at nearly 6,500 CITGO-branded gas stations in the United States, the company reported.

    "Since one of the biggest challenges facing our industry is data security and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, we turned to SmartLink technology to help our retailers protect sensitive data and meet
    ," said Jonathan Watson, manager of business services and payment cards for CITGO. "CITGO marketers also face complex network connectivity issues and SmartLink is a great way to help streamline them."

    SmartLink technology consolidates multiple in-store devices onto one high-speed broadband line, enabling business owners to lower telecommunication costs, save time and resources and manage their businesses more efficiently, according to the vendor. SmartLink is a secure, managed network service that effectively supports both transactional data and back-office systems, allowing petroleum and c-store operators to spend less time managing their networks, said Heartland Payment Systems.

    The technology provides merchants with monitored communications for automatic tank gauges, in-store environmental control systems, back-office systems, digital signs, e-mail and Internet, and SmartLink’s payment gateway provides a SSL network to support transactions generated by point-of-sale (POS) systems, money-order, check cashing, ATM and fleet card terminals, the vendor reported. Dial or cellular back up is included to provide a secondary communication in the event of a broadband line outage.

    "Utilizing SmartLink technology, CITGO retailers can overcome common industry issues by easily connecting their POS systems and in-store payment and back office devices," said Bill McCollough, Heartland’s executive director of petroleum in a released statement. "Additionally, they can eliminate dial connectivity, enhance transaction security and reduce transaction processing times."

    SmartLink operates on any broadband circuit, including the CITGO high-speed Sprint 4G/3G wireless broadband network, and can be scaled to reduce expenses and improve operations for single-store and multi-store operators.

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