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Heartland Adds Restaurant Tech Ahead of Joining Global Payments

Heartland Payment Systems is quickly accumulating technology to serve smaller merchants and restaurants, two key pieces of the services that made the processor attractive to Global Payments, which is in the midst of acquiring Heartland.

Heartland on Tuesday said it has acquired Beanstalk Data, a privately held seller of a cloud-based CRM and marketing system. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Beanstalk Data's client base includes lots of quick service restaurants, including Taco Bell, Pollo Tropical, Carl's Jr., Islands Restaurant, Jack in the Box, Panda Express, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Taco Cabana.  

The Beanstalk deal comes ahead of Global Payments' planned $4.3 billion purchase of Heartland, a deal that's expected to grow Heartland's international profile while improving Global Payments' ability to sell payment and merchant services to restaurants and educational institutions.

Heartland, which has more than 135,000 merchant relationships and a 19% share of the restaurant payments market, will combine its point of sale business with Beanstalk Data as part of Heartland Commerce, a segment that will sell point of sale, processing and other related business service applications.

"We expect to accelerate the pace of marketing innovation, allowing our employees and platform to create value for an even wider audience of business-to-consumer organizations including the introduction of enterprise data driven marketing tools to small merchants," said Gilbert Bailey, vice president of Beanstalk Engage and Heartland Commerce, in a press release.

The Beanstalk deal is the latest in a series of transactions as Heartland attempts to build out its merchant services technology, with a lot of deals coming in the restaurant payments technology business. It bought Digital Dining, pcAmerica and Dinnerware in 2015, and Xpient and Liquor POS in 2014.  Around the same time, Heartland acquired Leaf for its tablet-based point of sale technology.

Digital Dining provides software that allows handheld point of sale devices to communicate with fixed terminals. Dinerware and pcAmerica offer cloud-based point of sale services to hospitality businesses, while Xpient sells restaurant payment software.  

Heartland has also upgrade its acquired technology to enable EMV payments at restaurants, where chip cards are considered a tough fit because of the prevailing service model requires the server to take the card away from the table.

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