EXETER, N.H., May 1st, 2008 — Abierto Networks of Exeter and EchoSat Communications of Lexington, KY, have announced completion of the first phase of a program to bring their powerful, high-speed payment solution to nearly 1,600 Cenex®-branded retail sites across North America. Abierto and EchoSat worked closely with CHS Inc., of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., a Fortune 200 company that owns the Cenex® brand, to deliver a turnkey solution that enables high-speed transactions (POS, ATM and related EFT transactions) over standard broadband Internet connections.
“Our team set out to deploy an intelligent and scalable system that leveraged everyone’s core competencies,” said Rick Sales, president of Abierto. “The goal was to provide a seamless deployment experience with an incredibly high success rate, and I believe that we have been extremely successful in this endeavor.” Cutting-edge systems integration allowed all parties to trade information in real time while activating and monitoring equipment and services at several hundred locations over a short period of time.
“Credit card and ATM transaction times have been reduced dramatically,” said Andrew Ernst, product consultant, CHS Payment Solutions. “With the Abierto-EchoSat solution, our retailers have gained a true competitive advantage – the ability to process customer
transactions efficiently, securely and reliably while still providing the highest level of customer service to their clients.”
The CHS program is compliant with Payment Card Industry standards. “The CHS implementation, deployed through its network of Cenex branded retailers is very innovative, and demonstrates what can be done when strategic partners combine forces to create custom solutions that drive faster, more secure credit card and related POS transactions over the Internet to multiple end points,” according to Spencer Rutherford, president of EchoSat.
“Not only does the technology work great, but Abierto and EchoSat are very responsive to our needs and deliver a first-rate customer support experience for CHS employees and customers alike,” said Paul Culver, credit card and business development manager for CHS. Future program phases will increase the number of retailers using the solution and will deliver additional functionality and services to Cenex retailers as well as other retail customers of CHS Payment Solutions.
About Abierto Networks
Abierto Networks (www.ab-net.us) is a value added solutions provider and integrator of Electronic Payment Technologies, specializing in the Convenience Store and Retail Petroleum Industry. The Abierto GatewayTM line of Serial and Dial-to-IP Converters enables retailers to re-deploy existing POS and payment terminals over high-speed IP connections, delivering fast, secure and reliable IP transactions to over 30 certified Credit Card, ATM, Check, Gift Card, Fleet Fueling Card and Loyalty processors. Through its network of strategic technology partners, Abierto delivers best of class, integrated hardware, software and services solutions that meet the exacting needs of retail clients in North America and beyond.
About EchoSat Communications Group
EchoSat Communications Group (www.echosat.com) is the leading private supplier of secure data communications services for convenience store, petroleum, retail, utility and grocery markets. As a division of The Tower Group headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, EchoSat has been delivering business-critical communications services since 1973. EchoSat provides comprehensive, PCI compliant EFT transaction transport solutions to multiple end-points over broadband Internet with EchoSat’s Secure Payment Gateway (SPG). EchoSat is the premier provider of SurfBeam broadband IP satellite services in conjunction with SES, the world’s largest satellite provider. With the advanced SurfBeam technology, EchoSat is able to provide both advanced broadband functionality and SPG services to areas not covered by traditional terrestrial broadband services. EchoSat Communications Group delivers economical, modular service packages, as well as value-added custom communication solutions, in the United States and other countries.
About CHS Inc.
CHS Inc. (www.chsinc.com) is a diversified energy, grains and foods company committed to providing the essential resources that enrich lives around the world. A Fortune 200 company, CHS is owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives, along with thousands of preferred stockholders, from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest and from the Canadian border to Texas. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products. CHS is listed on the NASDAQ at CHSCP.