Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation's largest payments processors, and Visa Inc. announced a settlement agreement under which issuers of Visa-branded credit and debit cards will have an opportunity to obtain a recovery from Heartland with respect to losses they may have incurred from the 2008 criminal breach of Heartland's payment system environment. Heartland will pay up to $60 million to fund the settlement program, which is subject to certain conditions, including a specified level of participation by U.S. Visa issuers. Visa will present details of the settlement to eligible issuers in the coming days. "We believe issuers will benefit by participating in this settlement program because it offers an immediate recovery with respect to losses they may have incurred from the Heartland intrusion," said Ellen Richey, chief enterprise risk officer, Visa Inc. "Helping financial institutions mitigate costs after a data security breach has been a long-standing component of Visa's security strategy, along with promoting new security technologies, preventing fraud and leading efforts to secure sensitive data across the entire payment system."