San Jose, CA - November 14, 2005 - Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), North America’s largest refiner and one of the nation’s largest retailers, and Verifone Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), the leading provider of payment solutions, announced today the implementation of an AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert distribution system. The system will help save children’s lives by quickly disseminating critical information about missing children and their suspected abductors through Verifone’s integrated point-of-sale systems directly to Valero’s more than 1,000 retail stores throughout the U.S.
Nearly 60,000 children are abducted by non-family members every year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The AMBER Alert network, which broadcasts emergency messages about victims and their abductors, is a vital tool that could lead to the recovery of these missing children. More than 200 children’s lives have been saved since the AMBER Alert program began in 1996, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
"We have created a solution that leverages technology at the point of sale to create a vital public service," said Bud Waller, Verifone executive vice president, Integrated Solutions. "We are working with Valero and the petroleum and convenience store industry to provide a cost-effective means to use their in-store systems to provide timely public safety information to their local communities."
Gary Arthur, Valero’s senior vice president of retail and specialty product marketing, reiterated what a great public service this system is providing. “We’re pleased to be an integral part of this program, which helps save children’s lives and reunites them with their parents,” Arthur said. “Making a difference in communities where Valero has operations and especially making a positive impact on children’s lives has been part of Valero’s mission since it was founded 25 years ago.”
Time is critical if abducted children are to be successfully recovered, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. AMBER Alerts are a conduit between law enforcement officials and the public in making sure timely and accurate information quickly reaches the intended public audience. These Alerts give citizens the basic information needed to help them search for an abducted child.
Once an AMBER Alert is posted, the relevant details provided by the reporting authority are downloaded from CodeAmber.org, the web-based AMBER Alert system, to Valero’s servers, and then transmitted over Valero's privately managed network to geographically targeted Valero retail locations. The information is displayed on the point-of-sale workstation screen and is sent in a printed format. This information includes the location of the abduction and contact information for the reporting authority, as well as links (if available) to images of the abductee, and suspect composites.
The Verifone Topaz point-of-sale workstation and the Sapphire site controller both use standard XML processing technology, which Verifone leveraged to create the AMBER solution. Using XML, the system tailors the AMBER Alert data for each geographic location.
As of April 1, 2005, after two and one half years of operation, Code AMBER has displayed more than 700 million AMBER Alert Tickers. The system reaches more than 225,000 web sites and computer desktops every day.
Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, with approximately 22,000 employees and expected annual revenue of more than $75 billion. The company is one of the nation's largest retail operators with more than 4,700 retail and branded wholesale outlets in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean under various brand names including Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, and Beacon. The company owns and operates 18 refineries throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.3 million barrels per day, making it the largest refiner in North America. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.
About Verifone Holdings, Inc.
Verifone Holdings, Inc. (“Verifone”) (NYSE: PAY), a global leader in secure electronic payment technologies, provides expertise, solutions and services for today with a migration strategy for tomorrow. Verifone delivers solutions that add value to the point of sale, resulting in improved merchant retention and the generation of new sources of revenue for its partners and customers. Verifone solutions are specifically designed to meet the needs of vertical markets including financial, retail, petroleum, government and healthcare.