Direct Connection to Payment Processor Enhances Security, Lowers Card Processing Costs

ATLANTA, GA — September 25, 2014 — EarthLink Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: ELNK) , a leading managed network and cloud solutions provider for multi-location businesses, today announced that Wichita-based LDF Food Group, Inc., a Midwest Wendy’s franchisee operating more than 40 restaurants in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, selected a secure, private EarthLink network to support their expected growth and increasing operational needs for reporting, training, and secure WiFi. LDF relies on their managed, private EarthLink network to run all in-store Point of Sale (POS), inventory management and employee communications and training in their Wendy’s quick-service restaurants, with plans to use the network to further enhance their customers’ experience.

LDF’s consultant Flex Communications facilitated a comprehensive evaluation and search to secure a partner capable of providing responsive service and project management to enable a smooth transition to their upgraded IT infrastructure. LDF selected EarthLink based on satisfaction of multiple factors including network reliability, security, and the opportunity to reduce credit card processing costs with EarthLink MPLS Direct Connect service to their payment processor.

“LDF’s successful growth made their former network obsolete,” said Jennifer Orr, Director of Client Development, Flex Communications. “Shifting to EarthLink’s MPLS is a natural step as it provides the reliability and security of a private network, and the footprint to support LDF’s distributed locations at the right price point.”

LDF uses EarthLink’s MPLS Direct Connect services to route credit card transactions directly from the POS over the MPLS network to payment processors. As a result, the company reduces transaction times to as little as two seconds and cuts transaction fees – especially as more customers chose to pay with a credit card.

Wendy’s corporate marketing and loyalty programs, coupled with web-based online training and free customer WiFi as part of the quick-service experience, also fueled the need for increased bandwidth while keeping an eye on bottom-line costs.

“Fast service and a consistent experience is what our customers expect, and our EarthLink MPLS network makes that a reliable and secure reality,” shared Rick Albrecht, LDF Vice President and Controller. “Our network connectivity is the backbone of our entire operation, and consolidating with EarthLink also makes a big difference to my internal IT team. With EarthLink optimizing the network, my team can focus on implementing innovative applications and projects from Wendy’s corporate. All of those applications are dependent upon our IT infrastructure and we believe that’s only going to grow in the future.”

Commenting on LDF’s expansion and the overall growth of the quick-service restaurant sector, Rick Froehlich, EarthLink Executive Vice President, Products and Consumer said, “Everything from innovative loyalty programs to the capture of valuable data relies on a secure, reliable network. Our role is to lay the infrastructure and connectivity foundation that allows them to stay one step ahead and drive continued customer engagement and business growth.”

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