French banking group Société Générale (SocGen) and state-owned postal bank La Banque Postale are establishing a joint venture that will manage the development and operation of their respective electronic payment systems.
The 50:50 JV, which will be headquartered in Paris with a team in Strasbourg, is scheduled for operational launch on 1 April.
SocGen says the JV will help both banks reduce investment, maintenance and operating costs by sharing the management of transaction systems for card payments, retail operation and ATMs.
The two banks have 10 million cards in use between them in France, with over 100,000 retailer contracts and 10,000 ATMs.
SocGen says the two banks will each retain control of their commercial, pricing policy and client relationship management operations.
Explaining the move, Patrick Werner, CEO, La Banque Postale, says: "As part of our development strategy in electronic payment, the partnership with Société Générale is an answer to the challenge of Sepa and the technical evolutions in this area."