Credit Agricole and Worldline have entered discussions on the establishment of a joint venture company to create a major payments player servicing merchants in France.
With plans to be fully operational by 2025, the new venture will combine Crédit Agricole’s merchant acquiring footprint, market intimacy and distribution power with Worldline’s technology
and global infrastructure.
The first phase of the partnership will involve a joint investment €80 million by the two companies for the product and offering design, and joint company implementation. The venture will be majority owned and fully consolidated by Worldline, via its 50% of total capital contribution plus one share.
Jean-Paul Mazoyer, deputy general manager of Crédit Agricole in charge of technology, digital and payments, comments: “The partnership with Worldline would allow us to strengthen our market leadership in France for merchant payment solutions and fully aligns with Credit Agricole’s 2025 ambitions to outperform the market growth by 2x on merchant payments solutions.
"Worldline is already a trusted partner of the Credit Agricole Group and, through this deepened strategic partnership, we would jointly develop comprehensive services for French merchants on the whole merchant services value chain (acceptance and acquiring) which is a fast-moving and critical area to their business. This integrated mastery would allow us to equip merchants with innovative all-in-one offers that integrate natively in their ecosystem and provide value added business services.”
While cash penetration is still high, at c.40% of payment volumes, the French market is seen as ripe for a shift to payment cards. With aggregated Merchant Sales Value (MSV) of €700 billion, France represents the largest payment market in Continental Europe.
Gilles Grapinet, CEO of Worldline, says: "For Worldline, this is a unique opportunity to further expand our footprint and to achieve scale within a few years on the largest continental European acquiring market.
"Structured primarily as a contribution in kind of our respective technological capabilities, commercial footprint and distribution capabilities to a joint company, this major contemplated transaction fully preserves our balance sheet and financial and strategic flexibility.”
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