Worldline and Crédit Agricole have announced the signing of a non-binding exclusive agreement regarding a strategic partnership to create a major player in the French merchant services payment market.
The opportunity, as the two companies see it, is to build a strategic long-term partnership between the leading French retail bank and Worldline.
The companies believe the alliance will create a major payments player in the largest Continental Europe payment market of ca. €700 billion Merchant Sales Value (MSV).
Attractive and evolving French payment market
France is a highly attractive and strategic market for Worldline. France is the 2nd largest economy in Continental Europe, enjoying robust economic performance, sustained by consistent policy frameworks and strong institutions, as well as an attractive investment environment.
The French payment industry shows solid dynamics with a sizable and growing addressable market and a high level of readiness and receptiveness towards cashless payment methods.
With aggregated MSV of ca. €700 billion, the French payment market is by far the largest payment market in Continental Europe.
With cash penetration still high, at ca. 40% of payment volumes, the French market offers an attractive growth opportunity driven by the secular shift from cash to card and by continued demand for innovation.
Combined with French Cartes Bancaires domestic scheme and its strong and resilient market share capturing ca. 80% of card transactions volumes, these market trends make France a particularly attractive country in the broader European context.
The contemplated alliance between Crédit Agricole and Worldline is a unique opportunity for both companies to significantly expand their merchant services activities in this high-potential market.
A partnership to create a major player in France
Leveraging the strengths of the two companies, the contemplated partnership would offer a state-of-the-art combination of technological and commercial offerings at scale allowing to adequately respond to any type of evolving merchant needs, whether local or global. It would be fuelled by:
- Worldline’s vertical expertise embedded into strong instore and online capabilities to serve merchants at scale thanks to its global solutions, platforms and payment applications, and;
- Crédit Agricole’s strong distribution networks through the 39 Crédit Agricole’s Regional Banks and LCL bank, combining a deep French market presence with more than 16,000 banking advisors for enterprises and local knowledge in merchants acquiring.
The partnership would be ensured by the set-up of a fully licensed joint-company between Crédit Agricole and Worldline.
The joint-company would be majority owned (50% of total capital plus one share) and fully consolidated by Worldline.
It would be in charge of leveraging Worldline’s global European processing platforms and of developing all the innovative products dedicated to the French market.
The joint-company would also be in charge of the commercial development of the alliance, both directly for largest merchants in particular, and by providing an active support to the bank distribution channels.
“Payments are a cornerstone of the relationship with our customers, hence a strategic business for the Credit Agricole Group. 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,” says Jean-Paul Mazoyer, Deputy General Manager of Crédit Agricole S.A. in charge of Technology, Digital and Payments.
“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.”
The contemplated joint-company would offer to the key accounts in France a full-service offering leveraging Worldline’s global acceptance and acquiring platform, including the domestic “Cartes Bancaires” scheme.
In parallel, Worldline would be able to offer to its international merchants an access to the domestic scheme, further expanding its broad range of payment schemes.
For more detailed statistics on the French Payments market CLICK HERE
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