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December 22, 2009updated 04 Apr 2017 4:17pm

Crédit Agricole and Equens set to join forces in Europe

Marking another step toward consolidation in Europes payments market, Frances largest retail bank Crdit Agricole and pan-European payments processor Equens have entered into exclusive talks to explore the possibility of what they term aligning their payment platforms. The objective is to conclude the negotiations in 2010. Should the consolidation get the go-ahead, combining the payment processing operations of Crdit Agricoles subsidiary CEDICAM with Equens would create a payments processor with a combined volume of over 15 billion transactions annually

By EPI editorial

Marking another step toward consolidation in Europe’s payments market, France’s largest retail bank Crédit Agricole and pan-European payments processor Equens have entered into exclusive talks to explore the possibility of what they term “aligning their payment platforms.” The objective is to conclude the negotiations in 2010.

Should the consolidation get the go-ahead, combining the payment processing operations of Crédit Agricole’s subsidiary CEDICAM with Equens’ would create a payments processor with a combined volume of over 15 billion transactions annually. Of the total, about 9 billion transactions would be attributable to Equens’ exiting services and about 6 million transactions to Crédit Agricole’s.

In a joint release Crédit Agricole and Equens explained that underlying the concept of the consolidation are three key objectives:

• Combining volumes and developing synergies to lower unit processing costs;

• Fostering growth dynamics from a unique position as a European leader offering technical and commercial expertise and broad regional coverage; and

• Sharing expertise that benefits the entire product chain.

Commenting on the negotiations, the chairman of Equens’ board, Michael Steinbach, said: “The intended co-operation with CEDICAM is a major next step forward in our strategy to become the premier pan-European processor. It will enable us to further increase our scale, geographical presence and product offering for the benefit of our current and future clients and shareholders, like ABN AMRO, DZ Bank, ICBPI, ING and Rabobank.”

From its perspective Crédit Agricole’s deputy CEO Jean-Yves Hocher said that the mooted consolidation was in response to what he termed the “major challenges within the rapidly changing European landscape,” being faced.

“By discussing a partnership with Equens to become the pan-European card and payment processor, we will be able to combine expertise, technology, in-depth knowledge and the processing of several billion transactions to serve our network,” said Hocher. “This is fully in line with Crédit Agricole’s strategy to build industrial partnerships with banks.”

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