Based on a common vision of strategic developments in the European card and payment processing sector, Crédit Agricole and Equens have signed an agreement to explore the possibility of aligning their payment platforms to become a major payment services provider in Europe.
With a combined volume of over 15 billion transactions, Equens and Cedicam, the payment processing and systems subsidiary of Crédit Agricole and the ‘Caisses Régionales’, would be the leader in the European market. The realisation of this major payment service provider is based on three key ideas:
- 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.
- Sharing expertise that benefits the entire product chain.
The objective is to conclude the negotiations in 2010. The signature of a final agreement will be subject to consultation with the relevant employee representation groups and to the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities.
Jean-Yves Hocher, deputy chief executive officer (CEO) of Credit Agricole, said: “We are facing major challenges within the rapidly changing European landscape. 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. This is fully in line with Crédit Agricole’s strategy to build industrial partnerships with banks.”
Michael Steinbach, chairman of Equens’ board of directors, 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.”
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