French Merger Creates Payment-Services Giant

Worldline and Ingenico are coming together.

In the biggest merger of the year to date, French fintech Worldline agreed to acquire point-of-sale terminal provider Ingenico for $8.6 billion in cash and shares, creating the world’s fourth-largest payment-services company by revenue.

As the payment-services business seeks to meet growing demand, it is rapidly consolidating to gain economies of scale and keep costs down. Worldline is still integrating its purchase last year of SIX Payment Services, for $2.75 billion, from Swiss exchange operator SIX Group.

In a separate $5.3 billion payments-sector deal in January of this year, Visa agreed to acquire fintech Plaid, which makes software that gives financial services apps access to financial accounts.

Gilles Grapinet, chairman and CEO of Worldline, will lead the combined business following the Ingenico acquisition. “Together we create the European world-class leader in digital payments,” he says. “This is a landmark transaction for the industrial consolidation of European payments.”

Worldline provides payment-processing services to the retail, financial services and transportation sectors. Ingenico, which is also based in France, controls 37% of the global POS terminal market. Worldline expects the deal to create cost savings of about $275 million over the next four years.

Payment-processing revenues are rising rapidly as consumers switch from cash to electronic payments.