Worldline completes a strategic partnership with BNL in merchant acquiring in Italy: Axepta Italy joins Worldline’s Merchant Services business
Paris-La Défense/Rome, 4 January 2022 – Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry and #4 player worldwide, announced the completion of its acquisition of Axepta Italy. Effective January 4, Worldline has taken over 80% of Axepta Italy, the merchant acquiring entity of BNL in Italy. This partnership is a significant step in Worldline’s strategy to enhance its scale, reach and direct presence in a growing number of countries in close partnership with leading local banks.
Through the joint venture, Worldline significantly expands its Merchant Services footprint in the Italian market, whose continued growth is driven by the steady adoption of electronic payments. Axepta Italy is one of the largest Italian Acquirers, with c. 200 million acquiring transactions1 per year (c. 5% market share in MSV) from a c. 220,000 POS acceptance network.
Axepta’s highly diversified and loyal customer portfolio of ca. 37,000 merchants will be integrated into Worldline’s global Merchant Services customer base. Thanks to the activities’ integrations with Worldline, the current and future merchant customers will have the opportunity to access services and products in continuous evolution and with the highest standards of quality and technology on the market, to ensure best response to specific business needs and optimised customer experience. Furthermore, through a long-term commercial partnership with BNL, the joint venture leverages one of Italy’s strongest banking networks as a key commercial channel.
Worldline is the largest merchant acquirer and third largest online payment acceptance provider in Europe, providing customers with unmatched coverage of the payments value chain, online and in-store services and specialised vertical solutions to support their business growth with deep operational expertise and economies of scale wherever they are. Going forward, Italian merchant customers will benefit from the roll-out of Worldline SMB offerings and its local acquiring capabilities to provide a comprehensive European footprint for large international and national customers, and the deployment of strong e-commerce and omnichannel solutions for best-in-class user experiences.
The Joint Venture is designed to be an open vehicle for welcoming both existing partners and other Italian banks willing to benefit from delivery and servicing excellence, combined with scale and competitive cost structure.
Starting immediately, more than 100 payment experts will be integrated into the global team of 20,000 Worldliners, contributing their specific market knowledge to jointly accelerate the development of Worldline’s business in Italy, while benefiting from the unique career development opportunities of the leading European paytech company. Worldline has a successful track record of building partnerships with leading banks in the merchant acquiring space, e.g. ANZ Bank in Australia or Komercni Banka in the Czech Republic.
Marc-Henri Desportes, Deputy CEO of Worldline said: “Worldline’s raison d’être, or company purpose, commits us to designing and operating digital payment and transactional solutions that enable sustainable economic growth and reinforce trust and security in our societies. Through our new joint venture in Italy, Worldline will continue to deliver on our vision of a trusted, secure and environmentally friendly payments industry.”
Stefano Calderano, CEO of Axepta and Country Manager Italy for Worldline’s Merchant Services, said: “Worldline’s experience and expertise will make a fundamental contribution to improving and innovating the payment services offering for today’s and tomorrow’s customers, from small merchants to large multinational corporations looking for omnichannel payment solutions. In addition, the joint venture is itself an “open vehicle” to accommodate new Financial Institutions looking for access to advanced acquiring solutions while enhancing customer satisfaction and maintaining full control of the business relationship.”
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Worldline [Euronext: WLN] is the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry and #4 player worldwide. With its global reach and its commitment to innovation, Worldline is the technology partner of choice for merchants, banks and third-party acquirers as well as public transport operators, government agencies and industrial companies in all sectors. Powered by over 20,000 employees in more than 50 countries, Worldline provides its clients with sustainable, trusted and secure solutions across the payment value chain, fostering their business growth wherever they are. Services offered by Worldline in the areas of Merchant Services; Terminals, Solutions & Services; Financial Services and Mobility & e-Transactional Services include domestic and cross-border commercial acquiring, both in-store and online, highly-secure payment transaction processing, a broad portfolio of payment terminals as well as e-ticketing and digital services in the industrial environment. In 2020 Worldline generated a proforma revenue of 4.8 billion euros. worldline.com
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