The story of Worldline’s rise to a major global leader in the payments area started in 1973. It all began when the computer services company Sligos became the first to win a card transaction processing contract in a market dominated by check payments and fiat money.



Worldline’s story starts in 1996, the rival company Axime offered to buy Sligos, resulting in the successful merger of the two companies under the new name Atos. Atos soon acquired more companies and became a leader in the field of payment software and integration activities. In 2004, the company created the new subsidiary Atos Worldline to focus solely on payments and transactional services.

Two years later, the company acquired Banksys, which is responsible for securing and guaranteeing electronic payments in Belgium, and BCC, which manages the payment systems linked to the two largest credit card networks Visa and Mastercard [1]. In 2013, the Atos Worldline division gained autonomy and one year later was listed by Atos as a new company - Worldline - for 26.59% of its holdings, worth 575 million euros, valuing Worldline at a capitalisation of 2.1 billion euros [2].

Worldline became the no. 1 European Payment Champion with over 11,000 employees and services in over 30 countries.

In November 2015, Worldline merged its electronic financial transaction processing activities with the Dutch payment processing company Equens to create equensWorldline. The launch in 2016 confirmed Worldline as the leader in the payment services industry across Europe.

In May 2019, Worldline became an independent company when Atos shareholders approved the plan to redistribute 23.4% of Worldline shares to their investors [3]. The new Worldline created three business lines to serve the customers across key sectors better.

At the end of 2020, Worldline expanded its international reach and signed a long-term strategic commercial acquiring alliance with Australia’s third-largest acquirer ANZ Bank.

One part of Worldline’s mission was to create and facilitate an ecosystem with easy integration of financial technologies for as many businesses as possible. Therefore, Worldline strengthened its position by acquiring Digital River World Payments (DRWP) and First Data Baltics in 2017.

This placed Worldline in charge of ANZ’s merchant acquiring business to deliver value-added products and services to their merchant customers. The Australian market is highly relevant for Worldline as it is the 14th largest economy in the world and is experiencing substantial growth in digitisation [4].

In May 2021, Worldline’s story continues as we acquired 92.5% of the share capital of Cardlink in order to expand Worldline’s Merchant Services business in one of the world’s most promising markets. Cardlink is Greece's leading network services provider and has unique access to the leading Greek payment acceptance network. For Worldline, this transaction will create a stronger reach toward the south of Europe in a country demonstrating a fast adoption of electronic payments [5].


Ingenico’s story

In October 2020, a major addition joined the Worldline family – Ingenico – creating a new world-class leader in the payment services industry [6] .

Ingenico’s story starts in 1980, Jean-Jacques Poutrel and Michel Malhouitre laid the foundations from which Ingenico would go on to become a global leader in seamless payments in the payments industry. For the following 30 years, Ingenico provided smart solutions to empower commerce across all channels, from in-store to online and mobile. 

In 1984 Ingenico deployed the first EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) payment terminal. One of its greatest achievements in the 1990s was the acquisition of Bull and De La Rue’s payment terminal activities as well as Epos in Germany.

One  major early milestone for the company was when Ingenico became the first payment services company to obtain online/offline PCI-SSC PIN Entry Device (PED) Certification in 2005. Three years later, in 2008, Ingenico established its position as the world leader in payment terminals through the acquisition of the payment terminals businesses of Sagem Securité, principally Sagem Monétel, a subsidiary of the international high technology group SAFRANl [7]. Ingenico also expanded its presence in China through investments in 55% of Fujian Landi, one of the leading Chinese transaction solution providers and Point of Sale manufacturers [8].

Ingenico reached another key milestone when it acquired Swedish Bambora in 2017. This acquisition complemented Ingenico’s customer-centric approach with further technological skills by adding a dedicated direct-to-SMB sale’s channel to Ingenico’s Retail Business Unit. It also increased Ingenico’s online and in-store offer in the Nordics, North America and Australia [9].

In 2019, Ingenico and PAYONE created a key joint-venture making Ingenico the clear leading payment provider in Germany.  When merging, PAYONE was the second largest international card acquirer in Germany, which helped accelerate the joint-venture’s development covering the needs of in-store and online merchants as Ingenico’s experience within the SMB market larger retailers provided a great match in this field [10].


Mergers And Acquisitions In The Payments industry across Europe

The payments industry is seeing an upturn in the mergers and acquisitions in the payments industry as companies consolidate to compete for scale and reduce costs in the face of the challenges posed by fintechs and new companies specialising in e-commerce payment systems in a shifting regulatory environment.
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Stronger Together Worldline’s Partnership With ANZ

Digital payments, enhanced security and omnichannel solutions: Mark Hand of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) outlines the advantages of the recent banking partnership with Worldline as part of ANZ’s goal to create a simpler and more digitally focussed banking experience.

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New Worldline, New Strategic Goals In Payments

Former Ingenico Senior Vice President Grégory Lamertie is now Head of Strategy, M&A and Public Affairs at Worldline, assesses the current payments market and outlines Worldline’s strategic opportunities, synergies and goals over the next few years.

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