Worldline working with BCG to reshape its strategic plan

25 January 2024 2 min. read

Paris-headquartered Worldline, one of the world’s largest payment services companies, has called on Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to help shape a new strategy that can restore the group’s image. The plan must be presented in the first half of 2024 and aims to convince investors – who largely lost confidence last year – of the group’s viability.

Last year, Worldline’s stock market performance took a sharp dive, plummeting by 60%, partially due to difficulty in the German market and slashing of merchants that were deemed cybercrime and fraud risks.

This decline prompted investors to reevaluate the company’s business and profit prospects, leading to its removal from the CAC 40 listing by year-end.

Worldline working with BCG to reshape its strategic plan

The CEO of Worldline, Gilles Grapinet, is under pressure from the board to reverse the downturn. Seeking assistance, Grapinet and key figures turned to the Boston Consulting Group to craft a recovery strategy, set to be unveiled to investors later this year. The plan must illustrate Worldline’s potential for growth and profitability to restore market confidence and lure investors back.

In its latest financial year, Worldline generated revenues of €4.6 billion. The company has 18,000 employees in 40 countries.

During Covid-19 lockdowns, Worldline initially saw an increase in revenue due to more online shopping. But since then, it faced a significant slowdown due to reduced consumer spending amid rising prices, leading to fewer commissions from electronic transactions. As long as the trend of rising inflation continues, it could spell more trouble for Worldline.

To make matters even more complicated, Worldline needs to sort out the integration of various acquisitions it made since separating from Atos in 2014. Those include companies like Equens from the Netherlands, Six Payment Services in Switzerland, and French firm Ingenico.

The selection of Boston Consulting Group likely stems from its expertise in the payments landscape, and strong presence among former members within Worldline’s ranks, such as CEO Alessandro Baroni of equensWorldline (who was previously a BCG partner) and board member Agnès Audier, who also serves as a senior advisor at BCG.

Earlier this month, Worldline struck a deal with Crédit Agricole that saw the bank take a 7% share in Worldline. The ‘strategic partnership’ deal was designed to build a joint venture in merchant payments.

Boston Consulting Group is no stranger to revamping strategies for high profile clients, including corporates in a variety of sectors. Just last year, BCG was chosen to help British universal bank Barclays draft a new strategy that could help the multinational find ways to boost its underperforming share values.