(Bloomberg) -- Credit Agricole SA is in talks with Worldline SA about a payment systems cooperation agreement to replace the French lender’s previous partnership with scandal-ridden Wirecard AG.

The firms are exploring a range of options, including a potential joint-venture, according to people familiar with the deliberations, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Talks are at an early stage and likely won’t lead to an agreement before next year, one of the people said.

Credit Agricole and Worldline representatives declined to comment.

Worldline shares jumped as much as 4.9% to 44.68 euros after the news. Credit Agricole shares were down 0.3% at 8.49 euros at 4:47 pm in Paris.

The Paris-based lender is looking to boost its merchant payments business by increasing market share in e-commerce transactions. In its most recent strategic plan, the bank said it’s weighing partnerships to achieve that goal, and is seeking to grow overall payments unit revenue 20% by 2025. 

Credit Agricole in 2018 signed a strategic agreement with Wirecard, but paused the development of joint projects and offers in late 2019 as concerns around the German firm emerged. 

Wirecard filed for insolvency in June 2020, in the culmination of an accounting scandal that also led to the arrest of its CEO.

(Updates with share moves in fourth paragraph)

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