EAST Celebrates 20th Anniversary

At the 6th EAST Global Congress, kindly hosted by EURO Kartensysteme GmbH (EKS) in Frankfurt, members celebrated EAST’s 20th Anniversary in a traditional setting.

Some key milestones from the EAST journey are:

  • The very first EAST meeting was held in Brussels on 11 February 2004, chaired by Rafael Rondelez (Europol).  Of the 13 people who attended that founding meeting three are still active in EAST – Otto de Jong (ING), Lachlan Gunn (EAST) and Ari Partenen (Loomis Automatia Oy).  Another founder member, Susanne Kreuzer (formerly of EKS), was able to join the 20th anniversary celebration.  Susanne retired from EAST in 2019.  Europol has remained a key partner of EAST since 2004.
  • In 2007 it was agreed that EAST should take on its own legal identity and that a non-profit company, limited by guarantee, should be formed and a Board of Directors appointed. Formal National membership commenced.  Three EAST Directors chair EAST Global Congress meetings in rotation.  The current EAST Chair is Thomas Von der Gathen (Payment Services Austria) and the other two Directors on the rota are Veronica Borgogna (Worldline) and Graham Mott (LINK Scheme).
  • In 2012 the EAST Associate membership category was introduced to allow for wider participation in EAST activities and for wider circulation of EAST outputs.  These outputs currently include Crime Reports, Fraud Alerts, Fraud Updates, Payment Alerts, Physical Attack Alerts, Security Alerts, and Security Updates.
  • On 15 May 2013 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) was launched in Amsterdam, chaired by Otto de Jong.  Working closely with Europol and other law enforcement agencies, over the years EGAF has made a huge difference to law enforcement and the industry by providing Fraud Alerts, Security Alerts and Updates, and various Guideline documents. Otto continues to chair EGAF.
  • On 13-14 June 2013 the first EAST international Financial Crime and Security (FCS) Forum was held in The Hague.  Since then EAST has held two more Forums in 2015 and 2017 and then EGAF and EGAP FCS seminars in 2018 and 2019. Since Covid EAST has not held any more FCS events, but this is under review for the future.
  • On 7 May 2014 the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) was launched in London, chaired by Graham Mott.  EGAP has worked with Europol to create a platform where law enforcement and private sector organisations can share crime statistics and trends.  EGAP provides Physical Attack Alerts and various Guideline documents. More recently EGAP has also engaged with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the 21st EGAP Meeting will be hosted by the ECB next month.  Graham continues to Chair EGAP.
  • On 10 June 2015 Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EAST in order to further strengthen the cooperation in combating all types of payment crime, including card-not-present fraud, card present fraud, hi-technology crime, as well as ATM malware and physical attacks.
  • On 19 April 2017 the EAST Expert Group on Payment and Transaction Fraud (EPTF) was launched in Dublin, chaired by Rui Carvalho (EAST).  EPTF is working with Europol and other agencies to provide a specialist platform for discussion of security issues affecting the payments industry with a specific focus on social engineering, scams, and on fraud relating to customer manipulation by organised criminal groups.  EPTF provides Payment Alerts and Security Alerts and Updates.  Rui continues to chair EPTF.
  • In September 2018 EAST became a member of Europol’s Advisory Group on Financial Services, an advisory group to the Programme Board of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).  Rui  represents EAST in the Group.
  • On 12 February 2020 EAST held its 50th National Member meeting, hosted by PSA in Vienna.  This was the final meeting attended by EAST co-founder Martine Hemmerijckx.  This was followed by the Covid pandemic during which EAST National members held 6 Interim online meetings.
  • In 2021 the EAST Global Membership category was introduced to widen the scope of EAST membership in response to the increasing globalisation of organised criminal groups.
  • In June 2021 EAST joined the European Commissions PSMEG (Payment System Market Experts Group) with observer status, represented by Thomas Von der Gathen.
  • On 16 June 2022 EAST held its first Global Congress, hosted by Europol in The Hague.

The 20th Anniversary celebration was also a farewell to Margit Schneider of EKS who is soon retiring.  Margit has been a member of EAST since 2007.  EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn thanked her for her significant contribution to the group and Thomas Von der Gathen presented her with a commemorative plaque.

In recognition of EAST’s 20th Anniversary Olesya Danylchenko of the Ukrainian Interbank Payment Systems Member Association “EMA” presented EAST with a national flag.  Lachlan accepted the gift on behalf of EAST.

EAST is a Membership Association and its success to date could not have been possible without the active support of all its member organisations and of all the people who represent their organisations at EAST.  The Board of EAST would like to take the occassion of EAST’s 20th Anniversary to thank everyone who has helped EAST in its mission to continue to improve public/private sector cross-border cooperation in the fight against organised cross-border financial crime!



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