What a year it has been!  The major impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for EAST has been that our platforms have had to meet virtually since March.  On behalf of the EAST Board, I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard to provide information, time, and resources to help us to meet our targets and objectives during the year.  Otto de Jong, EAST Founder Member and EGAF Chair, and Martine Hemmerijckx, EAST Co-Founder and Director, were presented with awards in recognition of their ongoing commitment and dedication to the development of EAST, and to their significant contribution to security in the payments industry.

We held our 50th National Member meeting in Vienna in February (hosted by PSA), and then the plan was to hold our first Global Congress in The Hague in June.  Instead we held a virtual meeting for our National and Global Members (our 1st Interim Meeting), which was followed by a second virtual meeting in October (our 2nd Interim Meeting).  On current plans our 3rd Interim Meeting will be held in February 2021, and we hope to be able to hold our 1st Global Congress in The Hague in June 2021.

The EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF), chaired by Otto de Jong of ING Bank, held three meetings in January, May and September, the first hosted by ING in Amsterdam and the other two as virtual meetings.

The EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP), chaired by Graham Mott of the LINK Scheme, held two meetings in March and September, the first in The Hague, hosted by the LINK Scheme, and the second as a virtual meeting.

The EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF), chaired by EAST Development Director Rui Carvalho, held two meetings in April and November, both of which were virtual meetings.

Some other key activities during 2020 were:

EAST continues to keep abreast of the latest fraud trends and crime information, publishing our European Payment Terminal Crime Reports and Fraud Updates.  This year we introduced a new reporting template for our National and Global Members covering: Fraud Type; Fraud Origin; Due Diligence; and Physical Attacks.  This enabled us to reformat our Fraud Update and the first one with the new look was published in July 2020.  Our thanks again go out to all the people and organisations that have shared information for the above, and for EAST Fraud Alerts (31 sent out this year to date), EAST Physical Attack Alerts (7 sent out this year to date) and EAST Payment Alerts (5 sent out this year to date).  EAST EGAF also published a general Security Alert relating to Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF).

This year we launched our new Global Membership category to enhance our intelligence capabilities and to reflect the fact that organised criminal groups are increasingly global in operation.  Global Members attend and receive outputs from EAST Interim Meetings and EAST Global Congress Meetings.

We now have 209 Associate Member organisations from 53 countries and territories. This membership category is open for worldwide application to all Banks, Law Enforcement (free membership available), and other approved ATM Stakeholder organisations.

Here’s hoping that the new year allows us to return to holding in-person meetings and events.  We are planning to commence ‘Hybrid Meetings’ from April next year, but this is of course dependant on many factors outwith our control.

Every best wish to all readers for a wonderful festive break and a very happy New Year.  And of course, Stay Safe!

Kind regards

Lachlan