While the 27th of June 1967, the day the first ATM was installed at a Barclays branch in north London, may forever more remain the most important date in self-service, the 22nd October 2008 will also be a day to remember the day that EAFS, the European Association for Self-Service, was founded in Brussels by many of the biggest names in the industry.
The founding of the association marks a major milestone in the campaign to bring the European self-service solutions companies together, a campaign initiated by KIOSK Europe magazine way back in Winter 2006. Steps along the way have included a public meeting at the KIOSK Europe Expo 2007 event, as well as follow-up articles leading up to the 2008 event, where growing support for the association and further formal procedures were announced.
The closer collaboration of suppliers in the self-service sector is a sensible step forward for all involved, and a logical consequence of the increasing success of self-service solutions in all areas of society over recent years. The self-service success story began with the installation of cash dispenser machines over 40 years ago, a convenient service solution which was widely, and almost immediately, embraced by the general public to the point where there are now over 1.5 million global installations in use today. Based on their success in the banking sector, self-service solutions have now been widely adopted in the travel sector (e.g. airport check-in solutions), retail sector (e.g. self-checkout and photo kiosks), as well as in the telecoms, hospitality, health and governmental sectors, to name but a few. As a result, 100s of millions of consumers are now interacting with self-service devices every day across Europe.
Ensuring a smooth, convenient and value-added customer experience for users of self-service solutions is at the heart of the interests of the European self-service industry. The European Association For Self-Service, EAFS, will aim to support this end and ensure that the relevant authorities are aware of its contribution to the living standards of the citizens of Europe. The founding members of the association include Citizen, Hengstler, hf media & events, Hoeft & Wessel, Ingenico, Innova (Kiosk Innova), Nakagawa, Provisio, Seiko Instruments, Star Micronics and Wincor Nixdorf.
The statutes of the non-profit association were signed off by the founding members in a ceremony on 22nd October 2008 in Brussels. The objectives of the association are:
To bring together participants within the industry in order to promote self-service solutions throughout Europe and beyond
To support the members in their efforts to promote self-service
To serve as a neutral counterpart for authorities, regulators and other bodies.
To collect data and information on the industry and to become a contact for media and other bodies.
To undertake research/studies and foster innovation and new technologies
The General Assembly elected the following persons to the Board:
Mr Jens Schindler as president.
Mr Christian Goebel as vice-president.
Mr Alain Huc as treasurer.
Mr Guillaume Lepecq as director and ex officio Secretary of the Association.
Mr Alpaslan Tomus
Ms Christina Pfleiderer
Ms Annette Tarlton
Mr. Thomas Wolf
All founding members called for all other companies, organisations and individuals with a professional interest in self-service to join the association so that they too can benefit from its endeavours.
Please visit www.eafs.org for more information.