Chair of EPIF and Vice President of European Government Affairs, American Express

Mr Elie Beyrouthy has been the Chair of EPIF since March 2018. He is the Vice President of European Government Affairs at American Express since June 2017, where he leads the company’s engagement with European Union Institutions and advises senior leaders on EU regulatory and public policy matters. Elie also represents American Express’ interests in several EU trade bodies and professional associations.

Prior to joining American Express, Elie was Director of International Regulatory Affairs at Western Union for 5 years. From 2007 to 2012, Elie held leadership positions at the World Savings Banks Institute and the European Banking Federation.

Elie began his career as an intern at the European Commission and the United States Federal District Court of Minnesota. He holds two Masters Degrees in Law from the University of Minnesota and from the Jean Moulin University in Lyon – France.


Director General, DG Market Infrastructure and Payments, European Central Bank

Ulrich Bindseil is Director General Market Infrastructure and Payments at the European Central Bank (ECB), a post he has held since November 2019. Previously, he was Director General Market Operations (from May 2012 to October 2019) and head of the Risk Management Division (between 2005 and 2008). Mr Bindseil first entered central banking in 1994, when he joined the Economics Department of the Deutsche Bundesbank, having studied economics. His publications include, among others, Monetary Policy Operations and the Financial System, OUP, 2014, and Central Banking before 1800 – A Rehabilitation, OUP, 2019.


CEO & Co-founder at Bridge

Joan Burkovic is the CEO and cofounder of Bankin’ and Bridge.

Bankin’ is the leading money management app in Europe with +5 million users in 4 European countries.

Bridge is the leading open-banking platform and digital payment experiences provider in Europe, with over 8 million accounts synchronized daily in 4 European countries.

Joan was the founder and spokesperson for the European Account Information Services association (representing the interests of the main European account information services actors to the European authorities). Joan had a front row seat at the negotiation tables in the creation of PSD2 legislation. He also cofounded the non-profit association France Fintech whose mission is to promote and represent the French FinTech to the public authorities, the regulator and ecosystem.

Bridge / Bankin’ is a board member of the:

  • ETPPA (ETPPA (European Third-Party Providers Association), Brussels – (& Co-founder)
  • EPIF (European Payment Institutions Federation), Brussels
  • AFEPAME (French Association of Payment institutions and Electronic Money), Paris
  • EPC (European Payments Council), Brussels

Joan is a graduate of ESSEC business school.


VP & GM, Head of Global Commercial Services Continental Europe at American Express

Sonja moved into the role in April 2021. For the previous 3 years she was the Country Manager for Amex in Germany  and was responsible for the Commercial Services Business in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and the Nordics.

Between 2013 and 2018 Sonja headed the merchant business in Germany, Austria & the Nordics. Before that she  spent 10 years in the consumer card business at Amex in Germany.

Sonja has over 20 years of experience in the payments industry. Before she joined Amex Sonja spent 6 years in  managerial roles in marketing and operations for the credit card and instalment loan division of Banco Santander in  Frankfurt. She started her professional career at the VISA card operation of Citibank in Baltimore, Md, then moved to  Frankfurt where she was vital in the set-up of Citibank’s credit card business in Germany.

Sonja holds 2 degrees in European Business Studies: a BA (Hons) from the  University of Humberside, England and a Dipl. Betriebswirt from Fachhochschule Münster, Germany.


CEO Paysafecard

Udo co-founded and launched paysafecard, an award-winning online cash solution, in 2000 and has been the company’s CEO since 2014. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University in Graz, Austria, and an MBA in Business Administration from Donau University in Krems, Austria. Under his leadership, the international expansion of paysafecard has been rapid and the solution is now integrated into the payments’ offerings of multiple high profile brands including Amazon, Sony, Google and Samsung.

It’s available in around 50 countries with more in the pipeline.  Also, under his leadership, the team has launched a second online cash solution known as Paysafecash.

Udo’s growth strategy for both paysafecard and Paysafecash, which together form Paysafe’s eCash division, is centred around a move towards mobile, driving further usage in existing markets and expanding into new international territories.


Chair of EPIF Technical Committee

Dr. Hartwig Gerhartinger is a dedicated payments industry professional, an expert in payment services and e-money regulation as well as in anti-money laundering legislation.

As Senior Vice President, Legal & Regulatory, Hartwig advises Paysafe on all regulatory matters, including payment services and electronic money regulations, PSD2 transposition and Brexit, as well as AML and gambling regulation. He has additional responsibility for governmental affairs, representing Paysafe with politicians and regulatory authorities globally.

Hartwig is Managing Director of paysafecard.com, part of Paysafe Group. He is also at the Board of Directors of the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) and Chairman of the PIF AML Working Group, focusing on the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) and its impact on the payments industry. Hartwig is also a member of the Board of Directors of the European Payment Institutions Federation (EPIF) and Prepaid Verband Deutschland (PVD). Further to this Hartwig is member of the Payment Systems Market Expert Group (PSMEG) advising the European Commission on financial services and payments policy matters.

He holds a doctorate in law and is currently a guest lecture for e-payments law at Danube University. He is the author and co-author of numerous publications.


Head of Unit Retail Financial Services, DG FISMA, European Commission

Eric Ducoulombier is, since 1 January 2019, Head of the Retail and Payments Unit in DG FISMA. Before that he was in charge of the Unit dealing with Inter-Institutional affairs and Planning in DG FISMA. Eric Ducoulombier joined the European Commission in 1992, after having worked a few years in the private sector (consulting, law firm,…). He holds a Master’s Degree in law.


Head of Conduct, Payments and Consumers, EBA

Dr Dirk Haubrich is Head of Conduct, Payments and Consumers at the European Banking Authority (EBA). Dirk leads the EBA’s work on payment services, electronic money; deposit guarantee schemes; and consumer protection.

Previously, Dirk held roles across the private, academic and public sectors, with consulting firm Accenture, University College London, the University of Oxford, the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the UK Electoral Commission; and the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He holds academic degrees in business economics, politics and philosophy.


Head of Public Affairs and Open Banking Partnerships, Bankin’ et Bridge

Fanny Rodriguez joined Bankin’ (B to C brand) / Bridge (B to B brand) in February 2020 as Head of Public Affairs, reporting directly to the CEO.

Fanny was appointed in May 2021 by the European Commission at the PSMEG (Payment Systems Market Expert Group). She is a ETPPA (European Third-Party Providers Association), EPIF (European Payment Institutions Federation) and AFEPAME (French Association of Payment Institutions) board member.

Fanny is involved in the CNPS (French National Payment Committee) working groups chaired by the Banque de France and the ACPR.

Fanny is a member of the Bankin’ & Bridge Strategic PSD2 & Open Banking task force.

Fanny Rodriguez previously worked for 15 years for Societe Generale. From 2015 to 2019, she was appointed as
Senior Adviser for Payments and Liquidity Management Solutions. She was a member of the PSD2 (Payment
Services Directive) Global Steering Committee of Societe Generale Group (retail and corporate departments).

At a French level, she was a member of the FBF (Fédération Bancaire Française) payment experts working group.
At a European level, she was a member of the EPC (European Payment Council) task force on access to payment
bank accounts and of the Berlin Group NextGenPSD2.

From 2010 to 2015, Fanny was Head of Compliance for investment funds and sale managers, in the Societe
Generale Group Compliance Department. She supervised 45 compliance officers located in Europe. She also
managed the development and implementation of worldwide compliance controls for SG Securities Services
business (FACTA, MiFID, Market Abuses, AML…).

From 2005 to 2010, she was a member of the Strategy Department of the Societe Generale Securities Services.
She was appointed by the European Commission as “European Expert for Investment Funds” and was one of the
rapporteurs of the “Report of the Expert Group on Investment Fund Market Efficiency”.

Fanny hold a Master Degree from the University of Pantheon-Sorbonne (Paris I).


Chief Financial Officer, Bitsafe

Marcel studied Business Economics at the University of Amsterdam and started working for Bitsafe (then called Verotel) in 2001 as Financial Controller. The company grew quickly and Marcel worked his way up to managing two finance teams in 2004. Being experienced in small companies only, Marcel decided to work as a consultant and was hired by Corporate Express, Onstream Group, SNS/Reaal and a car lease company between 2014 and 2018, solving a variety of issues for corporate sized organizations.

He missed the International payments world and for the implementation of the PSD, Verotel needed to become a Payment Institution and successfully reached out to Marcel, this time as one of the two Managing Directors and CFO. Between 2011 and 2018, Verotel ran their business under the PI license, after which the payment world started to change. The simple fact that many people are being refused, or removed as a bank customer, made Verotel realize that there was more than just merchant processing. They rebranded to Bitsafe and now offer (as an EMI) basic payment accounts to the unbanked (but basically everyone), including the high-risk area they had been serving for years.

In his role as CFO Marcel still tries to professionalize the internal processes within the organization and is responsible for all financial, banking, compliance and risk matters that involves the entire Bitsafe organization. Marcel’s most important role is being involved in all communication, decision making and compliance responsibilities that relate to the EMI license of Bitsafe, of course including the EPIF membership.


European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union

Mairead McGuinness is the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union.

The Commissioner’s vision for the portfolio is focused on ensuring the financial sector’s strength and stability, so that it can deliver for people, society and the environment.

Before joining the Commission in October 2020, Ms McGuinness was First Vice-President of the European Parliament from 2017. She served as an MEP from Ireland for 16 years, and was a Vice-President of the Parliament since 2014.

As Vice-President, she oversaw relations with national Parliaments, led the Parliament’s dialogue with religious and philosophical organisations, and had responsibility for the Parliament’s communication policy.

During her time in the Parliament, Ms McGuinness sat on a range of committees, covering agriculture, environment, public health, budgets, petitions and constitutional affairs. Her legislative work included leading for the EPP Group on the European Climate Law, the revision of medical devices legislation, and CAP reform post-2013. As an Irish MEP representing the border region, she was outspoken on Brexit and the consequences for the EU and Ireland.

In 2006-2007, Ms McGuinness chaired the Parliament’s investigation into the collapse of the Equitable Life assurance company which identified issues around weak financial regulation.

Prior to becoming an MEP, she was an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and commentator.


CEO of the EPI Interim Company

Martina Weimert has been appointed as CEO of the EPI Interim Company in December 2020. She has been supporting European banks since the beginning of the European Payments Initiative (EPI) as a Partner in the Financial Services Practice of the consultancy Oliver Wyman in Paris, where she was for 4 years in charge of the European payments practice. With 17 years in international consulting, she has in-depth experience in payments, fintech, blockchain and retail banking in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.

She developed strategy concepts, new business models and led major transformation programs and is known to be an instant payments specialist. She works with all players in the payments value chain: banks, retailers, merchant service providers, e-merchants, fintechs, infrastructure providers, PSP and regulators and she speaks at international conferences about payments, fintech and blockchain.

From 1999-2004, she was charge of business development and then head of marketing & sales in a greenfield-bank approach for Deutsche Bank. She started her career at the EBRD, in London before entering into consulting.
Martina Weimert graduated from the Institute of Political Science Paris in European business development and holds a Master degree in International Administration (DESS) from Sorbonne University and studied before Political Science at the University of Bonn (Germany).


SVP and International Risk Leader at Elavon Financial Services

Brian Curran is a Board member of the European Payment Institutions Federation (EPIF) and is a Senior Vice President and International Risk Leader at Elavon Financial Services DAC (EFS). Prior to his current role, he was the Chief Compliance Officer and Head of AML in EFS from 2013 to 2018 with Compliance oversight of Elavon’s activities in Europe, Canada and South America.

In his time at EFS, Mr. Curran has been responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Interchange Fee Regulation, Payment Services Directive 2 and General Data Protection Regulation. Before joining Elavon, he was a Senior Regulator in the Enforcement Directorate of the Central Bank of Ireland and prior to that he was a Director in KPMG’s Forensic Department.


Head of Division, DG Market Infrastructure & Payments, European Central Bank ECB

Holger Neuhaus is Head of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) Market Innovation and Integration Division in the Directorate General Market Infrastructure and Payments.

His Division develops the ECB/Eurosystem’s approach in relation to innovation and integration in the field of payments and post-trade services. It explores innovation which is triggered by new technologies, changes in business models and overall developments in the financial ecosystem; it also drives harmonisation activities and contributes to wider harmonisation initiatives where relevant and makes recommendations to deepen integration in this field.

Until November 2019 he headed the Money Market and Liquidity Division which provides market analysis of euro area money markets and ensures the execution of monetary policy through open market operations and liquidity management. It also had a lead role in developing and transitioning to a new reference interest rate for the money market.

He was recently seconded to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as Senior Policy Advisor.

Before joining the ECB he worked for the Deutsche Bundesbank and a portfolio management company, inter alia in the field of foreign reserve management and financial market research. Holger Neuhaus studied economics at the Universities of Essen and Toronto.


 Policy Officer unit B3, DG FISMA, European Commission 

Katarzyna Kobylińska-Hilliard is a Policy Officer in the Retail Financial Services Unit at the European Commission, Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. Prior to that, she was responsible for corporate governance in financial institutions at the Directorate General Justice and Consumers. Before joining the European Commission, Katarzyna represented the interests of the banking industry in Brussels with respect to retail financial services and prudential supervision and has experience working for a consumer advocacy organisation in Dublin.


Director General, EPC

Etienne Goosse is the Director General. He has extensive professional experience across different sectors of the payments industry. He started his career with the Belgian central bank. He held executive positions at eurocheque International, Europay International and MasterCard Europe.

In his previous assignments, Mr Goosse’s responsibilities included franchise management, legal and regulatory affairs, stakeholder management as well as finance and administration. He also has an extensive track record in managing governance as well as European and public affairs.


Director Government Affairs American Express  

François Steque is a Director in Government Affairs at American Express. François oversees industry engagement on payments standards and advocacy on payments policies and regulations in Europe. Over the past years François has been focused on the security of internet payments and Strong Customer Authentication and PSD2.  Prior to that he has managed the deployment of EMV Chip and Pin in Europe and early deployment of 3d Secure American Express Safekey.

François serves as the payment institutions representative, on behalf of American Express, on the Card Working Group of the European Payment Council (EPC), he also represents American Express on the European Liaison team of EMVco, and the European Card Stakeholder Group board (eCSG), which manages and maintains relevant card standards and specifications.


Polish Payment Institutions Association (PONIP)

Dr Krzysztof Korus (PhD) is an attorney in law and an economist. He is the founder and partner of DLK Legal. Since 2015, he has been recommended by Chambers Europe and Chambers Fintech as the expert in banking regulatory affairs and financial technologies in Poland. He has advised major Polish and international banks and other financial institutions. He is a pioneer in advising on regulatory issues for the fintech sector in Poland.

Krzysztof is a Board Member of EPIF (European Payment Institutions Federation) and associate member of the European Payments Consulting Association in Frankfurt.  He has participated in several major European and Polish working groups in the field of digital finance, crypto assets and open banking. He actively participates in Polish and EU legislative procedures on behalf of Polish and European industry bodies. He co-authored the “Study Impact of the PSD” and “Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law” for the European Commission, and sat on the programming council for the monthly “Banking Law Monitor”. He has written several dozen publications, legal analyses, and commentaries and spoken at numerous industry events in Poland, Europe, the US, and Asia.


Vice Chair of EPIF and Director Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at Western Union

Loreta Liutkutė is a Vice President, Head of EU Public Policy and Regulatory affairs at Western Union in Brussels and a Vice-Chair of EPIF. She is responsible for Government relations strategy building, as well as engagement with the European and national Policy Makers, other financial services public and private stakeholders. She is Vice-Chair of EPIF (European Payments Institutions Federation), the EPIF representative at SMB ( Scheme Management Board) and ERPB ( European Retail Payments Board), the member of PSMEG (the Payment Systems Market Expert Group) and a Board member of the EPFSF ( European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum. Previously she also worked in a payments area for a global card scheme Visa as Regulatory affairs adviser and was actively engaged with European Policy makers, Regulators and Central Banks in France and Eastern European countries.

With over 10 years’ experience in payments, she established strong relationships with European Policy Makers and major financial institutions by providing them with a Regulatory advice on financial services legislation. She is particularly focused on Payment Services legislation, Digital Single Market, Data Protection, AML/CTF, Cybersecurity and Migration policies. During her carrier she also experienced as a volunteer Legal adviser in one of the biggest French NGO working with migrants by providing a legal assistance on the matters of Nationality, Asylum and Refugees status. Loreta holds a Master degree in European Law from the Lille II University in France.


Head of Financial Crime Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission

Raluca Prună works for the European Commission, as Head of Financial Crime Unit in DG Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA). From 2015 to 2017, she served as Minister of Justice in the Romanian Government. Since 2007, she worked in several Directorate Generals of the European Commission, in various areas as fight against organized crime, financial crime, and free movement of goods.

Previously she worked in the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union (2005-2007) and the Delegation of the European Commission in Bucharest (2000 -2005). Ms Prună started her career as lawyer in 1996. She is a founding member and former President of Transparency International Romania.


MEP (S&D, FI) 

Mr. Eero Heinäluoma is a Member of the European parliament and a bureau member of the Group of Socialist and Democrats. He is the Treasurer of the Group, and a member of the ECON and the Budget committees, as well as the tax subcommittee FISC. In the Parliament, he is also member of the Russia and Turkey delegations.

Mr Heinäluoma is a former party leader and secretary general of the Social Democratic Party of Finland (2002-2008). He acted as the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament 2011-2015 and Minister of Finance (2005-2007). He was the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Parliament (2015-19).


Head of Financial Intelligence Unit Latvia

llze Znotiņa is Head of Latvia’s Financial Intelligence Unit since 1st June 2018. In July 2019 Mrs Znotiņa was appointed Head of Latvia’s delegation to Moneyval and FATF; under her leadership the country managed to demonstrate establishment of a strong and robust financial crime prevention system.

Prior to joining FIU Latvia, Mrs Znotiņa had a career as a sworn attorney-at-law specialising in dispute resolution. Her main areas of expertise included regulatory issues, insolvency, IP, anti-bribery and anti-money laundering, fraud and white-collar crime.

Mrs Znotina has submitted her doctoral thesis in the Faculty of Law, University of Latvia. She holds a Master degree in International and European Law from Riga Graduate School of Law and a Bachelor degree in Law from the University of Latvia. She is an author of number of publications related to law, fraud and corruption as well as a frequent speaker on these topics.


Regional Head of Financial Crime for EMEA/UK MLRO for Stripe

Aamir Hanif is the Money Laundering Reporting Officer for Stripe’s UK and Irish entities and supports Stripe’s Financial Crimes function in EMEA. Before joining Stripe, Aamir spent over four years with Standard Chartered Bank: first in Singapore as the Regional Head for the US Law Compliance Program for ASEAN and South Asia, and then in Bahrain as the Head of Financial Crimes for the Middle East and North Africa (excluding the UAE). Prior to this, Aamir worked for Expedia and Boeing in various financial leadership positions. Before joining the private sector, Aamir spent nine years working in the U.S. government focusing on geopolitical, intelligence and global financial crime issues. Aamir has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University.


Head of Compliance and MLRO at Finance Incorporated Limited and Vice Chair of EPIF AML Task Force

Noel Bartolo occupied the role of Head – AML investigations & Deputy MLRO for HSBC Bank Malta plc and has over 20 years’ experience in the banking industry. Following the implementation of the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive, he worked as MLRO for Gaming Innovation Group to better understand Money Laundering Typologies in the Gaming Industry. Noel joined the Fintech industry in 2020 and is currently the Chief Compliance Officer & MLRO for Finance Incorporated Ltd.


Deputy Head of Secretariat, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), at the Bank for International Settlements

Thomas Lammer is Deputy Head of Secretariat, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), at the Bank for International Settlements. He joined the CPMI as Member of Secretariat in November 2019 and focuses on cross-border payments and financial inclusion. Thomas worked for more than eight years at the European Central Bank, where he had different roles such as Secretary of the Eurosystem’s Market Infrastructures and Payments Committee and most recently Principal Market Infrastructure Expert/Team Lead in the Oversight Division.

During his three years as Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank Group, Thomas worked on global financial inclusion initiatives and contributed to payment system reforms in a variety of countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. In 2008 he was a visiting expert at Banca d’Italia. He started his career at Austria’s central bank in 2001, where he managed payment infrastructure implementation projects. Thomas has published books, reports and articles on payments.


Head of EPIF Secretariat

Nickolas Reinhardt is Co-Founder and Director of Afore Consulting, a premier European public affairs consultancy in Brussels specialized in financial services.

Having worked in Brussels for more than 25 years, he has built up an extensive network in Brussels and the key member states. Nickolas is a vastly experienced, highly capable and a leading authority on financial services regulation.

His ability to be a strong advocate with commercially astute and user friendly advice is based on his knowledge of the industry having trained and worked as a merchant banker and securities trader.

He has an MA in Political Science, Economics and History from the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany. He lectured on EU affairs at the University of Limerick and Queen’s University, Belfast. Nick grew up in a bilingual home in Kiel, Germany with a German father and British mother.