This year we are celebrating our 15th anniversary. We have grown to become the market leader in the Netherlands, powered by our team of more than 50 domain experts who regularly collaborate with our European clients.
Over the years, we have always looked for new trends in digital value creation and sought to show our clients how new business models can be developed by data exchange. We developed our core philosophy of "Everything Transaction", which is incidentally the title of our new book which will be published later this year.
But let's get back to the book later. First let's consider what we mean by "Everything Transaction", and how this philosophy is serving our clients.
Everything is now really a transaction
Douwe Lycklama, Founding Partner at INNOPAY, expresses it this way, "Our vision is that every information exchange is becoming a transaction, as more digital forms of value are captured beyond financials, such as for example personal data, (access) rights, attention and reputation. Through continuous conversation, co-creation and two-way value exchange between organisations and clients, organisations are creating new strategic advantages.
"Every CEO needs to think about this new digital aspect of information exchange, and how they can build new business opportunities by sharing data with external parties, even those which are not familiar to them. Our focus is fundamentally about information exchange, and how we can create value between people and organisations".
Data exchange, enabled by technology and changing legal realities, is the focal point around which business is now conducted across the globe. Enterprise-level business-to-business data exchange is continually evolving as new types of data, new technology platforms and new data management practices come online. Globally, the revenue opportunities from the transactional data ecosystem are estimated at 4 trillion US dollars and growing strongly. So now is not the time to get left behind.
Customer expectations and technological developments force companies to rethink and rebuild their organisations. Organisations are now facing an unprecedented level of new challenges, including the way they interact with the digital transactions ecosystem. So, what are some of the key challenges faced by our clients?
Openness can be a pressing challenge for organisations
Openness is a concept with growing traction, driven by regulatory initiatives such as PSD2 in the banking sector and GDPR in the whole economy. Platformisation, legomation (the fact that resources become available as building blocks) and regulation force organisations to redesign and open up value chains, distribution and sales models and data security.
Initially, the idea of sharing information and functionality widely, sometimes even with your competitors, may seem to be a counter-intuitive philosophy. But we believe it is a modern design choice.
Vincent Jansen, Partner at INNOPAY, says: "Openness is really about being willing to work with new kinds of parties. It's about developing open business models, rethinking your position in the ecosystem, and creating new value through, sometimes unexpected, partnerships."
INNOPAY has proven experience in establishing collaborative payments, identity and data sharing schemes. iSHARE, an industry-wide collaboration project initiated by the Dutch Top Sector Logistics, is a good example which shows how, by building upon scalable trust principles, we can lay the foundations for a revolution in simple, cost-effective, and safe data sharing across companies and individuals. In effect, iSHARE is taking the logistics sector to the next level of data exchange maturity.
Customer in Control – think of GDPR as an opportunity
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the inherent value in their data and expect to be able to choose when, how and with whom they transact. The legislative landscape is changing at the same time, driven by regulation such as GDPR, and creating a heightened responsibility for organisations when it comes to the collection, storage and use of customers' data. This poses significant challenges for many companies with high financial stakes.
Shikko Nijland, CEO and Managing Partner at INNOPAY, explains: "Companies need to change their mind-set. The winners of tomorrow will be those who think from the position of their customers. You need to make sure that every product and every interaction is designed to allow the customer to control his or her data, because it is that data that defines the customer. More and more customers want to use their data elsewhere out of sheer convenience, privacy and benefit. And if companies really want to engage their customers, agreements are needed to allow data to be reused across multiple companies."
And once the initial challenges of compliance have been overcome, Vincent believes there are huge commercial opportunities, "By better regulating – and creating more trust in how personal data is handled – GDPR will increase customers' confidence and allow their data to be shared and injected into more services they are using. We see huge potential for the development of data 'schemes' which elegantly connect networked products that are hosted by several parties.
"You can really begin to productise 'data sharing as a service', deliver greater customer-relevance by offering new products, and create new value which is based on personal data that can be captured in new business models."
"We currently have a Proof of Concept of an exciting new type of service designed to facilitate payment of bills. Once sufficient trust has been established with the customer, financial agents can scan a user's emails for incoming bills and create simple payment requests for the customer to approve. If they agree, then the bill is automatically paid. This is how new types of digital services will emerge in future."
Trust is the vital ingredient
Trust is the key. Without trust – confidence and conviction that the system will work reliably, truthfully and safely – it will not be possible to fulfil the real potential of the digital transactions ecosystem.
At INNOPAY, we are committed to helping organisations build unprecedented levels of trust in the transactional system. Every new innovation that we develop will enable trusted digital transactions for our clients, their partners and customers and other players in the wider ecosystem.
We are in the perfect position to deliver on that ambition because our people know how to leverage our understanding of business, technology and regulation to maximise value for our clients.
New ways of working together
We pride ourselves on continually seeking new ways to solve problems and create opportunities for our clients. In this new digital transactions ecosystem, we cannot expect to solve legacy problems with old solutions.
As Shikko explains, "Pollution of our oceans quietly crept up on the world and we see the fragmentation of personal data in similar terms: we have gradually created an endemic problem and we now need to work together to implement a new type of collaborative solution.
"Instead of attempting to centralise consumers' data, we need to leave it at source, and focus on providing consumers centralised access and management tools of that data. So, we've developed the 'Digital Key Box' principle. This provides consumers with a simple and effective means to manage consent, whilst also creating significant commercial opportunities for businesses.
"We cannot continue as we have done in the past. We already see significant global problems around privacy and who benefits from consumers' data. These problems will only exacerbate as the amount of data increases exponentially. We need to think in new ways, to think how to create business value for ourselves and others by working together, and to think responsibly about how the future might look if we fail to act now."
Why is INNOPAY different from our competitors?
Over our 15-year history, we have developed an approach which makes us uniquely well-positioned to serve our clients. And we have the knowledge, the people and the experience to deliver innovative and trusted strategies, solutions and services.
Douwe expresses it this way, "We are a team with a mission. We live for the idea that there is still a whole collaborative dimension to digitisation that we want to continue discovering and sharing with our clients. Collaboration, and not centralisation, will be vital to ensure that digitisation scales and keeps on working in everybody's favour. The value for customers in the long-run is far better served by decentralisation of data."
"At INNOPAY we are very active in identifying where collaboration brings the next level of growth into digital services. Data sharing is definitely the 'next big thing'. I'm confident that we are ahead of the wave and able to identify new trends and opportunities. And I'm very proud of our team which is determined to make a difference for our clients."
As Vincent concludes, "Our team has very diverse skills and huge commitment to developing new ideas. They create the type of energy which is essential to inspire innovation, and this enables us to develop new solutions for our clients which only recently seemed impossible".
Everything Transaction – coming to all good bookshops in November
And finally, the book. "Everything Transaction" has been authored by Douwe, Shikko and INNOPAY Founder Chiel Liezenberg and reveals many of our insights and experiences across a wide range of topics such as the impact of digitalisation, the growth of the transactional ecosystem, the commercial opportunities presented by data sharing, and the benefits of decentralisation.
It's also a book about digital trust, and shares observations on crucial issues such as platformisation, payments and identity management. You can find it in your local bookshop in November. Or you could make a digital transaction and buy it online. After all, choice is key to serving our customers in this new age.
 Second Payment Service Directive
 General Data Protection Regulation