Maarten Bakker
Maarten Bakker Innopay
Maarten Bakker

How did 2023 measure up?

Looking back

At the start of each year, we look ahead based on the three key interconnected clusters of the digital transactions ecosystem: Data Sharing, Digital Identity and Payments. So how did our outlook for 2023 measure up? What did we get right, and what is taking longer than expected to materialise? 

What did we get right?

Collaboration is the way forward for Open Finance

We predicted that 2023 would be the year in which collaboration became the cornerstone of Open Finance. We were right, but received unexpected help from the launch of the draft FIDA regulation in Europe. FIDA requires the financial sector to start cooperating on schemes to lay down the rules for data sharing. As a world leader in scheme creation, INNOPAY is keeping a close watch on this space. 

Crypto Winter instead of Crypto Ice Age

The fall of FTX in 2022 was followed by others in 2023. One was the fall from grace of Changpeng Zhao, boss of Binance, who resigned after pleading guilty to criminal money-laundering charges. But although the winter continues, it is still not an ice age as crypto seems to be establishing itself as an asset. In 2023 large fund managers, including BlackRock and Fidelity, applied to launch Bitcoin ETFs. Given the returns Bitcoin has offered in the past year and its correlations with other assets, the result could be the start of a crypto revival.

Monetisation of AI

As predicted, the BigTechs are moving in and are less concerned with AI ethics than the rest of society would like. This was particularly visible during the OpenAI saga. The sacking and reinstatement of Sam Altman, boss at the company behind ChatGPT, occurred at a dizzying pace, even by the tech sector’s own fast-moving standards. But at the end of the day, there’s no denying that Microsoft has secured and improved its position in the field of AI. 

The European Data Wallet takes shape

In 2023, a final agreement was reached by the European Parliament and the Council which gives more clarity on regulation for the future European Digital Identity Wallets (eIDAS 2.0). Member States will have to provide EU Digital Identity Wallets to their citizens 24 months after adoption of Implementing Acts setting out the technical specifications for the EU Digital Identity Wallet and the technical specifications for certification. So, the wallet is taking shape but reaching its final form will take time.

Corporate battle for control over social networks

We predicted an increase in decentralised social networks, as this has been touted as a solution to the monopolistic powers of BigTech. Although things did not turn out exactly as we anticipated, Meta did launch Threads to compete with Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter). Moreover, to comply with the EU’s new Digital Services Act, Meta is testing the ActivityPub protocol which is also used by Mastodon. 

Big shifts in the payment infrastructure and experience layer

With e-commerce still growing globally, life without digital payments has become unimaginable. And thus there were further shifts in digital payments experience and infrastructure in 2023. For example, we saw the launch of OVPay for public transport payments in the Netherlands, the introduction of Apple Pay Later in the US and the test launch of a new digital wallet (Wero) by the European Payments Initiative.

What is taking longer than expected?

  • BigTechs seek to dominate authentication
  • Fast growth and adoption of Data Spaces
  • Pioneers secure first-mover advantage on new data legislation


While we see clear progress in all three of these areas, we called these trends a little too early. Such transitions are fundamental and take time. Watch out for our upcoming 2024 predictions to see how we assess these and other trends for the year ahead.

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