Data, trust, and the unprecedented opportunities of the transactional Internet

Monday 21 October 2019 15:14 CET | Editor: Mirela Ciobanu | Interview

The Paypers has sat with Douwe Lycklama, Innopay, co-author of Everything Transactionto find out more about the book, and learn about concepts such as transaction data, data, and trustLast week INNOPAY consultants Chiel Liezenberg, Douwe Lycklama, Shikko Nijland launched ‘Everything Transaction’, a book that aims to help leaders navigate the digital world even better, from the perspective of “transactions.” Here at The Paypers we were lucky to get a preview of the book and learn more about its content. 

Here is s short excerpt from the work they have done: ‘Not so long ago, ecommerce conquered the world, and we entered into the world of “payment.” With the continued advance of the Internet and the rapid introduction of all kinds of new, mobile technologies, we, as young professionals, were asked to respond. Because we were fairly well informed about these technologies but knew very little about payments, we looked for “the book about payment” to get up to speed. Much to our surprise, this book turned out not to exist.’

Why Everything Transaction? What do you aim to achieve with this book, whom does it address?

There wasn’t a book on transactions, the way we look at it. We found this out while building our INNOPAY practice of the past 17 years. So, some five years ago we decided to make a book, documenting what we had discovered on time. The book took much longer than we ever thought, we started three times again and converged the story in countless iterations.

We had three objectives: increase awareness - by describing the opportunities of the transactional Internet and what is required for it, we shed light on the long-term developments and effects of it, from the point of view of transactions. A perspective that, at the moment, is to a large extent, absent in the available literature. 

Secondly, we wanted to provide direction - we want to actively guide the manifestation of the transactional Internet, which we consider inevitable. The opportunities that this provides are unprecedented, as long as we collectively ensure that the conditions are fulfilled. This requires a profound understanding of what needs to be done and what we aim to accomplish.

Finally, we want to share our knowledge, insights, and hands-on expertise. The source for this book is the rich experience we have accumulated as fintech experts in the last twenty years, by working more than full-time on concrete innovations in payments, invoicing, identity, and data sharing.

Keywords include digital trust, platforms, two sided markets, competition vs. cooperation between platforms, role of data, and the outlook of our internet. We believe we are in an intermediate phase; the internet is not intended to centralise data of persons and businesses in the hands of a few.

What did you find striking while working at it/doing research for the book?

When studying platforms, we found that there is little imagination on what comes next in our digital economy. Leaders, politicians and press are all very busy amplifying the threats, worries and pitfalls of platforms, AI and big data, but little solutions other than ‘we need more rules’. All business school teach the current platform paradigm, while we all know that there are limitation from a societal perspective. In the book we pay attention to the strategic aspect of collaboration between platforms, a topic which is seldom addressed when it comes to digital strategies. We can understand this, because such strategies required specific leadership and a longer-term version than the length of a typical C-level job period.

In your book, “Everything Transaction” you don’t focus too much on medical/educational platforms, are these types of platforms/services (that address these sectors) included in this topic of transactional internet?

Yes, the transactional internet is an infrastructure for all sectors, for all people, businesses and governments, medical included. Especially in the medical field the concept of ‘data sovereignty’ is crucial, where patients customers are in control of their data and consent to doctors, staff, and organisations. The rules on ‘who has access to what and under which conditions’ are simply uses on the transactional internet. That focusses on the how and realises the associated trust.

You make a clear distinction between interaction and transaction: what is each and why are both so important for the data/platform topics?

Transactions have legal implications, while interactions are social. Today buying and selling is done through ‘stacking up’ countless interactions, such that enough data is generated that parties have enough trust to do a legal transaction. So, Amazon is a trusted environment because it collects and interprets continuously vast amounts of data of buyers and sellers. Because of the trusted environment, the ease of use is so good. But the trust is only limited to that particular platform, users have to build up trust again on other platforms. In the transactional internet the data and therefore the trust is on the hands of the users, so less interactions are needed on the platform. And trust becomes ‘portable’ over platforms, customers have less lock in. It will be easier to switch from e.g. social media platforms because these can become interoperable. Of course, the business model of captive advertisement needs to be redefined, but the technology is there.

Who is the intermediary, the middleman, the platform?

These terms are often used interchangeably. Especially the word ‘platform’ can mean many things, in the book we have listed several options. Intermediary and middleman refer to the abstract function of ‘sitting in the middle’ or the economic entity performing this function.

“The transactional Internet is about to happen” has been the resounding message from the first page of this book – what do you think: will it happen any time soon? (To make it happen the authors said two big fixes are needed: breaking the trust paradox and restoring the data benefit balance – please give more details to our readers?) 

The trust paradox is about moving from ‘institutional trust’ to ‘infrastructural trust’. The internet could grow so fast because it was trustless. Now for the next phase of the internet, this trust needs to be included as well. In practice this becomes manifest through the growing importance of digital identity in all sectors. The data benefit balance is the distribution of the proceeds of data exploitation between the data subjects and today’s platforms. Users now only receive a limited reward for their data, usually in the form of ‘free services’ such as social media, email and messaging.

You mention that in the sharing economy, the residual capacity of things is exploited, optimising the use of all available goods. “Sharing is caring”: for our fellow humans and for the planet. Maybe it sounds a bit as a utopia. Will the humanity be able to achieve it?

Yes, we see this is a large growth pocket for transactions. E.g. you can now rent a car by the minute, either from a company or from a fellow citizen. The latter we refer to as ‘peerification’. The internet makes discovery easier and increases ‘coincidence of wants’ which leads to more transactions and re-use of our material world. A large driver of ecological sustainability.

About Chiel Liezenberg

Chiel Liezenberg started INNOPAY as a hands-on entrepreneur with a passion for technology, product design start-up and connection. He was behind various payment innovations and fintech enterprises and holder of multiple patents. A number of his publications have contributed to shared reference frameworks in the transaction industry.



About Douwe Lycklama

Douwe Lycklama is co-founded of INNOPAY and one of the thought leaders of digital transactions, like paying, billing, identity, data sharing and applicable regulation. His drive is to bring innovation in these areas to businesses and governments and help them innovate together to make opportunities in digitization a reality.


About Shikko Nijland

Shikko Nijland is CEO and managing partner of INNOPAY and he has more than twenty years of international experience in management consulting. He previously worked for EY, KPMG and Accenture, where he headed the growth and innovation practice. He is responsible for new Innopay propositions regarding data sharing, customer in control, openness and digital transformation.



INNOPAY is a consultancy firm specialised in digital transactions. We help companies anywhere in the world to harness the full potential of the digital transactions era. We do this by delivering strategy, product development and implementation support in the domain of Digital Identity, Data Sharing, Open Banking, Payments and Digital CSR. 

Our sevices capture the entire strategic and operational spectrum of our client’s business, the technology they deploy, and the way they respond to local and international regulations. We have grown from strength to strength since our foundation in 2002 and operate from our offices in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Berlin. Our head office is located in The Netherlands, where we have the #1 market position. 

We are a founding member of Holland FinTech, a financial technology hub with links to the rest of Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia. Our team consists of over 60 experienced domain experts who regularly advise a wide range of global organisations.


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Keywords: digital transactions, digital identity, datasharing, platform economy, INNOPAY, data, trust, transactional internet, Chiel Liezenberg, Douwe Lycklama, Shikko Nijland
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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