News Pulse for September 23, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Uber, Airbnb customer reviews probed

The consumer watchdog is investigating whether customer reviews for “sharing economy” companies such as Uber and Airbnb are legitimate as part of an investigation into the sector.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is teaming up with consumer agencies overseas to investigate whether online platforms are sufficiently managing customer reviews and not breaching the law.


Small Retailers Urged To Trial Not Surcharging Ahead Of Next Year’s Ban On Excessive Fees

In May, this year, the Reserve Bank of Australia released a new surcharging standard , which introduced a ban on excessive surcharges. The ban, which is being enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion.), commenced for large retailers this month but all other merchants have until 1 September 2017 to comply with it.

Dynamic Business spoke to consumer advocate Chris Zinn , who spearheads Surcharge Free – a national movement, backed by leading retailers, businesses associations and advocates, that urges merchants to end payment surcharges altogether.

Red tape ready for Malcolm Turnbull to cut

The ridiculous story of Tori Gentle and Bea Cobon and their cafe reveals how red tape threatens Australia’s prosperity. Their cafe is a small business, but what’s happening to them is the same thing happening to big business.

Company tax cuts are Turnbull’s most weighty ballast

Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15 and his government have sailed smoothly through another week in federal politics, their backbenchers overjoyed at just how peaceful the journey has been.

“Isn’t it great?” asked one yesterday. Yes, the Prime Minister’s message on border protection was heard from the UN in New York. Yes, Social Services Minister Christian Porter hit home with his warnings about the need for change to the welfare system. But what helped the government most was that Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13 failed to make any waves.

This startup can analyse anyone’s online personality in less than a minute

Testing out Scale Model’s software is like getting a frighteningly accurate peek into your online personality.

Scale Model’s technology analyses you or your company’s network — like the people, topics, and places you frequently talk about or are connected to — with the idea being that a network can tell you a lot of useful information, which can help you find the most influential networks or popular “influencers” within a community and helps you better target those people through marketing efforts.

Melbourne startup SalesPreso closes $2 million Series A round after “flying under the radar” for three years

A Melbourne cloud-based presentation platform has closed a $2 million Series A round as the three year old startup emerges from secrecy with plans for rapid expansion.

SalesPreso is a big-data sales presentation and analytics platform aiming to replace the traditional sales presentation with data-based storytelling.

Brokers can ‘triple revenue’ through commercial lending

Having recently seen a surge in commercial business coming in through the broker channel, ING DIRECT has highlighted the significant benefits of breaking into this new revenue stream.

Speaking to The Adviser , ING DIRECT national partnership manager – third-party commercial, John Kolyvas,  highlighted that the lender has seen an uplift in commercial business coming in through the broker channel.

ACCC reviewing sharing economy policies as part of international sweep – Media Release

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is assessing the review policies of sharing economy platforms as part of an international initiative targeting online reviews and endorsements.

This review is part of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN)’s annual internet sweep, involving over 50 consumer protection agencies around the world. This year the focus of the sweep is ‘Online Reviews and Endorsements’ and the ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. will be focusing on the way in which reviews operate in the sharing economy.

Why Scott Morrison thinks fintech disruption will force Australia’s major banks to lift their game

Federal treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 has suggested the wave of fintech disruption will force Australia’s banks to lift their standards without the need for a royal commission which he says would undermine confidence in the industry.

After a string of banking scandals over recent years, the government has committed to calling the CEOs of the major banks before a backbench parliamentary committee but resisted calls from the opposition for a sweeping royal commission investigation.

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