News Pulse for December 22, 2016

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

Online refund scam leaves small business ‘gutted’

A small business says it has been left “gutted” by an online credit card refund scam, prompting calls from retail groups to strengthen protections for business owners.

The Jim Bradley Speedball Company in Melbourne fell victim to a scam known as “friendly fraud”, where consumers claim a “chargeback” on their credit card to secure a refund, despite having received their goods they ordered online.

Five exciting startup trends to watch in 2017

Over the past year, Australian startups hacked into everything from fintech, fashion and farming to education, security and even sex toys.

We saw top levels of government and big companies shake hands with new founders, and the spotlight on Australian startups intensified as investors and founders around the world discovered the buzz emerging Down Under.

Brisbane startup Gruntify wins major Dubai deal: Four tips to break into new markets

A Queensland startup is making a break into one of the fastest growing cities in the world after a state government-led trade mission opened an unexpected door.

Two-year-old startup Gruntify, founded by Igor Stjepanovic and led by chief executive Jamie Leach, is a data management platform that integrates mobile, cloud and geospatial technology, and which counts government bodies among its main customers.

What tops the SME wish-list at Christmas?

As an advocate for small businesses in Australia and New Zealand, MYOB regularly asks SME owners what they are thinking and feeling about the economic landscape, government policies and generally what they want for the year ahead. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy so their mindset and well-being has a huge impact on the success of the Australian economy.

Our Business Monitor regularly taps into SME pain points and year on year, SMEs feel the burden with attracting new customers, cashflow flexibility, late payments from big businesses and competitive activity. With this in mind, we approached businesses to discover what was on their Christmas wish-list. Here’s what they told us:

Data Retention Laws May Open Up Metadata Access To Civil Court Cases: Have Your Say

Remember the data retention laws that were introduced late last year? It forces telcos to retain metadata on mobile and broadband users for at least two years. The data would assist in criminal and terrorism investigations. Now the Government wants to open the data up to be used for civil lawsuits. It has called for public to comment on the issue. Right before Christmas.

The Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) has opened up a review on data retention laws: “The Attorney-General’s Department is inviting submissions to support a review by the Minister for Communications and the Attorney-General into access to telecommunications data in civil proceedings.”

Self-managed super funds growing in popularity, but not returns

f you think you are better off managing your own superannuation, you are probably wrong.

The ATO Australian Taxation Office has released the latest data for self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) and although it is clear they are increasingly popular, it is not clear why.

SMSFs have consistently underperformed their APRA-regulated counterparts.

Data retention scheme prompts privacy concerns from IA

Privacy concerns have been raised by Internet Australia (IA) after the federal government called for a radical expansion of its data retention scheme.

The controversial move could see a process that was primarily designed for criminal investigations being used in civil cases.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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