News Pulse for August 10, 2017

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

Don’t let high-profile ransomware attacks lull your SME into a false sense of security

Although no business is 100% safe from ransomware, you’d be forgiven if you thought that only large, publicly-listed organisations fall victim to these potentially devastating cyberattacks.

After all, when the NotPetya and WannaCry ransomware variants ‘took the world by storm’, just a few months ago, media coverage was dominated by successful intrusions against multinationals such as FedEx, WPP, Mondelez and Reckitt Benckiser (to name just a few).

Australian startup leaders speak out against Google employee’s anti-diversity memo

Issues of gender equality and diversity in the technology and startup ecosystems have been widely publicised in recent months, and a controversial memo from a Google employee in the US, which began circulating over the weekend, has thrown these issues into sharp relief.

The male Google employee’s 3300 word ‘manifesto’ was published in full on Gizmodo , and details his opinion that women are not underrepresented in tech because of the discrimination they face, but rather because of inherently different psychological traits that men and women posses.

Pressure on payment bullies

A COMPANY that threatens or intimidates someone seeking payment for work faces a fine of up to $250,000 under legislation to be introduced to State Parliament this week.

A person guilty of the same charge faces fines of up to $50,000, or two years in jail.

Australia is still the ‘lucky country’, even for startups

It was Saturday, March 15, 2014. I was sitting at a local cafe in my hometown of Adelaide reading the paper. I had just finished voting in the South Australian Election. I remember reading the comparison of policies from both Labor and Liberal. I was so pleased to see both parties had committed $500,000 to startup community initiatives. This was years of campaigning in my role at Startup Adelaide finally paying off.

Xero Signs Up 100 Oz Banks, Other Financial Bodies

New Zealand based accountancy software provider Xero – a major competitor for the Sydney-based MYOB – says it has signed up 100 Australian financial institutions as it looks to make greater inroads into Australian small business.

Xero claims to be leveraging relationships with most Aussie banks to make it relatively easy for users to connect their accounting dashboard to accounts with most banks or financial services providers.

Sniip to deliver real-time billing

Mobile shopping and payments app Sniip says it has landed a deal with Xero to bring real-time billing to small and medium sized businesses.

Sniip co-founder and CEO Damien Vasta said his platform, which uses blockchain technology, wold provide a central way for Xero’s customers to receive and pay bills.

Empowering customers through Open Banking – Issues Paper released | The Hon Scott Morrison MP

The Open Banking Review has released an Issues Paper today seeking feedback on the best approach for implementing an Open Banking framework for Australian customers.

Open Banking has the potential to transform the way in which Australians interact with the banking system. Better informed customers will put pressure on the financial services sector to become more efficient, affordable, innovative and competitive.

Groundhog day: inquiries commence into open banking and competition in financial services 

Competition in Australia’s financial system is again subject to review and inquiry. As part of the 2017-18 Budget, following the release of a Productivity Commission ( PC ) report (discussed here ), the Government announced a plan to introduce an open banking regime in Australia beginning with an inquiry into implementation of such a regime. In the Budget, the Government also announced that the PC would commence an inquiry into competition in Australian financial services (previously discussed in our update here ).

Modernising business registers to make business simpler | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government today has commenced consultation on ways to modernise business registers to make it simpler for business to get on with business.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the consultation, which is part of the National Business Simplification Initiative (NBSI), is designed to streamline and simplify how business interacts with all levels of government.

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