News Pulse for August 11, 2017

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

Morrison slams CBA’s ‘epic fail’

Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 has marked down Commonwealth Bank as an “epic fail” for alleged breaches of money-laundering laws, describing Austrac’s case against the nation’s premier bank as “incredibly serious”.

The federal Treasurer, however, categorically ruled out a banking royal commission, even though on Tuesday he said that all options were open.

ScoMo to pry open bank data?

As the Commonwealth Bank money laundering allegations rage and increase the likelihood of a Royal Commission inquiry into banking, there is perhaps an even more profound change in the banking regime inching towards legitimacy.

The ever-cautious Coalition government is conducting a review into open banking in Australia of which the Holy Grail is that banks – especially the Big Four – open up their APIs and let FinTechs offer all sorts of new financial products and services.

Banking with a chatbot: a battle between convenience and security

Soon, you will be able to check your bank balance or transfer money through Facebook Messenger and Twitter as banks experiment with chatbots . Companies like Ikea have used customer service chatbots for close to a decade. But their use in financial services represents a new tension – do we want convenience or a feeling of security from our banks?

Research shows that when it comes to online banking, customers are prepared to trade security for convenience. But when customers think there is a threat to their security, this feeling reverses.

Greens warn Labor over competition law

The Greens have warned Labor not to get in bed with big business when competition laws come before the Senate.

Labor had a win in the Senate on Thursday, with the removal of barriers to small businesses taking court action against anti-competitive behaviour from big business.

Govermment may consider phased implementation of open banking

A new government Issues Paper has outlined considerations for achieving a “vibrant” open banking regime in Australia.

The Australian government has today released an Issues Paper on open banking where it said the review will consider a phased implementation of the regime. Open banking is the concept of consumers having greater control of their financial data and was announced in this year’s Federal Budget .

Australian government opens consultation on open banking regime 

The federal government will be introducing an open banking regime in Australia, hoping to transform the way customers interact with banks and the banking system.

In order to develop the regime, the government’s open banking review has published an issues paper that calls on representatives from the banking, consumer advocacCommunications Access Co-ordinatory, and fintech sectors, as well as others, to submit proposals on the most appropriate model and the best way to implement such a regime.

Government seeks consultation from SMEs on idea of single business registration agency

The federal government is asking for feedback from the small business community over a proposal to modernise and simplify the country’s business registry services, a change which business leaders say is “well and truly overdue”.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer released the government’s “Modernising Business Registry Services”  discussion paper yesterday, in the first step of its National Business Simplification Initiative announced last year.

McCormack to Labor: let’s work together to actually level the playing field for small business | The Hon Michael McCormack MP

LABOR Senators have today one-by-one cried crocodile tears for small business but if they are genuinely interested in levelling the playing field they should back in the Government’s changes to Section 46, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

“The Access to Justice Bill is the first time the Labor Party has shown any interest in Australia’s small businesses in a very long time,” Mr McCormack said.

Xero Signs Agreements with 100 Australian Financial Institutions 

Accounting software company Xero announced it has recently signed agreements with 100 Australian financial institutions establishing direct bank relationships. The deals are a major milestone in opening up banking, lending, and growth opportunities to Australian small businesses.

Xero says its growing “Financial Web” now has the ability to connect to 95 per cent of all transaction accounts that its small business customers access every day, making it easier than ever for them and their advisors to connect their accounting dashboard directly to almost any bank or financial services provider in the country.

LaunchVic cuts ties with 500 Startups after sexual harassment scandal

The Victorian state government’s start-up investment body LaunchVic has terminated its partnership with the embattled Silicon Valley accelerator program 500 Startups, after it was revealed last month the co-founder of the US-based firm was being investigated internally over sexual harassment allegations and had been forced to wind back his duties.

LaunchVic had put 500 Startups on notice for failing to disclose the investigation into its co-founder Dave McClure , who had launched the local 500 Melbourne program only two weeks before the sexual harassment allegations were made public by The New York Times .

Why Airtasker is adopting Australia Post’s ‘Digital iD’ technology: “You need to create trust between people rather than trying to control everything”

Sydney-based startup Airtasker has signed on to use Australia Post’s ‘Digital iD’ technology as a way to securely verify users’ identities, as it continues its efforts to build trust and transparency within its platform.

Existing identity verification processes that involve scanning and signing multiple documents can be time consuming and inefficient, according to Airtasker co-founder and chief executive Tim Fung , and the startup is adopting the Australia Post platform in a bid to save its users time.

The 500 Startups dream is over in Melbourne after LaunchVic pulled $2 million in funding

Plans for a Melbourne outpost of the US startup accelerator 500 Startups are in tatters after LaunchVic, the state government’s startup funding body, today ended its $2 million deal to launch locally.

The announcement follows the resignation of 500 Melbourne managing director Rachael Neumann just weeks into her new role.

Sharehouse living drove John Bush to quit his job, and his startup EasyShare has already processed $10 million in payments while in beta testing

Living in a sharehouse is a rite of passage for many Australians, but for Sydney-based entrepreneur John Bush, the pain of chasing up housemates for their share of the rent drove him to quit his accounting job to start sharehouse payments startup EasyShare, a Qantas-backed platform that has already processed $10 million worth of payments while in beta testing.

Founded in 2015, the EasyShare app was officially launched today on the App Store and Google Play after a two-year period of beta testing. The platform is designed to collect rent and bills from housemates and take care o

Adelaide Airport taxi drivers stop work in protest over Uber deal

Taxi drivers have refused to pick up passengers from Adelaide Airport as a stoush with Uber drivers over a new deal escalates.

The airport today announced it had reached an agreement with Uber to allow ride-sharing services to collect people from the terminal, ending a monopoly long held by the taxi industry.

New Zealand joins Australia in multinational tax crackdown | The Hon Scott Morrison MP

The Turnbull Government welcomes New Zealand’s decision to join Australia in tackling multinational tax avoidance.

Australia is a strong advocate for all jurisdictions to adopt these measures.

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