News Pulse for August 22, 2017

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

Are you missing out on super contributions?

SUPER fund members are being urged to check their funds monthly and pay closer attention to their retirement savings to ensure they are getting the correct payments.

One of the nation’s largest super funds, AustralianSuper, which has more than 2.2 million members, is urging members to set up alerts, particularly on their smartphones, to remind them to keep a close eye on the progression of their retirement savings.

Money laundering probe exposes Australian banks’ compliance frailties

A money laundering probe at Commonwealth Bank of Australia ( CBA.AX ) is the latest in a slew of scandals denting the reputation of Australian banks as simple, reliable lenders at the forefront in the battle against financial crime.

Australian banks have lagged their global peers in both their spending and their approach on anti-money laundering and know-your-customer systems as they pursued rapid growth in customer deposits, some banking officials and experts say.

Aussie cyber security start-up TokenOne heads to US to kill passwords

Australian cyber security company TokenOne has become the first local business to be selected by the United States National Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence and will work with a consortium to tackle identity theft and fraud in e-commerce through multi-factor authentication.

The company, which has developed authentication technology that does away with traditional passwords by utilising one-time pad principles (a crypto algorithm in which plaintext is combined with a random key) to create unique, unbreakable codes, was selected alongside six major cyber security players including Splunk and RSA.

How the business lobby plans to fight crackdown on trusts

Labor’s plan to stamp out tax avoidance looks set to face fierce opposition from Australia’s powerful business lobby, which has vowed to fight the measure in the lead-up to the next federal election.

But rather than arguing that wealthy individuals should be allowed these tax breaks – an argument one tax expert acknowledged would hold little sway with the electorate – interest groups will appeal to the plight of small business owners to justify keeping laws as they are.

Start-up support for migrants

Victoria’s $60 million start-up fund LaunchVic is doubling down on its program of diversity and inclusion, announcing its third round of grant recipients to support first generation migrants and refugees.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the $1.4 million in funding would support organisations to encourage migrants and refugees in Victoria to develop their ideas and embed their start-up skills.

Government ‘tech wreck’ inquiry shows why it must get out of the way of innovators

The litany of government-led IT disasters, which will now be the subject of a Parliamentary “tech wreck” review , points to a larger truth: central state planning is not the way to deliver innovation.

If the government wants to pave the way for innovation that will change our lives, it must stop dreaming up big schemes and start opening itself up to smaller private sector initiatives at state and especially local levels.

Murdoch-backed start-up Unlockd lets Wesfarmers offer Flybuys for looking at ads

The 8 million members of Wesfarmers’ Flybuys loyalty scheme will be able to earn points without buying anything from Tuesday, after the company did a deal with fast-growing Lachlan Murdoch-backed advertising tech start-up Unlockd to use its technology.

Flybuys members who sign up to the new Unlock Rewards app will earn 1000 Flybuys points every month in return for viewing an advertisement every third time they unlock their Android smartphone. The points earned would be the equivalent of spending $1000 in Coles, Target, Bunnings or another Wesfarmers subsidiary.

IT woes continue as tech problems strike again at ATO

Tax Office staff have struggled with IT problems that struck the agency with slow internet and email, as tech woes continue to hobble it in the peak tax return season.

The Australian Taxation Office told staff on Monday that slowness and “intermittent issues” were plaguing its internal systems but had left the website unscathed for users lodging their tax returns.

‘Small Business White Paper Consultation’, Address to the Institute of Public Accountants, Wagga Wagga | The Hon Michael McCormack MP

Thanks very much Andrew (Conway, CEO Institute of Public Accountants). I very much appreciate that. I acknowledge Greg Conkey, the Mayor of Wagga Wagga and Anabel Williams and Marney Johnstone from the Wagga Wagga Business Chamber.

It’s sensational to be here, not least because it’s in my hometown. But also because we have – as a Government – been collecting as much information as we can to make it easier and better for small business.

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

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