News Pulse for April 18, 2018

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

Let’s Talk… Innovation

Customer obsession and innovation are “very much on a continuum”, Russ Grandinetti – Amazon’s Senior Vice President, International Consumer – told the audience at Amazon Innovation Day in Sydney, last week.

Grandinetti, who was amongst Amazon’s first 2000 hires and sits inside its top 40 employees in terms of tenure, spoke of the need for innovation to “start with what matters for customers”. Relevantly, he said a crucial part of Amazon’s innovation process has been “working backwards from what customers demand” (as opposed to starting by saying ‘what can I do with the skills I have?’) and delighting customers in ways they don’t yet know how to articulate. He explained, “customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied – even when they don’t know it, they want something better”.

ANZ Bank predicts first look at open banking laws around June

ANZ Bank is expecting to see open banking legislation introduced to parliament around June of this year.

Chief data officer Emma Gray told the bank’s own podcast that ANZ was already preparing for the arrival of the laws, though exact details of what they would contain is still the subject of discussions with government.

Government urged to collect more tax to make Australia a fairer place

Australians need to pay more taxes to “fund the health, education and transport services we need”.

That’s the call from Paul Keating’s former Cabinet secretary Michael Keating, who has backed an open letter on taxation reform which has been sent to Prime Minister Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15 from a left-leaning think tank.

Ride-sharing startup Taxify successfully lures Aussie customers, labels Melbourne launch the “most successful we’ve seen”

With services now live in Sydney and Melbourne , the Estonian-founded startup says it has lured in more than 350,000 riders over its first three-and-a-half months of operations after its official launch in December last year. This growth is impressive especially considering the company missed its self-imposed deadline for launching in Melbourne before Christmas

Consultation on regulations to protect client money in the financial sector | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government has today released exposure draft regulations (the Regulations) to support and improve the powers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au) to enforce the new client money regime which commenced on 4 April 2018.

“The Turnbull Government has delivered better protections for client monies held in relation to over-the-counter derivatives products, ensuring that consumers are better protected when licensees become insolvent, and enhancing trust and confidence in the financial sector,” said the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP.

The draft regulations released today improve ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au’s powers to enforce the Client Money Reporting Rules 2017 (the Rules).

Unlockd confident in Google clash

Unlockd co-founder Matt Berriman is confident the Australian start-up can come out on top in its impending stoush with ­Google.

Google has threatened to remove Unlockd’s app from its Google Play store and disable advertising content from its AdMob marketplace on it.

Mr Berriman told The Australian the start-up had a solid case against the tech giant and that Google’s behaviour was clearly anti-competitive.

Open banking and digital identity

Consumer interest in understanding their relationship with their financial services provider has never been higher. Yet at present, there is a fundamental disconnect between what consumers can access in terms of the data that banks hold about them and what they can do with it.

Open banking is set to turn the relationship between providers and their customers on its head, and is set to have ramifications for other customer-service-based industries such as telecommunications and utilities.

Fintechs hit back on call for open banking delay

The fintech industry has hit back at the Australian Banking Association’s suggestion that lending products and credit cards be held back from the first phase of “open banking”, arguing this is merely a delaying tactic to protect their most lucrative offerings.

The government’s response to a recent report on “open banking” by King & Wood Mallesons partner Scott Farrell will be included in the federal budget.

Fintech adoption speeds up in Australia

Australia is growing faster than most of the global markets and is now outplacing the US in terms of fintech adoption, says Noah Breslow, the chief executive of US online SME lending company OnDeck Capital , which has delivered more than $US8 billion in loans to 80,000 small businesses globally.

He told the third AltFi Australasia Summit in Sydney on Monday that Australia is now the second-largest alternative finance market in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fintechs urges govt to ignore open banking distractions

FinTech Australia is calling on the government to stand up to banks when it comes to the planned introduction of open banking.

Fintech companies, which stand to benefit from customers having greater control over their data and greater mobility within the finance sector, want the government to reject overtures made by banks through the Australian Banking Association (ABA).

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

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