News Pulse for September 6, 2017

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

Businesses can no longer think of cybersecurity as just a ‘tech problem’

Not too long ago, cyber security was an afterthought, a software installation that was often left to expire, or run in the background only to pop-up at inconvenient times.

But recent high profile attacks – and the very real world consequences that come with them – have demanded the attention of everyone from large enterprise CEOs to small business owners, and the cybersecurity industry has capitalised on the opportunity.

In Australia, 80% of CEOs rate cyber security as a top investment priority and place it amongst the top five risk areas for their business, according to the latest KPMG CEO Outlook survey.

You can’t trust Labor with small business | The Hon Michael McCormack MP

THERE has never been a better time to do business in Australia, according to Small Business Minister Michael McCormack.

The Minister was buoyed by findings in today’s release of part two of the National Australia Bank (NAB) whitepaper, Moments that Matter: Understanding Australian SMEs. The paper reveals SMEs are confident about the future of their business with 71 per cent believing Australia is a great place to have a business and be successful.

Recognising an ever-growing need

As Australian businesses grapple with rapidly changing market conditions and the arrival of new competitors, increasing numbers are pushing innovation higher up their priority lists.

Many are reluctantly realising that taking a business-as-usual approach is no longer effective and consequently are searching for ways in which to make their operations more competitive.

Vodafone ready with 16 new ReadyApps for SME customers

Extending its SME offering with new ReadyApps, Vodafone says it’s offering “Personalised service, flexible plans and total communications solutions for Australian small businesses.”

Vodafone has unveiled a new suite of ReadyApps to “help customers navigate the unique and complex challenges faced by small to medium businesses.”

16 new apps have been added, with Vodafone unleashing a “multi-million dollar marketing campaign” to reinforce the telco’s “commitment to providing the tools and support to help small businesses succeed.”

Slingshot launching retail accelerator ahead of Amazon’s arrival: “It is no coincidence”

Ahead of Amazon’s arrival in Australia, corporate accelerator Slinghot and retail network NORA have partnered to launch Australia’s first retail tech accelerator.

According to Slingshot CEO Karen Lawson, the 12-week ‘ RetailTech ’ program will assist a consortium of four large-scale retail companies (including logistics and payments businesses) to ‘fast-track’ the development of new revenue streams, processes and business models by enabling them to collaborate with a cohort of 10 to 12 ‘agile and highly-disruptive’ start-ups and scale-ups and “tap into cutting-edge technologies and ideas”. She added, “Not only will this give consortium members a competitive edge, it will also equip them with an ongoing strategy for R&D.

Reducing barriers to new challenger banks help improve access to finance for SMEs

Government moves to reduce regulatory barriers to challenger banks entering the market should improve access to finance for small business, according to Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

The Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, welcomed news that the Treasury is consulting on proposed changes to the Banking Act, which would remove restrictions on the use of the term ‘bank’.

Press Release: FlashFX first off the block to use blockchain for international money transfers and launch into Asia

Foreign exchange digital currency provider, FlashFX, announces it is the first Australian company to receive an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) from Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. to transfer money internationally using blockchain technology.

The FlashFX infrastructure is built on the Ripple distributed ledger technology using their real time currency settlement and payment network.

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