News Pulse for November 2, 2017

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

Big banks to share credit data

Borrowers can expect better rates on loans and cheaper financial products as Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 forces the big four banks to share credit history data with start-ups that can offer customers better deals to “undercut the major lenders”.

It’s the latest in a long series of policies from the Turnbull government aimed at chipping away at the big four bank oligopoly, as the government continues to toughen its clampdown on the banking sector amid an escalating likelihood of a Labor and Greens-led push to launch a royal commission into the financial services sector.

Government launches inquiry into online retail

You can have your say on the effects that global competitors have on Australian retailers and the economy in general.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources has launched an inquiry into the impact of overseas etailers and other online services on Australian businesses.

It will examine the effects of global internet-based competition on the broader Australian economy, as well as on the employment levels and conditions for those in retail and small business sectors.

Plan to get ‘better deal’ from banks

Australia’s major banks will be forced to share more detailed credit data about millions of customers, a move the government says will result in better deals on loans and greater competition in banking.

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 will on Thursday announce plans to mandate a system known as “comprehensive credit reporting” from the middle of next year, and the new requirements will apply to the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank.

Amazon will lift our retail game

As department store Myer yesterday abandoned its ambitious sales targets in the face of competition, speakers at The Australian Financial Review Retail Summit rightly concluded that this month’s arrival of retail behemoth Amazon is to be embraced as much as feared. Traditionally protected from foreign competition, Australia’s once-proud department stores have been well and truly disintermediated by lower cost global online shopping. Now even online disruptors face being undercut by the arrival of a global shopping platform that has made founder Jeff Bezos the world’s richest person. Amazon’s R&D budget alone is over four times the revenue of an earlier Australian disruptor, JB Hi-Fi. It is both a platform marketplace for others and a retailer in its own right. And its soaring share price allows it to attract the capital it needs to unprofitably undercut incumbents in whatever market it enters.

“What goes around comes around”: Small businesses reinvesting in local communities

For every dollar spent at a small business in Australia, 42 cents, on average, is reinvested back into their local community, according to a research report released by American Express to kick-start its month-long Shop Small campaign

Running throughout November, the national campaign encourages the business community as well as governments and consumers to support small businesses.

Amazon will face big challenges in Australia

The key message from day one of The Australian Financial Review Retail Summit was that retailers should not live in fear of the imminent arrival of the Amazon online selling machine .

While it is true that Amazon has been rightly blamed for the 21 per cent reduction in department stores in the United States over the past five years, there is an emerging consensus that it will not wreck havoc in Australia.

Data retention funding for telcos to be scrutinised

A government grants scheme to help telcos defray the capital costs of implementing the mandatory data retention regime will face scrutiny from the Australian National Audit Office.

The ANAO says it will assess the design process for the grants scheme as well as whether sound performance monitoring, reporting, evaluation and assurance arrangements were put in place.

An Australian fintech is helping banks fight off eBay and PayPal

Trade Ledger, a tech startup which rethinks the way lenders assess cash flow solutions for high-growth companies that struggle to find credit, is set help banks fight off internet giants such as eBay and PayPal.

The fintech, based in Sydney’s Stone & Chalk, is out to challenge a financial model that has been around for hundreds of years – that a business credit application is assessed by looking at the assets held by the applicant.

Draft legislation to boost fintech startup investment released for comment by treasurer

The Turnbull Government has drafted legislative reforms to support investment in innovative fintech companies by venture capital and angel investors, Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 has announced.

Released yesterday for a public consultation period ending Friday, 10 November, the exposure draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. #) Bill 2017 proposes amendments to the Tax Incentive for Early Stage (angel) Investors as well as the Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP) and Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) regimes.

NEO-BANKS ARE COMING: Australia must pounce now, says founder of UK’s Atom Bank

The founder of UK startup Ato Australian Taxation Officem Bank says Australia is ready for a rise in new fintechs that will challenge the dominance of CBA, Westpac, ANZ and NAB.

Anthony Thomson, in Melbourne this week for the Intersekt festival, said there is a misconception in Australia that the local fintech scene significantly lags behind places like the UK.

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