News Pulse for November 21, 2017

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

Probe comes with bite

Lawyers have said a commission of inquiry into the banks could be just as powerful as a royal commission if the terms of reference are broad enough.

Momentum for an inquiry has built after Queensland LNP senator Barry O’Sullivan said as many as four Coalition MPs could provide the votes necessary for a commission of inquiry into misconduct in the banking sector.

Airbnb denies contributing to housing affordability problems

Airbnb denies worsening housing affordability by soaking up residential properties for tourist accommodation, and its co-founder has said governments need to accept that his company’s business model is here to stay.

The home sharing website’s co-founder Joe Gebbia is visiting Australia, in part to try and smooth regulatory hurdles that have threatened to stifle the company’s growth in Australia.

Australia should phase out stamp duty and cut corporate taxes: IMF

Australia should slash corporate and individual tax rates, and impose higher taxes on land and consumption, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended.

“Significant corporate income tax reductions in other large advanced economies”, namely the United States, is one factor which will have “capital flow implications” for Australia, according to the IMF.

Identity verification is vital to modern businesses: get the tools to verify your customers identification quickly and efficiently

Since the internet revolution, the way we do business has changed beyond recognition. Now we are less likely to have direct contact with clients and customers and face-to-face confirmation that they are who they say they are is no longer an option. This has led to a significant rise in internet fraud, which costs businesses billions of dollars in lost revenues every year. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business or an international conglomerate, verification of the people you transact with is essential to protect your bottom line.

CBA turns to caps in crime fight

Commonwealth Bank is starting to emerge from its anti-money laundering nightmare, ditching its controversial, $20,000 limit on deposit transactions in favour of a daily limit for each cardholder.

While the limit stays at $20,000, the new policy — to be introduced tomorrow and a first among the major banks — helps address the problem of criminal networks using smart ATMs to make multiple cash deposits.

Mark Bouris will head the Turnbull government’s small business taskforce on going digital

The federal government’s new Small Business Digital Taskforce will be headed by entrepreneur Mark Bouris, the founder of Wizard Home Loans, a former host of the television show The Apprentice and the current chairman of Yellow Brick Road.

The taskforce will talk to small business owners about the benefits of adopting digital technologies to operate more efficiently.

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