News Pulse for December 14, 2017

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

Digital bank plugs into funds

​Xinja, the nation’s first “neobank” that’s 100 per cent digital and designed for the mobile market, has closed a $5 million funding round ahead of the scheduled launch of its first mortgage product in March next year.

Half the money in the series B round came from existing shareholders, with the rest subscribed by high net-worth individuals, a family office and venture capital outfits.

RBA governor Philip Lowe says bitcoin is a ‘speculative mania’

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said bitcoin was a “speculative mania” that was unlikely to become an everyday method for making payments, although it would be attractive to criminals.

In a rare speech on banking technology on Wednesday, Dr Lowe launched an attack on bitcoin , whose price has soared dramatically in recent months and is currently trading above $US17,000 as speculators have piled in to the cryptocurrency.

‘There’s still no national standard on expiry dates’

SHOPPERS are being warned to keep an eye on gift card expiry dates this Christmas despite moves to force retailers to extend minimum limits.

Last month, the NSW government introduced a minimum three-year expiry date, sparking angry reaction from retail groups and a warning from RedBalloon founder Naomi Simson that it could harm small business.

NAB ramps up unsecured small business lending push

National Australia Bank is targeting small business owners who are seeking a capital injection without putting their home on the line, doubling a credit limit for online unsecured business lending.

Amid concerns from small businesses and central bankers about small companies’ access to finance, NAB says it will start putting a greater emphasis on the strength of a business, rather than the security provided, when assessing some small business loans.

RBA raises concerns on small business lending

A senior Reserve Bank official has suggested the big banks could be charging too much for small business loans and their insistence that borrowers pledge property as security is stifling entrepreneurialism.

The RBAReserve Bank of Australia’s assistant governor for financial markets Chris Kent said ongoing discussions with small businesses around the country revealed those in a start-up or expansion phase “continue to find it challenging to obtain external finance”.

ASX decision will spur corporates to explore blockchain applications: FinTech Australia

The decision by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to use distributed ledger technology for its settlement and clearing system for equities transactions has been welcomed by industry association FinTech Australia.

Distributed ledger technology developed by Digital Asset will replace CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregister System), which ASX currently uses to record shareholdings and manage the clearing and settlement of equity transactions.

Jobs boost as NAB ramps up investment in innovaton hub

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is doubling its investment in its innovation hub in 2018 alongside what it says is a 75% increase in the NAB Labs workforce.

NAB says the investment is part of its record $4.5 billion investment into the bank to accelerate the strategy with a heavy focus on technology and digital priorities over the next three years.

Aussie fintech Invoice2go​ ​reaches​ ​$2 Billion​ ​milestone,​ ​launches​ ​tap​ ​and​ ​go​ ​payment

nvoice2go​ recently launched a new tap and go payments feature with ​PayPal Here, enabling Australia’s smallest businesses to be paid in person, wherever they are. The new product comes at a time as the company flies past a major milestone. Customers have now sent more than $2 Billion worth of invoices through the app.

A fairly significant $400 Million of those invoices were sent here in Australia. This figure has doubled in just​ ​2​ ​years​ ​since​ ​the​ ​company​ ​announced​ ​it​ ​had​ ​reached​ ​$1bn​ ​in​ ​invoices​ ​sent​ ​in​ ​2015.

BlueChilli becomes first ESIC-eligible accelerator in Australia to improve access to funding for early-stage startups

One of Australia’s largest and most prominent startup accelerators BlueChilli has become the first accelerator to gain Early Stage Investment Company (ESIC) eligibility through a private ruling from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office).

ADVERTISINGnnReplaynnLearn morennThis means all startups coming through the accelerator will be eligible for ESIC status and will be able to receive the status provided they also raise over $50,000. Investors in ESIC startups receive an immediate deduction equal to 20% of their investment and are also exempt from capital gains tax, provided they sell their shares within 10 years.

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


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.