News Pulse for April 24, 2018

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

Ten Australian blockchain companies raising millions and disrupting industries

Today blockchain technology is widely regarded as one of the more exciting areas of breaking edge tech, but just 12 months ago it had many in the local tech scene uninformed, dubious, or both.

And while many still are (especially dubious), blockchain tech has skyrocketed to one of the most discussed, developed, and invested in technologies, with hype at times reaching fever-pitch levels as companies eagerly implement the tech in places it might not even be needed.

Government pressures Payments NZ to have open banking technology and standards ready to go by the end of the year; says more competition will see banks and card companies lower merchant fees

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi wants to see “more momentum” from Payments NZ as it moves to pave the way for open banking.

Speaking to , Faafoi says he’s “happy” with the work the bank-owned organisation has done; piloting a piece of technology that banks and third parties can use to connect to their systems, and starting work creating standards around the use of this technology.

Uber Eats to face ACCC probe over restaurant contracts

Australia’s competition regulator has signalled that it plans to investigate Uber’s allegedly unfair contracts with restaurant owners who have signed up to its Uber Eats delivery app.

The ABC has received complaints from restaurant owners who allege their contracts with Uber are unfair and impose onerous obligations on them.

Canva takes on PowerPoint with acquisition of Zeetings

The country’s newest tech unicorn Canva has made its first acquisition, buying Sydney-based interactive presentation software company Zeetings, in a move that sees the start-up expand into presentation designs.

The purchase could signal the start of an acquisition spree for the company, which has raised $US80 million ($104 million) from investors such as Blackbird Ventures, San Francisco’s Felicis Ventures and even Hollywood stars Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, since it was founded six years ago.

Uber Eats to be investigated after My Business expose

Two weeks after My Business exposed concerns about the legality of Uber Eats’ contract terms with restaurants, the ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. has announced it will formally investigate the company.

According to the ABC, ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. chair Rod Sims told a business breakfast today that “we’ll certainly have a look” at Uber Eats, noting three possible areas where the company may have failed its compliance requirements.

Mid-sized firms want tax cut

The majority of mid-market companies believe that business tax cuts should be prioritised over individual ones in the May budget.

According to a new report by KPMG, 52 per cent of mid-market companies want business tax cuts and almost half indicated that companies with a turnover of up to $100 million would benefit from a reduction in corporate taxes.

Give the banks’ corporate tax cuts to victims: Hanson

Pauline Hanson is demanding the money from corporate tax cuts due to the big banks be set aside for victims of their misconduct.

The One Nation leader wants the banks to lose the tax relief following their “inexcusable” behaviour exposed at the financial services royal commission.

“What the hell is going on?”: ATO glitch delays 19,000 small business super payments

Businesses have been left scratching their heads after a glitch with the new Small Business Superannuation Clearing House saw delays in processing the super payments for tens of thousands of employees this month.

The platform is used by small business employers to lodge superannuation payments for workers and in February, its management was transferred from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office).

Non-bank business lenders growing in popularity amongst SMEs

There is no doubt the big banks remain major players in the SME lending market however, there has been a steady rise in the number of non-bank lenders offering fast and flexible lending options in this space. They are able to move much faster than the traditional banker with their unique ‘fintech’ approach, giving small business owners across Australia alternative options when seeking business funding.

Going hand-in-hand with this preference for more flexible finance solutions amongst SMEs is the demand for unsecured lending options. Business owners are demonstrating they understand the need to pay a small premium in return for fast, flexible finance options which do not require them to place the family home up as security.

Corporate tax cuts ‘will be dumped’, predicts tax expert

Controversial tax cuts for larger businesses are likely to be dumped in the upcoming federal budget, a prominent tax specialist has predicted, which could have significant ramifications for SME tax rates.

Mark Chapman, director of tax communications at H&R Block and former senior director at the ATO Australian Taxation Office, told My Business that tax cuts over and above those already in place for small businesses have become too “politically sensitive” to be included in the May 8 Budget, particularly given that this is likely to be the last Budget before the next election.

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