News Pulse for May 15, 2018

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

This startup wants to ensure gig workers don’t lose out on employee benefits

The way we work is changing with the rise of the technology-fuelled gig economy and flexible side hustles.

Despite this change, Australians who are employed on a casual basis often miss out on traditional work benefits.

Smaller lenders prospering

The focus of the royal commission has been fixed on Australia’s big banks, but in the background the nation’s smaller lenders have been busy.

Prospa’s brokers at UBS and Macquarie are at action stations right now in preparation for the bookbuild that will take place on Thursday.

Boosted fintech opportunities for investors

With the banks taking a battering at the Hayne royal commission , a raft of new fintech or alternative lenders is looking to take advantage of a more competitive playing field..

For generations, risk-averse banks have been able to pick and choose to which consumers and small businesses they were willing to extend credit and at what price. But things are beginning to change.

Three disruptive forces driving Aussie neobanks like volt, as fintech startups get serious

There are hundreds of fintechs offering financial services, from budgeting tools to financial advice to loans, but it wasn’t until last week that a start-up was authorised in Australia to offer the product sitting at the heart of banking – deposits.

In a significant milestone for the local fintech scene, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority said last week volt bank would become the first recipient of a “restricted license” under its new regime, created after the federal government indicated it wants to see more competition in banking.

Digital rights report calls for data retention rollback, privacy reform

A new report on the state of digital rights in Australia has called for the repeal of the country’s mandatory data retention legislation and new laws to protect individuals’ privacy.

The publication of the State of Digital rights report was coordinated by Digital Rights Watch and endorsed by a range of human rights organisations, including the Australian Privacy Foundation, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, Amnesty International Australia, the Human Rights Law Centre, Liberty Victoria, the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, and Save the Children Australia.

The year of taxing dangerously

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 plans to make being a director of a company — particularly an entrepreneurial private company — a lot more dangerous. In short, if a company is more than three months behind in its GST then directors, unless they are very careful, will be personally liable for the debt.

In effect, they are close to personally guaranteeing an amount equal to 10 per cent of a company’s turnover for at least a quarter and perhaps longer.

Open banking: Lessons from UK

While the government’s unveiling of a framework and timeline for an opening scheme marked an important milestone, the hard work is still to come, UK Banking Industry head of technology Chris Michael said.

Mr Michael has led the implementation of open banking in the UK, which went live in January, and said there are many lessons for Australia from this process.

Tech-led reform should be keeping the Big Four bank bosses awake at night

Australia’s big four banks are under increasing scrutiny from regulators and customers, and risk falling behind some of their global peers in the innovation stakes if they don’t act fast.

Roy Morgan research from 2017 found that only 33 per cent of Australians rank the ethics of bankers as “very high” or “high”. They found this distrust is especially prevalent with younger people, many of whom loathe the current setup of banking in Australia.

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