News Pulse for May 17, 2018

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

Cashless, contactless, effortless – The future of brick and mortar retail

Ben Pfisterer is the Australian country manager for Square, the retail payments tech developer. After previous roles working in business development, strategy and innovation at NAB and Visa, he started at Square in 2014 and was part of its Australian launch in early 2016.

Here he speaks with Marketing about changes in bricks and mortar retail, the tech developments that are letting small businesses access the information big businesses have had for decades and what new payment technologies will mean for the future of cash.

Australian workers continue to see wage growth mired near historic lows

Australian workers are continuing to see little improvement in their pay packets, with wages growing only 0.5 per cent in the first three months of the year.

On seasonally adjusted basis, the Wage Price Index is up only 2.1 per cent over the year, with private sector workers’ wages up 1.9 per cent, outpaced by a 2.3 per cent increase in pay for the public sector.

Business loans growth to outpace mortgages, NAB says

Business loans are likely to grow more quickly than lending for residential property, in a changing of the guard that would see banks compete more fiercely for business customers, National Australia Bank executive Anthony Healy says.

As the slowing housing market dampens banks’ outlook, the chief customer officer for NAB’s business and private banking arm highlighted indicators that suggest the home loan market’s growth rate could be overtaken by the growth in loans to business.

Hayne could unearth more bombs

After his kind offer to help AMP renew its board, perhaps with a little more zeal than the company anticipated, financial services royal commissioner Ken Hayne now turns his attention to bank lending to the small- and medium-sized business sector.

The show kicks off on Monday and continues until the close of business on Friday, June 1.

A $4 billion opportunity: Why Victoria’s (and Australia’s) economic future depends on startups

Four billion dollars. That’s how much economic value could be created by the startup ecosystem in Victoria over the next several years.

This estimate comes from a new  report , commissioned by government body LaunchVic and published by Startup Genome, on the present and future of the startup ecosystem in Melbourne.

Why gender equality in tech is everybody’s issue – MYOB

I’ve lived most of my business life like many men: believing gender equality in tech is not my issue.

But it’s  everybody’s issue.

When it comes to making a difference to gender equality in tech, men tend to come up with excuses on why they shouldn’t be involved.

Open banking already changing the UK market

The launch of “open banking” in Britain earlier this year is prompting the incumbent banks to develop new smartphone apps that give customers a holistic view of their finances.

But they face newfound competition from fintechs, telcos and e-commerce giants who see the data-sharing regime as a way of becoming dominant financial services providers in the digital economy.

Watchdog to investigate ATO’s debt-collection tactics

The tax office’s alleged inappropriate use of debt recovery tactics will be the subject of a new investigation by watchdog Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi.

The investigation follows the joint Fairfax Media-Four Corners investigation into the Australian Taxation Office which uncovered allegations by ATO Australian Taxation Office whistleblower Richard Boyle that staff in the Adelaide office were “quite clearly and categorically to start issuing standard garnishees on every case” – which was not in sync with reasonable use of the debt collection tool.

Inspector General of Taxation launches review of ATO garnishee notices: “We want to know about people’s experiences”

The Inspector-General of Taxation has launched a review into how the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) issues garnishee notices after a Four Corners and Fairfax investigation last month suggested tax office staff were being directed to issue garnishee arrangements to small businesses as “standard” practice.

Inspector-General Ali Noroozi tells SmartCompany his office will be seeking “a complete picture” of how the ATO Australian Taxation Office uses its garnishee powers to take control of the bank accounts of individuals and businesses in order to recover tax debts.

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