News Pulse for September 10, 2018

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

Why SMBs are under pressure to comply with data breach laws

Small and medium sized organisations are increasingly under pressure to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme, which came into effect in February of this year. This comes as a surprise to businesses with a turnover of less than $3 million, as the legislation applies to organisations with a higher turnover that are subject to the Privacy Act.

The reason that SMBs are being asked to comply with the NDB scheme, an amendment to the Privacy Act 1988 , is because of their supplier relationships with larger companies. The bigger organisations that are subject to the NDB are beginning to realise that small suppliers are often the weakest link in their security chain. Hackers often target small companies knowing that their information security practices usually don’t meet the standards that large companies have put in place.

Xero to launch open banking API

Small business cloud accounting platform Xero has announced the imminent release of an open banking API.

The full featured API – Xero’s first – will allow banks, fintechs, and financial institutions to integrate with the platform “with minimal development” the company said.

“As a result, data can be imported via direct bank feeds, allowing for near real-time reconciliation in Xero,” it added.

Xero launches open API for banks to integrate at ‘Coachella for accountants’

Cloud accounting company Xero is anticipating an influx of fintech and banking partnerships, with the company launching an open-banking API at its annual Xerocon conference on Thursday.

The feature, which will reduce the time of a banking integration from four to 12 weeks to just two days in some cases, was one of about half-a-dozen products announced by the business at Xerocon.

Calls for banking code to be industry-wide

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) is urging for the new code of practice to be adopted across the entire industry.

Recently approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au), the new Banking Code of Practice standards are currently only a requirement of ABA members.

Xero to hero: Accounting platform finds its feet as Rod Drury steps back

At Xero’s annual conference in Brisbane last week, dubbed by the cloud accounting platform as “Coachella for accountants”, founder Rod Drury was very much in the background.

Drury couldn’t be spotted at the ping-pong tables or mini-golf and left the interviews conducted astride giant pink inflatable flamingoes in a ball pit to other team members.

Irish fintech Priviti launches in Sydney as Australia prepares for Open Banking and the Consumer Data Right

Its extensive experience with global data protection laws such as PSD2 and GDPR means Priviti has seen the paradigm shift in the way financial organisations and individuals view their data, and how their systems need to change, explains  Dermot McCann, Priviti’s Head of APAC . “Every day a bank is potentially engaging in new activities that could impair their compliance, particularly now in this new era of Australian Open Banking. I am delighted to launch Priviti into Australia as a means to obtain and maintain an inventory of granular consents, that gives an organisation the tools and ability to innovate that can both keep the customer at the heart of its innovation and the regulatory teams happy – no mean feat.”

The Open Banking legislation requires Australia’s major banks to make data available on credit and debit card, deposit and transaction accounts available by 1 July 2019 and mortgages by 1 February 2020. In addition, the legislated  Consumer Data Right  will give Australians greater control over their data and enable them to choose to share their data with trusted recipients for purposes they have authorised.

Raising the bar for SME lending

Australian Broker examines the benefits of the new Code of Lending for Australia’s 2.1m SMEs

For those who work in the finance industry, there appears to be no shortage of lenders and loans in the marketplace. However, for those running Australia’s 2.1 million small and medium-sized enterprises, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees.

With the intention of addressing this, in July six fintechs signed the Code of Lending Practice, a document designed to bring transparency and clarity to the online balance sheet lending space.

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

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