News Pulse for October 18, 2018

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

Afterpay shares plunge on ‘buy now, pay later’ crackdown fears

Afterpay shares have plunged following news a Senate inquiry will examine “debt vultures”, payday lenders, lease-to-buy schemes and ‘buy now, pay later’ providers not covered by the banking royal commission.

The steep share price slide began shortly after 3:00pm AEDT as the Senate agreed to the motion by Labor’s Jenny McAllister to refer the inquiry to the economics committee.

Intuit adds AI, enterprise features to QuickBooks online

Intuit is aiming for the mid-market with an extension of its QuickBooks Online financial management tool that it hopes will let it take business away from the likes of Microsoft, Sage and Oracle.

It’s designed to help QuickBooks customers delay the move to a full-fledged ERP system — and perhaps even to woo a few beginning ERP users back to something simpler.

Nine to challenge Facebook, Google for small business ads

Nine Entertainment is hoping to lure small and medium businesses away from advertising with Facebook and Google, announcing a new platform to open up the free-to-air network to a $600 million sector of video marketing.

The mobile platform called 9Voyager allows businesses to upload video creative, or request help from Nine’s production team, and buy television advertising spots remotely. The app operates through 9Galaxy, a platform launched last year, that automates buying advertisements and uses data to predict audience numbers.

Benefits of tax cut still unproven

When Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 says “small business is the hope of the side”, he means that it will fulfil the nation’s aspirations of greater prosperity, but the Prime Minister could equally be referring to the Coali­tion’s electoral prospects.

Eminent former Treasury official Ed Visbord, who died a few months ago, maintained that politicians kept a sign on the back of their office door declaring “small business is good politics”.

New ‘sandbox’ to help fintechs compete for real-time payments

Start-ups seeking to develop services for the new, real-time payments system will be able to test their capabilities via a new “sandbox” created by its governing body NPP Australia and Swift, the network of global banks that helped build the infrastructure.

The new test environment – which will allow connections with the “new payments platform” (NPP) via “application programming interfaces” (APIs) – comes after criticism from the Productivity Commission in August that access to the big bank-built system is inadequate.

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