Pulse Alert – News Pulse for December 5, 2018

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

Xero hits 1 million ANZ subscribers as its accounting platform play takes shape

Listed cloud accounting software provider Xero has hit its next major milestone, surpassing one million subscribers in Australia and New Zealand, but its chief executive said it was already preparing for a time when subscriber growth plateaus in the region.

Speaking to The Australian Financial Review Xero chief executive Steve Vamos said the business was increasingly investing in its new platform revenues division, which includes products such as payroll, expenses and its $94 million acquisition Hubdoc . This is in anticipation of Australian cloud accounting software penetration climbing above 50 per cent and slowing.

Josh Frydenberg says ‘open banking’ will let customers navigate complexity

Treasurer Josh FrydenbergThe Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia from 21.9.15 says growing complexity in financial services has made it tough for customers to compare prices and products but “open banking” will help overcome this by ensuring banks present information in a standardised, simpler way under a policy that aims to facilitate account switching and stir competition.

With the government planning to introduce its Consumer Data Right law into Parliament on Thursday, Mr Frydenberg told The Australian Financial Review technology was advancing rapidly over the banking sector and he wants open banking, the first industry application of the new right, to encourage fintech innovation and allow customers to “harness their data for their own benefit”.

“Big shoes to fill”: Victorian startup industry reacts to new Innovation Minister

Labour’s landslide victory in the Victorian state elections last week saw a shake-up in Premier Daniel Andrews’ cabinet, including an historic 50/50 gender split, but also heralding the end of the tenure of Philip Dalidakis as Minister for small business and innovation.

Dalidakis was popular on the Victorian startup scene, credited as instrumental in the launch of LaunchVic, the state’s startup agency, and the Goods Shed North innovation hub.

Xero Launches Open Banking API to Bring Financial Data to Businesses

Xero , the small business platform, recently announced the coming launch of its open banking API, aimed at enabling banks, fintechs and financial institutions to offer their customers faster access to bank feeds.

The API, available soon, lets banks integrate with Xero’s platform and as a result, data can be imported via direct bank feeds, allowing for near real-time reconciliation in Xero. This direct access to the feeds, via the API, will allow small businesses to have up-to-date data without requiring major reworking by accountants.

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