Pulse Alert – News Pulse for January 14, 2019

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

Warnings to SMEs seeking finance

An insolvency firm is warning brokers that small business owners looking for finance are becoming more and more likely to break the law.

The group, Jirsch Sutherland, said with the property downturn and possible negative gearing changes, directors need to be protected by Safe Harbour regulations.

Australia’s top finance apps reveal a changing market

Neobanks, instant payment apps and digital payment offerings are rising in the app store and in some cases, taking the rankings of big bank incumbents. Looking at top finance apps in the iTunes app store and Google Play stores, Australia’s choices for apps to manage their money show they do not shy away from new fintech offerings.

The app store rankings have been followed closely by new market entrants on social media, with ranking changes celebrated. Co-founder of neobank Up Dom Pym posted the following tweet on 6 January 2019 as the bank’s app climbed the “top” finance rankings in iTunes.

Directors may unwittingly be breaking the law

Business leaders may increasingly find themselves falling afoul of the law, with an insolvency specialist warning that a looming credit squeeze could see the volume of such cases increase rapidly.

Ginette Muller (pictured), of insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland, said that the property downturn and banking royal commission are weighing heavily on banks and lenders, which are in turn tightening the screws on borrowers.

Open banking should be extended to super sector: Productivity Commission

A landmark report into superannuation in Australia has called for the Consumer Data Right to be extended to the sector to allow funds to better harness technology and serve consumers. The Consumer Data Right essentially gives consumers control over the data that institutions and companies hold over them. By being able to choose to share their data, consumers can benefit from more transparent information about pricing and be able to compare products more easily. This right has currently been extended to the financial sector in the form of Open Banking , due to come into effect on 1 July 2019.

According to the report , “There is much scope for super funds to better harness data and technology to provide advice (including digital advice) and to design super and insurance products. This includes collecting and analysing more data about their members, as well as drawing on cost-effective imputed data that are not fund specific.”

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