A practical guide to tiered accreditation

As the Consumer Data Right entered its second year, Treasury published its highly anticipated proposed v3 rules amendments. It includes what has come to be known as tiered accreditation – new models to access CDR data in addition to the existing unrestricted Accredited Data Recipient model.

These rules are meant to drive adoption by creating a thriving ecosystem of CDR participants, delivering valuable use cases to consumers and businesses. They offer lower barriers to entry, limited access models and ways to share liability and responsibilities between participants.

The proposed models include:

  1. Trusted Advisor
  2. Sponsorship model
  3. CDR insights
  4. Representative model
  5. Collecting Outsourced Service Providers (COSP)

With 5 new models to get access to CDR data (plus the existing one), it can be difficult to figure out what’s right for you.

Download the guide here.

MoneyWorks – the latest accounting platform to integrate e-Invoicing

E-Invoicing is gaining traction in Australia. The proof is by the uptake of cloud accounting software providers who are integrating this functionality into their platforms. 

MoneyWorks is the latest software solution to add e-Invoicing as a standard to their capabilities. They have partnered with Link4, a Peppol accredited Access Point provider, to enable their users to send and receive e-invoices through the MoneyWorks platform. 

In 2020, the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) mandated e-Invoicing for government departments and agencies. The May budget also included $15.3 million towards increasing the adoption of e-Invoicing within Australia. Although e-Invoicing is not yet mandated for Australian businesses, cloud accounting firms have taken notice. They’re realising the benefits that e-Invoicing has for their clients, and how providing this service through their platform creates a seamless user experience. 

“E-Invoicing is now being provided as standard by cloud accounting companies,” says Robin Sands, CEO of Link4. “Businesses don’t have to stop and think about it – it just happens seamlessly from within their accounting system allowing even the smallest of businesses to experience the benefits of e-Invoicing.” 

Mandatory adoption of e-Invoicing is on the horizon, and MoneyWorks are already allowing their users to connect to the Peppol network starting from $0/month. “The benefits that e-Invoicing adoption brings are significant,” says Robin. “e-Invoicing saves time, money, is more accurate and much more secure than traditional methods of sending and receiving invoices.” 

“It’s great to see that the latest version of MoneyWorks helps businesses adopt e-Invoicing in a very seamless way.”

Contact Information: 

Alice Brook | Link4 Marketing   

aliceb@link4.com.au 

About Link4 

Link4 is an invoice delivery service designed to add-on to current cloud accounting software which can enhance the transactional process of an organisation. It delivers invoice data directly to where it needs to end up. This automates the process and eliminates the need for paper, human error and time required to process an invoice normally. Link4 provides a service that can increase cash flow, efficiency in the workplace and is more secure than traditional methods. 

Link4 has integrations with more than 12 different accounting/ERP solutions so suppliers can send e-invoices and receive e-Invoices. Additionally, micro-businesses who don’t use any accounting package can use Link4 InvoiceExpress to create and send their Peppol e-invoices. 

About MoneyWorks: 

MoneyWorks is a cloud-based and on-premise accounting solution that helps finance and accounting professionals of every business with general ledger, budgeting, GST tracking and more.

One year in, Open Banking has 12 live Data Holders

On 1 July 2021, one year after the Consumer Data Right kicked off in Australia, Open Banking provider Frollo announces it has launched Data Holder number 12 on their Open Banking platform – taking them from ‘Active’ to ‘Live’.

In addition to the Big Four banks and Regional Australia Bank – who all launched last year – a number of tier two & three banks, mutuals and neo banks are now available via Open Banking, bringing the coverage up to approximately 90%.

When a Data Holder goes live

When Data Holders get the ‘Active’ status on the CDR registry, they become available for Data Recipients to test and enable on their platforms (if all testing goes well). Once a Data Holder is enabled on a platform like Frollo’s, they’re live.

The Frollo Open Banking platform powers the Frollo consumer app and CDR Gateway, enabling business clients to collect and use Open Banking data. Once a Data Holder is live on the platform, they’re instantly available to Frollo app users and clients using the CDR Gateway.

The list of Data Holders that are currently live looks as follows:

  • AMP
  • ANZ
  • Australian Military Bank
  • CBA
  • Judo Bank
  • NAB
  • Regional Australia Bank
  • RSL Money
  • Tyro
  • UBank
  • Up Bank
  • Westpac

Other Data Holders that are currently active on the registry include Suncorp, Macquarie Bank, Volt Bank and Citi, Coles financial services and Qantas Money. More are expected to become ‘Active’ and ‘Live’ over the next few days and weeks.

Live Data Recipients

Like the number of Data Holders, the number of Data Recipients is also growing. Currently, there are 12 Data Recipients accredited to receive Open Banking data.

The big difference is that there are only two Data Recipients actually live in the market: Frollo and Regional Australia Bank. Both have been live since 1 July 2020, when Open Banking launched in Australia.

With over 10 Million Open Banking API calls, Frollo is responsible for more than 95% of all Data Recipient activity to date.

Other Accredited Data Recipients like CBA and Finder haven’t launched their use cases yet, but will hopefully do so in the near future.

Because guess what? Australians can’t wait!

END

 

About Frollo

Frollo is a purpose-driven fintech on a quest to help people feel good about money. We use Open Banking data to deliver better customer outcomes, by improving financial wellbeing, reducing debt, increasing savings or quite simply getting a better deal on their finances. 

Our SaaS platform brings together our AI engine, API’s, partner integrations and Open Banking powered solutions for lending and Personal Finance Management. 

Our Frollo Open Banking platform is the market-leading solution to collect and use CDR data. With over 10 Million Open Banking API calls, we’re responsible for over 95% of Open Banking activity to date.

SUCCESSFUL COMMERCIAL ROLL OUT OF THE SPENDA PAYMENT SUITE

Key Highlights:

  • The BPSP/BPA functionality has been successfully integrated, on time and on budget, across the Spenda Payment suite.
  • The improved functionality will allow the Company to onboard more customers in a shorter time at a 40% increased margin.
  • Customers will be onboarded to the new services via vastly improved AML/KYC deployment processes.
  • Existing customers will be migrated across to the new service stack throughout the month.
  • The Company will continue to build on this significant milestone with several dot releases planned for the remainder of the quarter.

Cirralto Limited (ASX: CRO, “Cirralto” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce the successful upgrade of its payment services with several new features and capabilities that enable full utilisation of the payment aggregator services. This upgrade follows several months of extensive development work since signing the Visa Business Payment Solution Provider (BPSP) and MasterCard Business Payment Aggregator (BPA) agreements with Fiserv, Inc (Fiserv), as previously announced on 7 December 2020 and 14 December 2020, respectively.

SpendaCollect, SpendaPay and the Spenda app have all been upgraded and utilising the BPSP and BPA functionality will enable the Company to aggressively target the payments market across multiple industry sectors.

The new functionality within the Spenda payment stack is a significant and fundamental milestone for the Company. At this key inflection point, not only does it change the size of the customers that the Company can pursue, from small and medium businesses to distribution chains and national providers, but it also increases the speed and scale that customers can be onboarded. This is a core foundational requirement in the Company’s life cycle, enabling the Company to strive towards sustainable revenue growth.

Spenda can now be deployed as a single service to replace the four most common payment services offered by businesses, being:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT);
  • BPAY or bill presentment;
  • Credit card via the seller’s website; and
  • Finance or pay by the month.

By securely processing payments at a lower cost than traditional merchants, the Spenda service is a very compelling payments option for businesses.

Businesses are often deterred from changing systems or software due to many factors, including disruption to their business, having to retrain staff and cost. However, the integration capabilities of Spenda enable a light touch implementation of the product suite, as it works with and complements the businesses existing systems, rather than replacing them.

Furthermore, and a key point of difference from other payment providers, is the ledger-to-ledger integration capabilities. As the technology fully integrates with both the buyers and sellers accounting systems at the time of processing a payment, the transaction is automatically posted in the respective Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable ledgers.

This unique and powerful integration point reduces administration effort (by not having to enter the transaction manually), reduces the risk of errors (as both the buyer and seller are working off the same dataset) and reconciliation effort for both parties. In addition, the new Spenda payment suite offers users access to working capital at the point of activity to address common cash flow symptoms that cause late payment in commercial relationships. In essence, this allows the buyer to opt for the ‘Buy-Now, Pay-Later’ option, at the point of purchase, conditional upon them meeting the standard credit rating checks.

The BPSP and BPA agreements change how the Company authenticates the user relationship, giving us the ability to acquire and onboard customers more efficiently. Through these agreements, the Company can also incorporate a strategic merchant rate that increases Cirralto’s margins on digital payments by up to 40 per cent, which will increase the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

With the implementation of the BPSP and BPA functionality, the software now serves as a one-stop, digital payment solution designed to replace disparate payment methods, integrate transactions end-to-end, automate reconciliation and ultimately save businesses valuable time and money.

Through the platform, customers now benefit from:

  • The ability to conduct all business payments on one connected platform that accepts all major B2B payment methods; including credit card transactions, bank transfers and BPAY;
  • Increase payment security and validation with automatic identification of the buyer and seller as linked accounts. This removes the need for manual verification through invoice numbers, customer identification numbers of BSB and account numbers;
  • Increased clarity with statement based payments that group all outstanding debt owed to a trading partner rather than individual invoices;
  • Improved payment options with the ability to pay one, all or a selected number of invoices in one transaction;
  • Easier reconciliation through ledger to ledger integration that links the payment event to the reconciliation event for both parties, including itemised invoice references matched to discrete payments into the financials; and
  • Competitive pricing with a flat rate on card payments and a capped fee on integrated account payments.

The Company anticipates that this additional functionality will result in an increase in the number of customers processing payments through the card networks.

As referenced in previous announcements, the Company will initially focus its efforts on serving customers in the following addressable markets:

  1. Fashion – where we connect the retailer to the manufacturer;
  2. Education – where we connect the parent to the school and the school to their suppliers;
  3. Food & Food Service – where we connect food producers to suppliers and food retailers to food producers;
  4. Home Furnishings and Specialist Retail – where we connect retailers to manufacturers; and
  5. Automotive – where we connect vehicle owners to service providers.

The Company’s Managing Director, Adrian Floate, stated:

“The last 12 months have been a transformational period for the Company, moving from pure development to launching and commercialising new products. We are now at the beginning of what we anticipate to be an exciting phase of sustainable revenue growth. All this has been achieved during a challenging period, not only for the Company but for the global economy, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, I personally want to commend the entire team for what they have achieved to date.

We have focused our development teams on crafting software that drives improvements for our customers and our customer’s customers. We have entered into new strategic relationships that expand our service capability and, in the past few months, we have developed a payment solution that bundles the most common ways businesses pay each other into a single solution. We have done all this while maintaining double-digit quarter on quarter growth.

As we move into the next phase of business commercialisation, we do so with a clear view on continuing innovation, addressing customer needs and a belief in our vision to positively change the way businesses do business.”

 

Welcome to The Emerging Affluent: Fight for the future market

In this volume, we consider The Emerging Affluent – a younger, well-educated, mostly professional Advisable Australian who have tremendous potential as financial advice clients both now and in the future. The Emerging Affluent, as the name suggests, is on the way to becoming affluent – a group of people with more potential to earn. There are 1.5 million of them who control about $2.2 trillion of household wealth.

This report is a playbook for financial advisers on how to attract, manage and retain The Emerging Affluent: Read this report to get an understanding of:

  • A profile of The Emerging Affluent – Get a great appreciation of the Emerging Affluent, by not just understanding their basic demographics like age, occupation and household wealth, but their defining wealth characteristics such as financial capacity, literacy and wellbeing. We also explore their usage of technology and attitudes and influences in selecting a business.
  • Marketing to acquire The Emerging Affluent: Learn the most appropriate tactics to market and enhance your brand proposition to acquire The Emerging Affluent.
  • Evolving your advice proposition to The Emerging Affluent: Learn how to tailor your advice and service proposition to The Emerging Affluent, with a consideration of technology and communication preferences.

The Advisable Australian Survey which is the basis for these reports was conducted by CoreData and in the field from September 28 to October 10, 2020, and received 1,012 valid responses consisting of 618 responses from those ‘currently advised’ by a financial adviser, 235 ‘never advised’ and 159 ‘previously advised.

5,000 companies could become insolvent in the months ahead

At least 5,000 businesses are likely to become insolvent in the next quarter as the market plays catch up after the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy and the normal rules around trading while insolvent are reinstated.

According to figures published by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, each year roughly 8,000 businesses are placed into external administration. But in 2020, only 5,000 businesses entered administration, which means 3,000 businesses that should have become insolvent last year are due to fail this year.

An additional cohort of businesses is likely to enter administration as a result of the pandemic, which could prompt an additional 2,000 businesses to fail this quarter. This brings the total number of companies that are likely to become insolvent to 5,000 in the second quarter of the year.

The fall in 2020 insolvency figures seems counterintuitive given the tough trading conditions as a result of the pandemic. But, the temporary moratorium on insolvent trading the federal government introduced in 2020, as well as the JobKeeper provision, artificially supported some businesses to continue trading that would have otherwise failed – so-called ‘zombie companies’.

CreditorWatch, in conjunction with McGrathNicol, will today launch a new whitepaper, The future of insolvencies: tsunami, torrent or trickle? that explores insolvency trends, options for businesses working through debts and potential sources of funding post 31 March.

“While insolvency numbers have risen in 2021, it’s the increase we needed to see. We need to get back to at least pre-COVID administration levels and away from the synthetic environment we’ve lived in for the past 12 months,” said CreditorWatch CEO Patrick Coghlan.

“We’re going to see sustained increases in administration numbers until they reach normal levels. I’m not expecting the tsunami of insolvencies that was talked about last year, but the fact is, companies need to be allowed to fail; that’s how the economy works. That should be expected and it’s a good thing. It means companies that shouldn’t be operating aren’t pulling down the rest of the economy. It’s also important to remember we are in a much better position than anyone could have anticipated this time last year,” he adds.

According to CreditorWatch’s Business Risk Review for February 2021:

· There was a 61 per cent jump in external administrations in February 2021 versus January 2021.

· There was a 50 per cent decrease in external administrations in February 2021 versus February 2020.

Against this backdrop, it’s essential for businesses to engage their advisers, in particular, their accountant and, if necessary, restructuring experts. This will ensure they have a clear and real-time view of the position of the business and its ability to pay its debts on an ongoing basis, and a better understanding of customers’ capacity to pay.

“Are your suppliers still financially viable? What are the risks in your supply chain? Look downstream at your customers and assess their solvency,” recommended McGrath Nicol insolvency expert Kathy Souzou.

She expects a rise in company-led restructuring through 2021 and notes conditions in the corporate landscape support this. “There’s capital available for the right businesses and stakeholders such as the federal government, the Australian Taxation Office and the banks are much more willing to support restructuring solutions than they may have been in the past.”

But, says McGrathNicol chair Jason Preston, over the course of the year, the ATO and banks are likely to become a little fronter footed compared to 2020. He notes structural changes in the economy, for instance, the shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, could also affect insolvency trends, given coal-fired power producers are finding it increasingly difficult to access capital.

“Loan-to-own transactions are a growing trend in restructuring, where the lender takes control of the business using the insolvency process to restart the business and implement a new business model. I think we’ll see more businesses use the restructuring and insolvency process to reshape and resize their operations,” he said.

Businesses in this position are advised to work closely with their accountant and restructuring advisers to manage this situation. That’s the best and only way to work through what is a stressful and tough situation and find a path forward for the future.

The open banking era: why the customer will be the major beneficiary

Open banking has the potential to drive greater financial transparency and presents an opportunity to create better banking products. Here’s a view on why the guiding principles of open banking are instructive for businesses looking to step up their offerings.

The past 12 months have seen a confluence of events that caused purse strings to tighten and people to rethink how they handle their finances. While mass migration to digital platforms has changed the way consumers interact with their finances.

Collectively these events have led to a shifting of gears in the financial world. Greater transparency and a frictionless customer journey have become priorities for both consumers and businesses.

It was these considerations that were integral to the arrival of open banking in Australia last year. This open banking system allows customers to share their personal financial information through API’s with third-party providers. These providers then have direct access to customer’s account information, providing opportunities for new products to be built that cater to changing customer needs.

Looking into the near future, the reimagination of financial products and services will likely centre on putting consumers squarely at the heart of the experience. Key to this will be the individual consumer’s right to choose how they use their financial data.

In February, the Big Four banks across Australia began to share transaction data with a growing list of accredited providers. And customers will be able to share their data with third-party FinTech platforms of their choosing.

This is a timely development as many consumers introduce budgetary measures and focus closely on their finances in the wake of the economic pressures of 2020.

Accordingly, new mortgage lending apps, spending apps that manage split bills, and investment apps are emerging to help people with these challenges.

One example is the financial service app Frollo, an Australian-owned app that helps consumers track and manage their money through open banking. Frollo, incidentally, was the first FinTech in Australia to become an Accredited Data Recipient under open banking regulations1 .

Others are following Frollo’s lead in developing platforms that empower consumers. New Zealand-founded investment app Sharesies (launching in Australia this year), aims to give its users the power to run and manage their own investments. Solutions such as these are a catalyst for the wider exploration of trading and investment opportunities.

It all makes good sense too – helping consumers throughout uncertain times is a well-trodden path in building brand loyalty.

Putting the customer first

Let’s return to the key principle of open banking: empowering the end-user and giving them the smoothest, most transparent customer experience.

With transparency in mind, it is paramount that businesses make the effort to communicate these consumer-centric features to customers in a way that clearly highlights their value. If consumers get frustrated or don’t trust the system, they can abandon their efforts to learn what these changes will mean for them, and won’t implement them on their own.

Accordingly, education around advantages and safety will prepare most consumers for an experience that provides day-to-day convenience, much as open banking is set to do.

Such frictionless experiences that zero in on the customer are well understood at Facebook. Services like Messenger, for example, provide a direct connection between business and consumers which not only humanises brands but allows the business to provide support and education when needed.

Customer-centricity shouldn’t just be considered a philosophy to get ahead either. It’s also worth considering what’s at stake by providing a sub-par experience in a world of increasingly digitally-savvy consumers.

Resources like the Zero Friction Solutions Guide help businesses understand the full impact of friction and how to transform the way they create seamless human experiences. As financial services businesses continue to embrace trends like these and develop products around them, consumers will ultimately become more engaged and ‘sticky’.

That’s why open banking is a welcome development. At heart, it is another step to meet the growing expectations consumers have for frictionless and personalised experiences.

Adhering to a customer-centric view – a core tenet of open banking – means developing products that solve consumers’ problems efficiently, or partnering with those who already have them. And we’re sure to soon see more of this from the industry’s genuine visionaries.

By Nick Tubb, Head of Financial Services, Facebook ANZ

 

Sources:

  1. Frollo, frollo.com.au/open-banking/frollo-first-fintech-to-become-adr, Frollo announced as the first FinTech to become an Accredited Data Recipient; published 05/2020.

Credit enquiries full steam ahead – but where’s the tipping point?

Credit enquiries are at their highest levels in 18 months, according to the latest CreditorWatch Business Risk Review. This indicates business conditions are normalising as companies begin trading at pre-COVID levels.

Other data, including higher than expected economic growth of 3.1 per cent in the December quarter and a falling unemployment rate, also indicate Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery is both sustainable and in full swing.

Nevertheless, the end of government measures such as JobKeeper that artificially supported the economy during the worst of the pandemic is yet to take effect across the broader business sector.

Positive signs ahead

According to the March CreditorWatch Business Risk Review, growth in credit enquiries has been accelerating over the last six months whilst debtor court cases have bottomed out over the same period.

“While the number of external administrations rose in early 2021, on an annual basis these have now fallen over thirteen consecutive months. The average number of external administrations over the last six months is fourteen per cent lower than for the six-month period to September 2020,” said Mr Patrick Coghlan, CEO, CreditorWatch.

“This is a metric to watch given the economic forecast for 2021. We expect to see a rise in the number of administrations, especially with JobKeeper having come to an end,” he adds.

Payment default figures on the up

In line with administration figures, payment default numbers are also on the rise, increasing by 13 per cent in the March 2021 quarter.

“The number of payment defaults has fallen for the past five consecutive months, which gives off conflicting signals. With government stimuli recently ending, we’ll be watching closely as we enter a post-JobKeeper economy to see how this changes,” Coghlan says.

Defaults: Industry deep dive

CreditorWatch recently crunched the numbers around the likelihood of defaults among different industries. Defaults suggest a business is in financial stress and complement trends in administration figures.

“Construction is one industry worth calling out when it comes to the upcoming propensity for default,” said Mr Harley Dale, Chief Economist, CreditorWatch.

“The number of administrations in this sector fell from 24 per cent of all insolvencies in the December 2020 quarter to 15 per cent of all insolvencies in January 2021, with a probability of default of 4.49 per cent,” he said. This indicates payment conditions in the construction sector have improved, with the industry still being supported by the $25,000 homeowner grants.

Across the board, there is a low probability of default, with businesses in the healthcare and social assistance, arts and recreation services and agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors among the least likely to default. Transport, postal and warehousing, public admin and safety and professional scientific and technical services are among the industries that are most likely to default.

Best and worst performing sectors for payments

Sectors where payment times are improving include:

  •  Manufacturing (-15%)
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services (-28%)
  • Retail (-23%)
  • Accommodation and food services (-57%)

Sectors where rising payment times are a concern include:

  • Healthcare and social administrative assistance (+140%)
  • Administrative and support services (+49%)
  • Construction (+29%)
  • Professional, scientific and technical services (+25%)

What’s the outlook?

Overall, expect voluntary administrations, court cases and default numbers to continue to rise next month as the withdrawal of government stimulus measures starts to reveal its true impact on the economy.

Data are accurate as of April 1 2021. ASIC data subject to change.

Banks pick up digital pace as over half of Royal Banking Commission recommendations not yet implemented

  1. 80% of banking assets in Australia still dominated by Big 4 as early wins by challengers were not sustained.
  2. Use of AI for customer management to increase revenues in retail banking by 20% and wealth management by 15%.
  3. Digital banks in APAC experienced over 300% customer base growth in 2020/2019, compared to traditional incumbents

(more…)

New CREALOGIX survey reveals retail banks’ “hot topics”

This article was originally posted from the Crealogix blog.

What are the “hot topics” in terms of trends and technology? And what solutions are banks looking for to grow through digital innovation?

CREALOGIX conducted a survey with the retail banking community*.
Generally, the banks’ responses centred around three main topics: (more…)

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