A group of 32 startups, investors and startup accelerators call for the Australian government to bring major innovation to the federal financial technology industry.
According to the brisbanetimes.com.au, a group of Australia’s financial technology companies have sent a statement to senior government ministers highlighting the necessity to reform federal government regulations and bring an end to the loss of billions of dollars in tax revenue. According to analysts, half of all advertising revenue is being lost because of global tech giants Google and Facebook, who are subject to a lower tax rate in Australia.
Moreover, companies state that they are having difficulties with “accessing credit data, restrictions on FinTech investments receiving tax concessions extended to other areas of the economy, and the lack of a coordinated government approach.” Not to mention, there is still a lot of confusion associated with the legal status of digital currencies in the country. This results in Bitcoin companies having to deal with all kinds of problems exclusively related to cryptocurrency.
Originally, Australia-based startup CoinJar was one of the companies to sign the statement. As of December 2014 CoinJar has relocated its physical headquarters from Melbourne to London because of the state declaration giving Australia’s government the right to claim 10% of all bitcoins traded on the continent.
The Stone & Chalk FinTech hub (established by Westpac's Reinventures fund) has also signed the submission. Earlier this year, the fund invested in Bitcoin exchange and merchant services company, Coinbase. Now Westpac's Reinventures plans to help establish the FinTech industry in Australia.
According to Alex Scandurra, CEO in Stone & Chalk:
“[Australia's government should] focus on key winners from an economic and comparative advantage standpoint, because we are too small a market to try to be all things innovation in every sector of the economy".
Following the latest appeal of George Osborne to assist the UK in becoming the leading FinTech market in the Europe, Australian startups are hopeful that required reforms will help turn their country into one of the leading financial technology markets in Asia.
According to the report, 24 FinTech startups including Cashper, Clover, Coinjar, Cover Genius, Equtise, FinancialAsk, HeyYou, Flongle, Huffle, Macrovue, Metamako, MoneyBrilliant, Moneyplace, Moula, OnMarket Bookbuilds, PromisePay, RateSetter, SelfWealth, Sharesight, SocietyOne, Spotcap, Stockspot, Thin Cats and Timelio, as well as investors and accelerators 25/Fifteen, Apex Capital, H2 Ventures, Reinventure Group, the Tyro hubs, Stone & Chalk fintech hubs, FinTech Melbourne, and the Sydney FinTech startup meetup have signed the statement.