We’ll Sign off on the Budget.

Last night, Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison revealed the Federal Government’s plan to tax, spend and build in the 2017 budget. Across the board, a few bold initiatives were announced including the salary sacrifice framework that works to assist young people in buying a home, a hike in university fees and advantages given to baby boomers who opt to sell their property.

While there are going to be winners and losers across the board, as the co-founder and CTO of a financial technology startup in Australia’s highly regulated financial services sector, I couldn’t be more stoked with the plans surrounding competition and further deregulation in the space.

For quite some time now, we’ve been quietly working in the background on Mosaic, a connected bank account and wealth management experience, waiting for the regulatory banking environment in Australia to allow for such a business to enter the market.

As of last night, we now have the ability to make Mosaic a very real and highly scalable global business.

Firstly, we’re now able to refer to ourselves as a ‘bank’ being an authorised deposit taking institution with less than $50m on the books. While this might seem like just a word, it’s a monumental change, particularly on a marketing and communications front. Mosaic can now be labelled as a ‘bank’ that connects multiple accounts from multiple existing banks into one whereas previously, we had to manoeuvre around how we position ourselves to the wider consumer. Essentially, this is going to allow us to remove some confusion on what we’re doing and why we’re important to the future of retail banking.

Digital currency purchases, the largest of which is Bitcoin is no longer subject to GST. We’re looking to streamline the ability to buy into asset classes such as alternative digital currencies and with last night’s announcement, we no longer have to pass on the costs for the double taxation on the purchase of exchange such as bitcoin which we know our users are going to love investing in through Mosaic.

There have been massive enhancements made to the ASIC Regulatory Sandbox, first made public late 2016. An extension from the original 12 months testing period to 12 months is going to ensure newer players in the market such as ourselves are going to be able to reap the full benefits of the sandbox and allow for increased competition in the retail banking space. It’s also been extended in terms of who can ‘play’ in the sandbox to companies planning to provide “holistic financial advice, issue consumer credit and offer deposit and other payment products”.

Mosaic is built upon understanding a wealth of banking data to ensure your money generates a return on investment and last night we were pleased to hear of an upcoming independent review into how to best create an open banking regime. The outcome of this review is going to allow new fintech businesses to take full advantage of data that has since been kept within the walls of institutions. It’s super important for us as it means we’ll be better informed to help you make the best decisions on where to invest your money for the future.

We’re incredibly excited to see the floodgates opened for fintech in Australia and with the raft of new initiatives coming into play, customers are going to have even better choices when it comes to financial products that, for the longest time, have been dictated by banks, not the consumer.

Pass the budget over to the Mosaic team, Mr Morrison. We’ll sign it off.

mattjones ()

Co-Founder and CTO of Mosaic.