The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-04-20T04:48:44Z Banking on a sustainable future for our regions 2017-04-20T04:48:44Z banking-on-a-sustainable-future-for-our-regions Through its partnership with Landcare NSW, Regional Australia Bank is continuing to lead the way in Corporate Social Responsibility, donating $1 for every member that switches to online statements. Over the last four years, Regional Australia Bank has donated over $18,000 to Landcare NSW, a contribution State Landcare Coordinator Sonia Williams says is vital to local Landcare groups. “Without Regional Australia Bank’s support, many local Landcare groups would not be able to undertake their environmental conservation, education and sustainable agricultural projects,” Ms Williams said. “Regional Australia Bank’s contribution not only helps us to assist groups showcase their projects and build connections with their community, it also helps us fund important training to show them how they can widen their net of potential funding to help deliver their projects.” This financial year alone, six local Landcare groups, across Regional Australia Banks service regions, were the recipients of this much-needed support - support that has ensured the success of their projects. They include Southern New England Landcare – Frog Dreaming project; Congewai Valley Landcare – Regent Honey Eater project; Wollombi Valley Landcare Field Day – Meeting of the Waters project; Landcare NSW - Crowd-Funding Training workshops; Manning Landcare - Farm Gate Tour and the Murrurundi Landcare Tidy Towns Committee – Page’s River Warrior project. Regional Australia Bank CEO Kevin Dupé said: “Regional Australia Bank is proud to have contributed to these worthwhile projects through our partnership with Landcare NSW.” “As a bank we are committed to setting ourselves significant sustainability goals that will help ensure the future of our communities. We also endeavor to inspire and empower our members to make ethical decisions of their own and it is heartening to see so many already doing so by making the switch to online statements.” Through partnerships like this, Regional Australia Bank is acutely aware of the role it can play by encouraging sustainability and it seems, others are now taking notice of this ingenuity too. “Recently, a member of our Executive Management Team, Darren Schaefer was awarded a scholarship to take part in the Prince of Wales Leadership in Sustainability Programme through the University of Cambridge,” said Mr Dupé. “This programme recognises influential senior leaders operating at a strategic level within sustainability and arms them with knowledge and techniques to address key sustainability challenges in a practical way.” The Bank also recently held its second Sector Sustainability Summit in Sydney with other like-minded institutions - discussing the establishment of sector benchmarks for sustainability reporting, reviewing best practice and exploring collaboration opportunities around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Dupé says this is all part of the bank’s ongoing focus to minimising its own impact on the environment and maximising social and environmental returns to its regional communities, in the same way its partnership with Landcare NSW has done. - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Image caption: Lucinda Chapman (Landcare NSW) and Kevin Dupe (CEO, Regional Australia Bank) at the Armidale Creeklands Suite 4 Technology Park, Madgwick Dr, Armidale NSW 2350 Australia Phone: 02 6776 0000 MEDIA RELEASE: Moneytree Completes a JPY 1 Billion Funding Series B Funding Round 2017-03-21T21:30:00Z media-release-moneytree-completes-a-jpy-1-billion-funding-series-b-funding-round-2 MEDIA RELEASE 22 March 2017 Moneytree Completes a JPY 1 Billion Funding Series B Funding Round: SBI Investment and major regional banks join mega bank-affiliated venture  capital firms and a leading UK asset management company as investors Moneytree KK (Shibuya, Tokyo) has completed a Series B funding round that will drive its further expansion in the rapidly developing global fintech industry, including entering the Australian market within the coming months. The development paves the way for unprecedented connectivity across the financial services sector with Moneytree providing tools and services that enable individuals and businesses to aggregate and control all their financial data in a single place.  Moneytree will use the funding to add functionality to its popular personal finance management app, as well as to invest in deepening the capabilities of its Moneytree LINK platform (https://link.moneytree.jp) that connects financial institutions and customers through a permission-based data-sharing platform.  Moneytree CEO Paul Chapman said: “We are accelerating Moneytree’s growth to deliver seamless access to Japan’s financial services. In coming months, we will expand beyond the Japanese market and become a regional player, working for positive change, and cementing a position as the most trusted financial data portability platform.” Funds were raised from SBI Investment Co., Ltd., Fukuoka Technology Partners Co., Ltd., Hiroshima Venture Capital Co., Ltd., Senshu Ikeda Capital Company Ltd., and noted British asset management company Baillie Gifford & Co., as well as reinvestment from Series A round investors Mizuho Capital Co., Ltd., SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd., and salesforce.com, inc. The total amount raised exceeds JPY 1 billion. SBI Investment Co., Ltd. led the round.  The participation of British asset management company Baillie Gifford & Co. signals a significant step forward in Moneytree’s plans for overseas expansion.  Moneytree LINK has secured over twenty customer and partner companies since 2015. Japanese ‘mega banks’ Mizuho Bank Ltd and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have adopted Moneytree LINK, with leading regional bank Senshu Ikeda also on the platform.  Moneytree LINK powers solutions from ten accounting software providers, making it the number one platform in the Japanese accounting industry. Moneytree will increase headcount across the organisation, including Development, Platform, Sales, Marketing and back office.  Mr. Chapman added: “As the fintech market expands rapidly, Moneytree remains focused on our core values of security, privacy, and transparency. As a platform, we will continue to maintain neutrality with regards to partner type, vertical, and even size.” -ends- About Moneytree Moneytree KK was founded in 2012 in Japan with the mission of bringing consumers, small businesses, and banks closer together. The Moneytree mobile app, introduced in 2013, allows users to automatically manage their bank accounts, credit cards, electronic money, mileage, points, and securities all together in one place on mobile and desktop. The app was awarded Apple’s App Store “Best of” in 2013 and 2014.  In 2015, Moneytree launched Moneytree LINK, a service that connects financial institutions and customers through a permission-based data sharing platform. It is aimed at creating value in the fields of accounting, finance, real estate rent management, automobile maintenance, expense settlements, invoice issuance, and asset management.  That same year, Moneytree received an unprecedented round of simultaneous investment by the venture capital arms of all three Japanese mega banks. Moneytree was also chosen by IBM as its first official Fintech API partner, and selected for MasterCard’s Start Path accelerator program.  Please address media inquiries to: AUSTRALIA Eric Robledo Honner TEL: +61 02 8248 3739 E-mail: eric@honner.com.au     JAPAN Kaori Kitakata Moneytree KK Communications Officer TEL: +81 03-4588-0621  E-mail: press@moneytree.jp URL: https://moneytree.jp MEDIA RELEASE 22 March 2017 Moneytree Completes a JPY 1 Billion Funding Series B Funding Round: SBI Investment and major regional banks join mega bank-affiliated venture  capital firms and a leading UK asset management company as investors Moneytree KK (Shibuya, Tokyo) has completed a Series B funding round that will drive its further expansion in the rapidly developing global fintech industry, including entering the Australian market within the coming months. The development paves the way for unprecedented connectivity across the financial services sector with Moneytree providing tools and services that enable individuals and businesses to aggregate and control all their financial data in a single place.  Moneytree will use the funding to add functionality to its popular personal finance management app, as well as to invest in deepening the capabilities of its Moneytree LINK platform (https://link.moneytree.jp) that connects financial institutions and customers through a permission-based data-sharing platform.  Moneytree CEO Paul Chapman said: “We are accelerating Moneytree’s growth to deliver seamless access to Japan’s financial services. In coming months, we will expand beyond the Japanese market and become a regional player, working for positive change, and cementing a position as the most trusted financial data portability platform.” Funds were raised from SBI Investment Co., Ltd., Fukuoka Technology Partners Co., Ltd., Hiroshima Venture Capital Co., Ltd., Senshu Ikeda Capital Company Ltd., and noted British asset management company Baillie Gifford & Co., as well as reinvestment from Series A round investors Mizuho Capital Co., Ltd., SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd., and salesforce.com, inc. The total amount raised exceeds JPY 1 billion. SBI Investment Co., Ltd. led the round.  The participation of British asset management company Baillie Gifford & Co. signals a significant step forward in Moneytree’s plans for overseas expansion.  Moneytree LINK has secured over twenty customer and partner companies since 2015. Japanese ‘mega banks’ Mizuho Bank Ltd and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have adopted Moneytree LINK, with leading regional bank Senshu Ikeda also on the platform.  Moneytree LINK powers solutions from ten accounting software providers, making it the number one platform in the Japanese accounting industry. Moneytree will increase headcount across the organisation, including Development, Platform, Sales, Marketing and back office.  Mr. Chapman added: “As the fintech market expands rapidly, Moneytree remains focused on our core values of security, privacy, and transparency. As a platform, we will continue to maintain neutrality with regards to partner type, vertical, and even size.” -ends- About Moneytree Moneytree KK was founded in 2012 in Japan with the mission of bringing consumers, small businesses, and banks closer together. The Moneytree mobile app, introduced in 2013, allows users to automatically manage their bank accounts, credit cards, electronic money, mileage, points, and securities all together in one place on mobile and desktop. The app was awarded Apple’s App Store “Best of” in 2013 and 2014.  In 2015, Moneytree launched Moneytree LINK, a service that connects financial institutions and customers through a permission-based data sharing platform. It is aimed at creating value in the fields of accounting, finance, real estate rent management, automobile maintenance, expense settlements, invoice issuance, and asset management.  That same year, Moneytree received an unprecedented round of simultaneous investment by the venture capital arms of all three Japanese mega banks. Moneytree was also chosen by IBM as its first official Fintech API partner, and selected for MasterCard’s Start Path accelerator program.  Please address media inquiries to: AUSTRALIA Eric Robledo Honner TEL: +61 02 8248 3739 E-mail: eric@honner.com.au     JAPAN Kaori Kitakata Moneytree KK Communications Officer TEL: +81 03-4588-0621  E-mail: press@moneytree.jp URL: https://moneytree.jp   Sydney surfer startup founder is behind the world-hit contactless payment sunglasses 2017-03-16T11:34:39Z sydney-surfer-startup-founder-is-behind-the-world-hit-contactless-payment-sunglasses An Australian startup has been revealed as the key technology partner of new contactless payment sunglasses which have led to a world sensation after being unveiled at the iconic South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival. Global payments giant Visa unveiled the WaveShades sunglasses to an international audience at the festival in Austin, Texas. The unveiling has attracted television and online media attention across the globe. The fascinating and little-known back story however is that FinTech Australia member Inamo came up with the sunglasses payment concept and provided the near field communication (NFC) chip which is powering the WaveShades. Inamo founder Peter Colbert, a former agent for international surfing stars and still a keen surfer, thought of the contactless payment sunglasses after surfing with friends at Manly beach last year, near his home on Sydney’s northern beaches. “It was my turn to pay for a round of coffees with friends and I realised I didn’t have any wallet or cash to pay,” Mr Colbert said. “I had a light bulb moment and thought ‘wouldn't it be great if I could go surfing, even go for a run or bike ride and not have to carry my wallet or mobile phone’.” “Given that Australia is world-renowned for its beaches and surfing culture, it only makes sense that we are the leaders when it comes to inventing wearable, waterproof technology that does away with cash, cards and wallets.” Mr Colbert then developed the Inamo Curl, a waterproof payment wearable that can be attached to watch and fitness bands and is compatible with any Visa PayWave terminals. The chip used in the Inamo Curl is the same chip embedded in the arm of the WaveShades sunglasses unveiled at SXSW. "I'm really proud as an Aussie startup that Visa chose our payment platform to promote their WaveShades sunglasses at such a prestigious event like SXSW,” Mr Colbert said. “I wish I could have been there but we are collaborating with Visa to promote the WaveShades at the WSL Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast this weekend. “Using Inamo's technology in sunglasses is a logical extension of our mission to move people's wallets to a variety of wearables that suit their lifestyle.” FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho welcomed Inamo being profiled on the global stage and said it reinforced Australia’s credentials as a world leader in contactless payments. “Inamo’s rapid growth comes on the back of the fact that Australia has the strongest market penetration of contactless payments in the world,” she said. “Australians are world-renowned early adopters of new technology and that helps make the Australian market such an exciting test and development location for new fintech products.” Earlier this year, hundreds of people attending music festivals across five Australian cities trialled the WaveShades sunglasses, as part of another collaboration with Visa. Visa’s media statement on this is available here. Inamo was a founding resident of the Stone & Chalk fintech startup incubator based in Sydney, Australia. Stone & Chalk is Australia’s only dedicated fintech incubator. Watch a Stone & Chalk video about Peter Colbert talking about how he started Inamo here. About FinTech Australia FinTech Australia is a national association for the Australian FinTech Startup community. Our vision is to make Australia the leading market for FinTech Innovation and Investment by working with both sides of Government, Industry and the Australian FinTech community to create a supportive environment and partner ecosystem in Australia and abroad. Media Contact Peter Colbert Founder & CEO INAMO Level 2, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Suite 203, 360 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto CA 94301 (0418) 481 133 Email: peter@inamo.com Danielle Szetho Chief Executive Officer FinTech Australia Ph. 0414075423 Email: danielle@fintechaustralia.org.au Mark Skelsey Head of PR and Communications FinTech Australia Ph. 0403197523 Email: mark@fintechaustralia.org.au The Undiscovered Peak Times to Nearly Double Your Rent on Airbnb 2017-02-27T08:41:18Z the-undiscovered-peak-times-to-nearly-double-your-rent-on-airbnb An analysis undertaken by MadeComfy, a property management start-up that manages the process of hosting on Airbnb from start-to-finish on the behalf of owners, has revealed that just like the hotel industry, the nightly rate of Airbnb properties can increase by up to 88 per cent during major events or holiday periods. With Sydney now ranked 8th in the world for the number of listings on Airbnb, many Sydney-siders are aware of the opportunity to make an extra income from renting out their homes on Airbnb over the Christmas and New Year’s period whilst travelling, however, MadeComfy has uncovered three other key times during the year in Sydney that owners could make significant returns. Based upon the data and analysis undertaken by MadeComfy, owners have the potential to make an additional 88 per cent rent on a normal short-term booking during Mardi Gras and an extra 35 per cent from renting out their homes over Easter. 1. Mardi Gras, 4 – 5 March: In 2016, over 20,000 international visitors arrived in Sydney to witness the world-renown Mardi Gras parade, spiking demand for accommodation significantly during the first weekend of March. Accordingly, based on bookings MadeComfy has already taken, a 2-bedroom apartment in Darlinghurst during Mardi Gras is earning $434 per night, which is $203 more per night than compared to bookings taken either side of the parade. This equates to a total of $609 more for the owner from a 3-night booking. Further, by utilising MadeComfy’s expertise, their service has achieved an average of 27 per cent more rental income for their customers compared against other self-managed properties listed on Airbnb over Mardi Gras. 2. Easter, 14 – 17 April: Similarly, over the Easter break, MadeComfy’s analysis has found families who are planning to go on holiday could earn an extra 35 per cent by renting out their home during this period. The increasing demand from locals taking ‘staycations’ and booking accommodation within their own city to experience the lifestyle and culture a different suburb has to offer is fuelling this demand. While the influx of inter-state and overseas travellers looking for accommodation in Sydney during the Easter break increases significantly. Based on bookings MadeComfy has already taken for Easter, a 4-bedroom home in Pittwater is able to command $887 per night, which is $226 more per night compared to other bookings outside this period, giving the owner an extra $904 for the 4-night booking. Comparing the nightly rates of similar self-managed properties in the Pittwater region during Easter, MadeComfy’s marketing efforts have resulted in a 51 per cent higher booking price for this owner. 3. Vivid Festival, 26 May – 17 June: A new and emerging period which owners could also reap larger returns is as a result of the growing popularity of Sydney’s Vivid Festival. In 2016, the Festival recorded its largest attendance yet, with 2.3 million visitors. With its growing notoriety, a larger proportion of visitors are travelling from inter-state and rural NSW areas to see the stunning displays projected on to iconic Sydney landmarks. MadeComfy has already taken several bookings during the Vivid Festival, with a 3-bedroom home in Neutral Bay booked for $268 per night, whereas outside this period it can be booked for $200 per night. A 34 per cent increase in rent per night for the owner. The analysis was undertaken by MadeComfy utilising their analytical pricing algorithms that measure the supply of other short-term rentals and hotel rooms in a local area against booking demand between specific dates. This then enables MadeComfy to determine the optimum price to list their properties, to ensure the maximum occupancy and rental income for the owners they manage their homes on behalf. For further media information or comment please contact:Tim Medway – PR and Marketing ExecutivePhone: 0415 202 969    Email: tim@madecomfy.com.au ABOUT MADECOMFY MadeComfy is a short-term property management specialist committed to providing property owners with the highest quality, hassle-free, hosting service in the market.  Based in Birchgrove in Sydney’s Inner West, MadeComfy manages a large, growing number of homes across Sydney, from executive apartments, family homes to luxury properties. MadeComfy provides an end-to-end management service, which means property owners don’t need to do a thing when they hand over their keys. With significant investment into operation systems, owners can rest assured that MadeComfy’s dynamic pricing and centralised booking platforms will provide them with the highest returns and maximised booking occupancy. MadeComfy also ensures that the experience is first-class for guests, providing a welcome pack and house manual at check-in, 5-star linen, 24/7 support to guests and cleaners after every stay. MadeComfy provides the professional help to make the process of hosting effortless whilst property owners earn the rental income. For more information about our business, visit: https://madecomfy.com.au/ Prestige Public Vehicle Auction – Rare Opportunity to Purchase Exclusive Luxury and Exotic Vehicles 2017-02-02T07:01:26Z prestige-public-vehicle-auction-rare-opportunity-to-purchase-exclusive-luxury-and-exotic-vehicles-2 Prestige Public Vehicle Auction – Rare Opportunity to Purchase Exclusive Luxury and Exotic Vehicles   Up to 90 late model prestige and exotic vehicles on offer Brands on offer such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Maserati, Bentley and more Late model vehicles, many with low kilometres Special Event Auction – Thursday, February 9 at 6.00pm  Australia’s leading automotive auctioneer, Manheim, is holding an evening prestige vehicle auction on Thursday, February 9 at 6.00pm.  The auction has become a regular event in the sales calendar in Melbourne and will continue with up to 90 late model prestige and exotic vehicles offered for sale to members of the public.  Just some of the other stand out vehicles include:  ·         A 2010 Bentley Supersports W12 2D with under 30,000 km’s on the clock ·         A 2015 BMW M4 F82 2D Coupé ·         A 2014 BMW F82 M4 2D Coupé ·         A 2015 Mercedes-Benz Cls-class C218 CLS 63 AMG S 4D Coupé ·         A 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG 2D Roadster ·         A 2015 Maserati Quattroporte GTS 4D Sedan with under 10,000km’s on the clock Prospective buyers can view videos on the cars up for auction on Manheim’s YouTube channel by clicking here.  Many of the vehicles are being sold on behalf of financiers and corporate fleets and include a number of highly sought after repossessions.  The auction will commence at 6.00pm at Manheim, located at 4 Gordon Luck Avenue, Altona North. Members of the public are welcome to inspect the vehicles from Monday February 6 and then during the weekdays leading up to the auction. Friendly and professional Manheim team members will be on hand to assist with any enquiries and to answer any questions about how to bid and buy at the auction.   All vehicles are listed on the website in the lead up to the auction, with detailed information, photographs and online-catalogues available for viewing. Potential buyers can easily use the Manheim website to carry out important research prior to attending the auction. Vehicles will also be available to purchase online with the auction ‘Simulcast 2’ live over the internet, allowing buyers to participate in the physical auction online.  To find out more about this auction or the vehicles on offer, please call Jonathan Ciantar on 0400 717 712 or Jesse Bond on 0409 142 661. Ends/.. For further information please contact: Mathew McAuley – Manheim Public Relations Mobile: +61 400 875 686     Email: mathew.mcauley@manheim.com.au   Debt Negotiation Website Launched to Reduce and Consolidate Monthly Repayments for Property Owners in the New Year 2017-01-17T00:23:32Z debt-negotiation-website-launched-to-reduce-and-consolidate-monthly-repayments-for-property-owners-in-the-new-year Sydney, NSW, Australia - January 15, 2017 - Just in time for the new year, Debt-Negotiation.com.au launches to give homeowners a new lease on their financial lives.  Standing between creditors and those who find themselves with a bevy of unsecured debt, the new website is the personification of just what its name implies.  It gives clients access to experienced debt negotiators with a knack for hammering out a deal for a beneficial debt consolidation mortgage.  Launched as a one-stop-shop for contacting creditors directly, and significantly reducing unsecured debt, Debt Negotiation will process the new mortgage and manage the disbursements of the reduced payout figures at the settlement of the mortgage refinance.    Providing Australian lending only, the company's fees are based on how much their pros save their clients on Debt Negotiation Services.  Due at the time of the new mortgage settlement, the debt consolidation loans create a win/win.  Homeowners benefit by lower monthly repayments and unsecured lenders, who may not have received payment otherwise, are paid.  Offering both debt consolidation and debt reduction, Debt Negotiation may also stall any legal action that may be under way.  Sasha Anitei, General Manager of Debt Negotiation, said of the launch, “Now that Christmas and New Year are over it may be time to regain control of your finances by having your unsecured debts consolidated into your home loan with access cash flow directed to paying down your Mortgage. Our calculator page has handy tools on preparing a budget and savings that can be made by making extra monthly repayments or lump sum repayments into your Mortgage.”   For more information about our services visit www.debt-negotiation.com.au Use these tips to get a great new car deal this summer. 2017-01-04T05:01:23Z use-these-tips-to-get-a-great-new-car-deal-this-summer Summer is a great time to buy a new car. Manufacturers are running great deals to clear last years stock and you might have some more time on your hands thanks to the holidays. Navigating so many deals and offers can be confusing so we’ve put together some tips to help you get the best deal.   Research, Research, Research. Then Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate. Getting the best deal is going to require some research. Compare prices, deals, makes, models and trim levels. This can all be done from the comfort of home using online tools and websites. The car market is a competitive market and where there is competition, there is bargaining power. Always get more than one quote and play dealers off one another. Dealers just want to sell cars and get their numbers up, so push hard for the best deal.   There Is More to The Deal Than the Price There is an old idiom that if it’s too good to be true then it probably is. A prime example of this is manufacturers 0% finance deals. Manufactures offer 0% finance to get buyers interested, however there is often a price to pay elsewhere. Often this is on the price of the vehicle, and undervalued trade-in, through lock-in servicing contracts or contract fees. Read our article on the harsh reality of 0% finance here. When considering a car finance deal, don’t just look at the repayment, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples or oranges with oranges. You can read more about what makes a car loan cheap here.   Get A Pre-Approval Before Shopping Getting pre-approved for finance before setting foot in the dealership buys you bargaining power and reduces your risk of getting caught out on a bad finance deal. Buying a car is an exciting and emotional experience and some dealers play on this to lock you in to an application for finance after choosing a car. A pre-approval allows you to shop like a cash buyer and focus on getting the best price and options for your car.   Know What Your Trade-In Is Worth Dealers will always offer you less than market value on your trade in. It is one of the main ways they make money on a deal. If they can get a low price on the trade, it increases their margin when they sell it at retail. It is unrealistic to expect a retail price on a trade-in, however it pays to know the true trade-in value before you go to the dealership. Redbook.com.au is a great tool for checking your cars current trade-in value.   Read the Small Print Car ads, car deals and car contracts are full of disclaimers and car salesmen are not known to be the most honest members of our community. Don’t get caught out and miss out on the deal you are after. Some ads or deals will exclude certain options, require you pay full price for the vehicle or include hidden fees such as on road costs. Do your due diligence and read the small print.   Be Very Wary of Aftermarket Add-Ons Let’s get one thing straight; you do no need paint protection. Manufacturers don’t make cars that are incomplete are require paint protection. Window tinting is great; however, it is always cheaper to get this done from a third party. Extended warranties can be valuable; however, we recommend an insurance warranty and not a contract warranty. Contract warranties are issued by the dealership and require you to get the vehicle serviced at their dealership. An insurance warranty on the other hand provides the same (if not greater) protection and allows you to get the vehicle serviced at your choice of qualified and acceptable mechanics.   Hopefully these tips allow you to make the most of the new year car deals and offers. Do your research, dot your I’s and cross your T’s and happy car hunting. For more advice or to arrange your car finance, call Revolution on 1300 882 851. Our Most Commonly Asked Questions & Why They Are Asked. 2016-11-30T06:21:29Z our-most-commonly-asked-questions-amp-why-they-are-asked In the financial services industry, there is a lot of different information available to consumers. Unfortunately, this information varies a great deal depending on its source.  Many providers of financial services such as car finance will tell a client what they want them to hear and will often avoid the truth at all costs. At Revolution Finance, we feel this is not only unfair and morally unacceptable, it also reduces the trust consumers have in our industry. With this in mind, we want to set the record straight and provide our clients with the most accurate and up to date information we can. Below is a list of our most commonly asked questions and the honest answers. What is the interest rate? This question gets asked a lot and for obvious reasons. People want to know how much the loan is going to cost them and the interest rate plays a significant role in determining this. Given the importance of the interest rate, clients should not need to ask this question though. It should be one of the first things your consultant discusses with you. Unfortunately, many providers of car loans avoid discussing interest rate in order to increase their commission (by selling a higher rate) or to simply have the client use their product, despite it not being competitive. Car dealerships love avoiding the rate discussion and will try and sell a ‘repayment’. Whilst comparing repayments is a great way to ensure you are getting the best deal, it is vital to ensure you are comparing apples with apples (such as loan term, fees and balloon payments).   What effect will the application have on my credit rating? Regardless of what any other provider tells you, a car loan application will have a negative impact on your credit file. The impact will be minor and if it is only one application it will not have a negative influence on your ability to obtain credit in the future. The only time a car loan application becomes significantly negative is if your consultant carelessly submits multiple applications to multiple lenders. This will result in numerous credit enquiries and the combination of these enquiries in a short period of time will be detrimental to your credit rating. The moral of the story is to ensure your broker, consultant or lender only submits one application to one lender. If a new application is required (which can happen), the consultant must get your approval prior to submission.   What are the establishment fees? Establishment fees will vary from lender to lender and from provider to provider. There are a few things to look out for here however. When using a broker or car dealership, an ‘origination’ fee will almost always be charged in addition to the lenders establishment fee. This origination fee will vary from $250 to $1,000 and is typically financed into the loan. At Revolution, we almost always include a fee for our services and this will be disclosed to you. All our quotes and pre-approvals are inclusive of our origination fee. Be mindful of this fee when dealing with finance providers as some will quote without this fee included.   What next? This question covers a vast range of misconceptions or mistruths in the financial services industry. Once pre-approved, clients often want to know what happens next and what the timeline looks like until the process is finalised. There are a few important things to look out for her. First, many brokers and dealers will put a time constraint on your approval. For example, they may tell you your approval expires in 14 days in order to create some urgency and get you to make a buying decision. Whilst some lenders will give an expiry for pre-approval, it is rarely 14 days and it is always easy to reinstate the pre-approval provided your circumstances don’t change. If a broker or dealer tries to rush you, they do not have your best interests in mind. Second, clients often ask what happens next because their consultant fails to educate them on the process. Your broker should be upfront and honest about what you need to do and what they will take care of. Get realistic timeframes from your consultant and hold them to it – it’s the least you deserve!   Give Revolution a Shot At Revolution Finance we want to change the way clients are treated and change public perceptions while doing so. We believe in providing an honest, affordable and reliable service to our clients and would welcome the opportunity to help you out. Give us a call today on 1300 882 851 or submit an enquiry online today. What exactly is a cheap car loan? 2016-11-22T03:39:56Z what-exactly-is-a-cheap-car-loan When we receive enquiries for vehicle finance the first, and most common, question we receive is how cheap is it? With this in mind, we have put together an article on what makes a car loan cheap and what to look out for when financing your car. Interest Rate First and foremost is the interest rate. An interest rate is the amount of interest due per period and is paid as a proportion of the amount borrowed. The higher the interest rate, the more interest you will pay and therefore the more expensive your car loan will be. Interest rates are typically allocated by the lender based on your personal circumstances. Things that can affect your interest rate include; home ownership status, credit history, age of the car you are purchasing and loan to value ratio. Speak with one of our car loan brokers for more information and advice on keeping your interest rate low. Fees There can be a plethora of fees when applying for a car loan and these can have a significant impact on the total cost of your loan. Let’s take a look at the potential fees involved and what to look out for. Lender Establishment Fee The lender establishment fee is charged by the bank or financial institution your loan is set up with. Establishment fees in Australia typically range from $150 - $400 and are almost always financed into the loan. It goes without saying that the lower the establishment fee, the better. Ongoing Account Keeping Fee The ongoing account keeping fee is a fee that can have a significant impact on the total cost of your loan. These fees will vary from $5 per month to $20 per month. A five-year loan with an account keeping fee of $20 per month will increase the cost of the loan by $1,200. As you can see, it pays to look for a loan with a low account keeping fee. Early Termination Fee Some lenders will charge you a fee for exiting a loan contract before its maturity. If you don’t intend of paying the loan our early, this fee is of little consequence to you. If you at least want the option to pay out early, it pays to confirm what the early termination fees are. Most lenders will charge a ‘pro rata’ fee that reduces as the maturity date draws nearer. For example, Bank XYZ has an early termination fee of $680. Over a five-year loan, this equates to $11.33 per month remaining on the contract. Therefore, if you terminate the contract with 12 months remaining, your early termination fee will be $135.96. Other Fees The above provides a solid outline of the main fees to look out for when applying for auto finance. There are however, some less obvious fees to look out for also. Keep an eye out for direct debit or BPay fees, late payment fees & default fees also. Loan Structure The loan structure can have a significant impact on the total cost of your loan. Here is what to look out for. Loan Term Whilst a longer term loan (such as seven years) might look appealing on face value, given the repayments will be lower, it is important to note that an extended term will result in your paying more interest over the life of the loan. If you have the capacity to do so, keep loan terms under five years. Somewhere between three to five years is considered the sweet spot. Balloon Payment A balloon payment or residual value is a lump sum owed to the financier at the end of the loan term, after all regular repayments have been made. A balloon allows you to repay only part of the principal sum over its term, reducing your monthly repayments in exchange for owing the lender a lump sum at the end of the loan term. Balloons are useful tools to keep repayments down and manage cash flows, however they can also increase the cost of loan. Some lenders will charge an interest rate premium when a balloon payment is applied, increasing the amount of interest you will pay. It is also important to note that plans must be made to deal with the residual value at the loans maturity. Balloons can be refinanced or paid out in full or the vehicle can be traded in when upgrading to a new car. Cheap Car Loans At Revolution Finance, we pride ourselves on offering the lowest cost car loans available on the market. We are constantly on the lookout for the best deal for our clients and our number one priority is cheap, affordable financial solutions. Our initial consultation is always free so give us a call today on 1300 882 851 or submit an enquiry online now. All systems go at South Hill Armidale play space 2016-11-20T23:52:40Z all-systems-go-at-south-hill-armidale-play-space Regional Australia Bank, a proud supporter of the South Hill Armidale Play Space, is pleased to report that works have started on the highly anticipated project with completion now set for December 2016. The project, which is the brain-child of the Armidale District Netball Association, started six years ago, however it wasn’t until the project was posted on Regional Australia Bank’s ‘Heart of our Community’ website that it gained genuine traction. “We started this journey back in 2010, when we identified as part of our strategic plan, a need for a safe and secure play space for children, close to the netball courts,” said Rochelle Joyce, Armidale District Netball Association. “By 2013 a change in priorities saw us focus on the play space a little more and that’s when we decided to launch our plans and post it on the ‘Heart of our Community' website and then just like that, the project took off and we raised $125,000 in just under 12 months.” The idea behind the project was to make it easy for women to get back into or engage in sport and physical activity after having children so Rochelle says it’s great to see this vision finally taking shape. The Play Space will feature state of the art equipment including a 3.5 metre climbing cube, a fort, a birds nest swing, two spinners and an embankment slide. It will also offer children a sensory experience with textured plants, a nature area and a fully fenced pathway linking the netball courts to the play space. Kevin Dupé, CEO, Regional Australia Bank said: “The construction of the South Hill Armidale Play Space is wonderful news that will no doubt be welcomed by the entire community and we are pleased to see progress being made as a result of our contribution.” Mr Dupé added “It’s particularly rewarding for us as a Bank because one of the best things about our ‘Heart of our Community’ initiative is that there is no eligibility criteria for applying. You simply post your project, idea, or event and garner community support for it. The more votes, the higher the project ranks in that community, it’s as simple as that.” Regional Australia Bank is proud to have helped many wonderful community ideas come to life thanks to its ‘Heart of our Community’ initiative. Community members who are interested in the park’s progress should contact Armidale Regional Council or the Armidale District Netball Association. - Ends - Media enquiries: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Global financial organisations select SimpliVity for their next-generation data centres 2016-11-16T00:00:00Z global-financial-organisations-select-simplivity-for-their-next-generation-data-centres Sydney, Australia – November 16, 2016 – SimpliVity, a hyperconverged infrastructure leader powering the world’s most efficient and resilient data centers, today showcased its strength in the financial services and banking industries, highlighting four customers from around the world that have selected SimpliVity’s market-leading solution. The company’s OmniStack technology enables leading financial institutions like Bank Central Asia, Credit and Investments Ombudsman, First Names Group, and PeoplesBank to transform their IT infrastructures and achieve the enterprise-class performance and availability their businesses demand, with the cloud economics their IT leaders require.   Financial services companies, like all companies, need constant access to their data, top-tier performance, and high availability to support their most recent information as well as application level disaster recovery. They can’t afford to have data corrupted or lost and it is imperative that enterprise applications remain predictable and at peak performance, even in the event of a site failure. SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure improves application performance while combining all core data centre functions to massively simplify enterprise IT environments. The solution also offers built-in data protection, and disaster recovery capabilities, at a VM or application level to dramatically shrink recovery point and recovery time objectives, ensuring the availability and resiliency of mission-critical applications.   “SimpliVity offers the most comprehensive hyperconverged solution in the market,” said Rich Kucharski, VP solutions architecture, SimpliVity. “Companies in the finance and banking industries cannot afford to go offline or have their mission-critical applications underperform. It is very telling that these companies trust SimpliVity with their most crucial workloads and applications. We are pleased to work with these enterprises to move them into a truly hyperconverged environment that delivers incredible elasticity, availability, agility, and superior cost savings.”  Credit and Investments Ombudsman deploys SimpliVity to meet growing enterprise demands Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Credit and Investments Ombudsman provides consumers with a free and impartial dispute resolution service as an alternative to legal proceedings for resolving complaints with their financial services and product providers. As the company underwent a period of rapid growth, it found it was in need of an IT infrastructure that would scale along with the company. The organisation also needed to improve its disaster recovery options – in its early growth phase, the IT team was performing weekly full backups and nightly incrementals. However, as the business expanded, so too did its data protection needs. With SimpliVity, Credit and Investments Ombudsman now has disaster recovery fully integrated into their IT infrastructure, dramatically improving the company’s recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives in a disaster scenario.   “SimpliVity has vastly simplified operations for our IT team,” said Matt Grech, IT manager, Credit and Investments Ombudsman. “The complexity of a typical SAN environment is removed and our disaster recovery capabilities are much improved, as well. The performance of our hyperconverged environment has been so incredible, we are currently working on standardising on SimpliVity for all of our IT infrastructure needs. This is truly an enterprise solution.”  Bank Central Asia realises real data efficiency with SimpliVity   Bank Central Asia was looking for an all-in-one infrastructure solution that could provide dramatic improvements in data efficiency at both core data centres and disaster recovery sites. As one of the largest regional banks in Indonesia, the bank needed a reliable data centre solution that was able to provide enterprise performance, predictability, and protection. SimpliVity’s solution allows Bank Central Asia to reap the benefits of global inline deduplication, compression, and optimisation, including backup without additional licensing and without impacting server performance.   “SimpliVity brings something new to the table. By deduplicating, compressing, and optimising all data, at inception, we’re able to achieve unmatched data efficiency without needing a specialised system,” said Hermawan Thendean, executive vice president information technology group, Bank Central Asia.  “It’s unlike anything else other hyperconverged vendors are offering. The company has built something really revolutionary by delivering one complete solution for the data centre.”  First Names Group improves scalability and simplifies management with SimpliVity When the IT team was tasked with improving the network of First Names Group, the first priority was to upgrade the underlying IT infrastructure. First Names Group’s previous infrastructure was made up of various legacy technologies and the incumbent infrastructure environment was not designed to scale in line with the organisation’s growth objectives. To improve business productivity and maximise IT resources, First Names Group deployed hyperconverged infrastructure. With the new IT infrastructure, the company now doesn’t have to worry about if its IT infrastructure can scale to handle periods of growth. SimpliVity’s solution is designed in a scale-out model where x86 building blocks can be added to meet the needs of all growing enterprises. The company also needed a solution that could be managed from a single interface. SimpliVity’s global unified management enables First Names Group to do just that as the IT team now manages the entire SimpliVity solution, in all locations, from a single pane-of-glass.   “There was a lot to consider in choosing the right solution to improve our IT environment now, while remaining capable of dealing with future demand as well. We were originally looking at traditional IT vendor solutions, but when we found SimpliVity, it was like a breath of fresh air,” said Ian Quayle, associate director, First Names Group. “Once we saw that SimpliVity enabled one-click operations where, say, a workload could be transferred in just a few seconds to the other side of the globe, we knew SimpliVity was something revolutionary.”  PeoplesBank future-proofs its data centre with hyperconvergence   To replace its aging and outdated legacy IT infrastructure, PeoplesBank decided to use a technology refresh as an opportunity to invest in a hyperconverged solution. With a hyperconverged implementation spanning two sites for disaster recovery, PeoplesBank is running core mission-critical applications on SimpliVity, including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as other industry-specific applications. The organisation has also improved and automated its disaster recovery posture, taking advantage of SimpliVity’s built-in data protection capabilities.   “I wanted a solution that would make our data centre future-proof,” said Joe Zazzaro, CIO, PeoplesBank. “SimpliVity has made our entire data centre more efficient, much simpler, and more innovative. We are able to work on new projects now with SimpliVity that we simply didn’t have the bandwidth for prior to going hyperconverged. The impact of SimpliVity and the efficiency it enables has been felt not just in our IT department, but across all facets of the business.”  Resources Read the Credit and Investments Ombudsman case study Read the blog about other financial customers Follow SimpliVity on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ About SimpliVity SimpliVity powers the world’s most efficient and resilient data centres with the most complete hyperconverged infrastructure solution. Unlike traditional infrastructure that’s complex and costly to manage, SimpliVity dramatically simplifies enterprise IT by combining all infrastructure and advanced data services for virtualised workloads—including guaranteed data efficiency, data protection, and VM-centric management and mobility—onto the customer’s choice of server. SimpliVity delivers 3x cost savings versus traditional architectures and up to 49% cost savings versus public cloud. Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., the company has raised $276 million in venture capital and employs about 750 worldwide. A market and customer satisfaction leader, SimpliVity services midmarket and Global 2000 enterprises worldwide with a business model that is 100 percent indirect.  For more information, visit http://www.simplivity.com.  Media Contacts Amanda Conroy Espresso Communicationsamanda@espressocomms.com.au +61 2 8016 2200 +61 422 472 883 Amy Rathbone Espresso Communicationsamy@espressocomms.com.au +61 2 8016 2200 +61 423 230 244® 2016, SimpliVity. All rights reserved. Information described herein is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice. SimpliVity, the SimpliVity logo, OmniCube, OmniStack, and Data Virtualization Platform are trademarks or registered trademarks of SimpliVity Corporation in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 5 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Car 2016-11-11T05:45:35Z 5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-car The decision to buy a new car may seem unimportant compared to buying a house, but the requisite due diligence is much the same. A poor decision in the bargaining process could lead to years of extra debt, while a hurried selection could reduce the resale price. Fundamentally, it comes down to the questions you ask at the start, which should include the following. Does it meet my requirements and expectations? Before you get started, it’s sensible to come up with a checklist of exactly what you’re looking for in a car. New or second hand? Prestige or budget? Compact or family? What model? Following this, narrow down further and ask whether it has the right ANCAP rating and green rating, and has a clean and well reported maintenance history if it is second hand. Do I know anyone with this car? An authentic reviewer will tell you what the car dealer or private seller won’t. Peruse your network to see if anyone you know has the car you intend to buy and ask them for the pros and cons. You can also look on sites like reddit or reputable automotive and motoring sites for reviews of makes and models. How much will it cost to run? Underestimating the price of running your new car is a treacherous mistake from a budgeting point of view. Find out how much it costs to service (get quotes from several mechanics), how much a tank of fuel is and how long it normally takes before parts start to deteriorate. It also pays to get some price information on spare and replacement parts. Any room to move on price? Always be prepared to negotiate on price because the advertised price is rarely what the vendor expects to sell it for. If you have concerns, walk away, even if that takes the offer off the table. If a vendor thinks they may have lost their best buyer, they may come around. How will I finance it? Car loans are becoming a more popular way of paying for a new vehicle for those who don’t have ready finance. Before you take one, it’s vital you assess how much you can afford to borrow, what your repayments would be and how long the liability would hang around. For an obligation free consultation, speak with one of our expert consultants today. We offer a wide range of car finance solutions from a panel of more than 20 lenders. Unlike houses and units, cars unavoidably depreciate in value, so only take a loan if you’re comfortable you will be able to pay it off over a period of time, in a variety of conditions, and know that it is unlikely you will recover the sale value.  Australian RegTech company recognised for global growth 2016-11-04T07:31:31Z australian-regtech-company-recognised-for-global-growth 4th November 2016, Sydney, Australia. Fast-growth Australian RegTech company, GRC Solutions, were finalists at last week’s NSW Premier’s Export Awards in the Education and Training category, acknowledged for their international growth in Asia and North America. GRC is a collaborative and international online compliance training business that uses its adaptive eLearning platform to maximise learning efficiency while significantly reducing compliance training and development costs for large organisations. Established in 2013, the company opened its first international office in Singapore in 2014 and this year opened an office in New York. The RegTech start-up is committed to having a strong hold in these key markets as part of its future global growth plans. Currently, GRC has over 150 clients and 500,000+ end users. Following a successful launch in Washington DC this month, the company is set to double US growth in the next three months. The company has played a key role to date in assisting Australia’s financial services sector through a period of disruption and uncertainty. Some Australian banks are spending over $300 million each year on compliance and in the last seven years, twenty of the world's biggest banks have paid more than $235 billion in fines. It is now common for bank employees to have 40 or more hours of mandatory training per year. When multiplied across an employee population of 30,000+ staff, the financial services sector is investing vast amounts of employee time into training. “We see the regulatory technology and compliance area really taking off and there is an increasing need for banks to be more efficient and effective in what they do. One client told us that every hour of mandatory training costs them $30 million in lost productivity,” said GRC Managing Director, Julian Fenwick. GRC is using adaptive eLearning technology to help organisations meet regulatory requirements and improve training outcomes without throwing away money. By recognising prior learning, the platform can effectively trim the hours of mandatory learning per employee. American Express is using the adaptive eLearning platform to train over 100,000 people annually in anti-money laundering in eight languages. “In today’s global economy, Australian tech companies need to prioritise global growth as part of their long-term business strategies. At GRC, global growth has always been high on the agenda. We’re delighted to be acknowledged by the NSW Export Awards for something that is a core value of our business,” said Mr Fenwick. GRC’s acknowledgement at last week’s awards comes just a week after GRC accepted the award for Best Compliance Training Program for its work with American Express at the LearnX awards. The company continues to be highly recognised for its innovative and high quality platform and program. GRC will ramp up its global operations in 2017, as they seek to expand their footprint in Asia and the US, whilst keeping an eye on the European market, particularly post-Brexit. The company will be exhibiting at Singapore’s FinTech Summit later this month. About GRC Solutions (www.grcsolutions.com.au): Formerly GRC was part of law firm Blake Dawson Waldron, known as BDW Technology. The company was then spun off in 2013, when Blake Dawson merged with English law firm Ashurst, Today, GRC Solutions is a RegTech company and leader in award-winning online compliance training, spanning legal compliance, risk management and ethics. Across the private, government and non-profit sectors, GRC helps organisations to build resilient cultures amid complex legal and regulatory environments. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, GRC has a strong international presence in the US, New Zealand and Asia. Regional Australia Bank backs Warialda Play Park upgrade 2016-10-31T03:42:27Z regional-australia-bank-backs-warialda-play-park-upgrade Warialda locals are being encouraged to put their support behind the Warialda Play Park upgrade as part the Regional Australia Bank ‘Heart of our Community’ initiative. The initiative which was established in 2012 has already seen many wonderful ideas come to life thanks to community members posting an idea or project to the Banks Heart of our Community website and garnering support by fellow community members. Debbie Ford is the driving force behind the Play Park upgrade and says she is really excited about the prospect of funding from the Bank. “We’ve been working towards an upgrade to the park for a few years now. Some of the equipment was so old, it no longer met Australian standards so when the opportunity to post the idea on The Heart of our Community website came up, we jumped on it ,” said Debbie. Regional Australia Bank is likewise enthusiastic about this project and has committed up to $8,000 for the upgrade if the project receives enough votes of community support. “For every vote, Regional Australia Bank will contribute $40 toward the project and elevate the status of the project toward the top ranked ideas for that community,” says Matthew Hayes, Area Manager, Regional Australia Bank. “We will assess the votes at the end of December and hopefully the project will have received the 200 votes it needs to receive the full $8,000 from the Bank.” Plans for the upgrade include the addition of a swing with a seat belt for younger kids, appropriate equipment for kids over 10, a fence around the entire play area and additional seating in the area. Soft fall ground cover is also on the wish list. “Basically I want to make the play area as beautiful as the rest of the park, so that it becomes a place where children and their parents can spend time together outdoors but also a place where visitors want to stop off when they are passing through,” said Debbie. Community members can vote for this project by registering on Regional Australia Banks ‘Heart of our Community’ website www.heartofourcommunity.com.au. - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Regional Australia Bank takes on the Challenge 2016-10-31T01:03:30Z regional-australia-bank-takes-on-the-challenge In the latest of a series of community partnership deals, Regional Australia Bank is throwing its support behind the Inverell Toughen Up Challenge with a three-year naming rights sponsorship. Alex Ribeiro, Inverell Branch Manager, Regional Australia Bank said: “partnering with the Inverell Toughen Up Challenge was a perfect fit for the Bank. It is an excellent event that puts value back into the community. It also draws a lot of people to the area from the surrounding region, which is great for the local Inverell economy and ultimately supports the Bank’s commitment to regional prosperity.” The Challenge which involves teams of four people completing a 9km square course throughout the Inverell CBD, sees people of ages from eight to eighty take part and has grown exponentially over the last five years. “When we first started out, we never envisaged the event would become so popular,” said Lynn Lennon, Inverell Toughen Up Committee Member. “Naturally, we sought out a like-minded organisation to partner with to support this growth and it made sense to approach Regional Australia Bank. We operate under the same ethos, with proceeds of the event going back into ‘bricks and mortar’ within the community in the same way the Bank puts 5% of its profits back into the community." On top of that Lynn says the Bank has been a great supporter of the event over the years and is already so involved in the community “they are just awesome” she added. The Challenge has both competitive and non-competitive divisions and has been designed with inclusion in mind so that people of all fitness and skill levels can participate. Lynn says it doesn’t matter if you’re not good at sports because there’s puzzles, swimming, tyre flipping – the works. It can be done by anyone. That’s the other thing that got the Banks attention explains Alex. “It is family orientated so both kids and adults alike can take part, in fact, my kids have done it twice now and it’s tons of fun.” The 2017 Regional Australia Bank Inverell Toughen Up Challenge takes place on Friday 10th March 2017 for the Juniors, with the main event on Saturday 11th March 2017 for the Adults. Registrations are now open and can be found at http://inverelltoughenup.net/ - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank.