The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-04-27T03:06:47Z ROCKINGHAM PROPERTY EXPERTS TIP MARKET GROWTH 2017-04-27T03:06:47Z rockingham-property-experts-tip-market-growth Justin Smith, Principal of Smartline Rockingham Mortgage Brokers, can foresee a bounce off that $400,000 median price over the coming quarter: “We are seeing an increase in the number of mortgage applications and people moving into the Rockingham area prepared to put down roots and make a significant purchase. The local real estate community are of similar views when it comes to the end of the market decline,” Smith said. With a large variety of properties on the market to suit all types of buyers, Smith said that now is the right time to be considering a move or purchasing an investment property in the area. “With local property market identities highlighting the plateau in the median house price, we think the market is showing signs of recovery. What we’ve seen historically is that buying an investment property at the beginning of an upwards price growth cycle is ideal for capital growth,” Smith said. As major banks like NAB and Westpac announced interest rate rises this week, Smith also noted the increased demand for refinancing. “With people reconsidering their financial position within the Rockingham property market, we’ve seen a lot of customers call up to ask about interest rate movements and the outlook for the year ahead. With the positive outlook of the Rockingham property market, it’s a sensible time to re-assess what equity could be unlocked for a renovation or investment or to simply take advantage of the best refinance offers.” OVER 44,000 ENTIRE HOMES TO BE LISTED ON AIRBNB IN SYDNEY FOLLOWING THE NSW GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE 2017-04-26T06:42:12Z over-44-000-entire-homes-to-be-listed-on-airbnb-in-sydney-following-the-nsw-government-s-response MadeComfy welcomes the announcement by the NSW Government that it supports short-term letting in NSW. It provides a needed clear direction from which home owners and property investors can continue to let their property on platforms such as Airbnb. With 24,000[1] entire home listings on Airbnb at the end of 2016 and a year-on-year growth of 85%[2], MadeComfy expects the growth of Airbnb listings to remain at the current pace for the coming year, which indicates 44,000 entire home Airbnb listings in Sydney by the end of 2017. From the recent NSW Government announcement around short-term rentals, MadeComfy believes that the Airbnb market will not likely to see an influx of owners listing on the booking platform, but rather take confidence they can continue to do so with more clarity around their rights and responsibilities. The assessment also takes into account that of Sydney’s almost 2 million properties, only 1.2% have been listed on Airbnb at some stage, suggesting there is still room for growth, however, represents only a small proportion of Sydney’s rental market[3]. MadeComfy was founded to provide a professional short-term rental management service in Sydney. Demand for MadeComfy’s service arising from home owners and property investors who were both time poor and didn’t have the ability to be available to provide the hospitality guests now expect when booking a property through Airbnb. MadeComfy therefore manages the process of hosting to look after the home and guests, so they can enjoy a hassle-free income. Sabrina Bethunin, co-founder, said “This support by the NSW Government will hopefully result in  short-term rentals being a viable option for every homeowner without fear of legal or financial penalties”. “In addition to that, with the median property price in Sydney having reached over 1 million dollars, households are dedicating an average of 44 per cent of their income to service their mortgages[4]. It means Sydneysiders are considered under ‘mortgage stress’ as they are devoting more than 30 per cent of their income to mortgage repayments. Either by renting a spare room or the whole property when it’s not utilised, for many homeowners, Airbnb and similar platforms provide a means to obtain an income to help cover their mortgage repayments or afford their holidays” she added. Following last week’s announcement MadeComfy also looks forward to partnering with building strata managers to provide the professional support needed to mitigate the concerns voiced by the Owners Corporation Network (OCN). A key concern of the OCN was the harmony of guests and residents within shared building environments. MadeComfy seeks to address these issues through its guest screening process prior to accepting a booking, as well as enforcing strict house rules such as a no party policy and maximum occupant numbers. With these checks in place, MadeComfy’s service is designed to mitigate against any unruly guest behaviour, providing strata managers and residents with confidence short-term rentals will be managed without negative effects in their building. For all parties concerned, MadeComfy views this announcement to be an encouraging step for the regulation of short-term rentals in NSW. It provides a response that supports our own figures, with 70 per cent of MadeComfy’s customers being home owners who use the service to manage their property whilst on holidays. Able to deliver 40 percent more than self-managed Airbnb listings, MadeComfy looks forward to helping home owners, property investors and strata managers alike tap into the short-term rental market to optimise their rental returns and maintain the security of their properties.               For further media information or comment please contact: Tim Medway – PR and Marketing Executive Phone: 0415 202 969    Email: tim@madecomfy.com.au [1] AirDNA data: The number of active entire home listing on Airbnb for the month of Dec 2016. [2] AirDNA data: The growth of active entire home listings on Airbnb between Dec 2015 and Dec 2016. [3] Airbnb and renting in Sydney Report, Tenants Union of NSW, March 2017 [4] CoreLogic Report, 2017 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. https://madecomfy.com.au/ Bartercard Shows How Trade Dollars Can Benefit Your Business 2017-04-19T04:40:09Z bartercard-shows-how-trade-dollars-can-benefit-your-business We are all aware that maximising cash flow, retaining customers and keeping stock moving are important elements of all businesses, which is where Bartercard comes in. Buying and selling using Trade Dollars offers advantages to business owners, across several key areas. In this Press Release, whether you’re new to Bartercard or have been a member for some time, they want to remind you of the different ways to use your Trade Dollars to maximise the benefits and grow your business.  Bartercard has some good tips to help you get the most out of your Bartercard Trade Dollars, and the first is to treat Trade Dollars as a supplement fo cash-paying business. Through operating as a supplement to cash business Bartercard gives members complete control over which products and services they sell through the network. No member is obligated at any time to take on Trade Dollar business over cash-paying business. When you add Bartercard to your business, you essentially allow other members to utilise your goods and services with Trade Dollars, which can help create new business, customer loyalty and increase profits. You can also use Trade Dollars to move inventory/fill occupance as business fluctuates. Businesses also have the ability to sell excess stock or slow moving inventory, without the need to discount heavily. Members receive Trade Dollars as payment, which they can then spend on other goods and services within the Bartercard community.  Trade Dollars can also be used as a staff rentention/reward system. We all know how important it is to keep good staff members, and Trade Dollars can be used as employee bonuses and incentive schemes or gifts. Bartercard has a large referral network that allows members to extend their customer base and geographic reach. This can then translate into increased business profits. Through referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, members have an advantage over their competitors. Furthermore, every time a Trade Dollar member spends, it will come back to them in the form of new business from another member’s business.  Bartercard enables members to manage cash flow and make use of interest-free credit. Trade Dollars work like a credit card or bank account, using an electronic currency instead of cash so you can continue to make purchases even when cash flow has slowed. Trade Dollars can be transacted via EFTPOS, online, over the phone, using an app like the Bartercard App, or by transaction vouchers.  Bartercard can open up your business to new customer markets, improve cash flow, reduce business expenses and clear idle and excess stock without having to discount. It’s easy to use and acts no differently to a normal bank account or line of credit, so go to the website toay to find out more about Bartercard services, at http://www.bartercard.co.nz . Geelong Brush Company Invests Heavily in Local manufacturing and Australian made 2017-04-12T22:04:20Z geelong-brush-company-invests-heavily-in-local-manufacturing-and-australian-made-1 PRESS RELEASE Founded in 1936 by Victor C. Durran, the Geelong Brush Co. began as a quality manufacturer for small and specialised industrial markets. During the early years, the company took advantage of improving technologies and gained entry into a wider and larger sector of the Australian brushware market. By 1975, Victor’s two sons Jim and Ken rapidly expanded its operations into every state of Australia to become the largest volume manufacturer of brushware products in Australia. Today, the family owned business continues to manufacture high quality brushware products in Australia led by Jim’s son, Ross. The Geelong Brush Co. remains committed to local manufacture by taking advantage of world’s best practice technology and production processes. It stands as the last bastion of local manufacturing capability for many brushware product lines in the Australian marketplace. The Geelong Brush Co. is constantly updating and improving its product range and have expanded greatly over recent years. Their extensive range is sold in major supermarkets, hardware chains and other retail outlets nationwide. The investment in local manufacturing and Jobs in Australia and Geelong Continues today. On the 21st of April 2017 Sarah Henderson MP, the member of parliament for Corangamite will commission our newest machinery.  A significant investment designed to increase manufacturing capability and skills in in the Geelong region. This machinery will reintroduce manufacturing skills and craftmanship lost to Australian production facilities. The Machinery will be commissioned on the 21st of April at 11am at a public ceremony For all media enquiries please contact Kelvin Murray Mobile: 0416 556 485  Email: kelvin@geelongbrush.com.au The Geelong Brush Company Pty. Ltd. 40 Leather Street, Breakwater,  Victoria, 3219 Australia Website:www.geelongbrush.com.au Phone: +61 3 5229 7663 Fax: +61 3 5229 7690 Hi-tech property exchange fuels Australian jobs growth 2017-04-12T02:13:05Z hi-tech-property-exchange-fuels-australian-jobs-growth Online Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) is boosting high tech jobs growth and transforming the nation’s $6.9 trillion residential real estate market by digitising conveyancing to make buying and selling homes a whole lot easier for the public^. PEXA’s rapid evolution from a start-up to a fully-fledged network business has seen it quickly emerge as a critical tech sector innovator. It now employs more than 200 employees who are helping the mortgage lending and conveyancing industries to take property transactions online. The value of property today transacted through PEXA’s e-Conveyancing network is nearly $44 billion. Speaking at the opening of its new Melbourne-based Docklands headquarters PEXA CEO Marcus Price said the national e-Conveyancing network rollout is creating employment opportunities for tech and real estate industry experts who are helping lenders, lawyers and conveyancers transition to secure, simple and fast digital property transactions. “Australia is internationally renowned for being an early technology adopter because of the consumer benefits that online apps and services bring the public in this computer age. A growing number of companies are now heading online to adapt and remain relevant. PEXA is guiding them through this change ahead of imminent regulatory changes that will 'turn off' paper transactions,” he said. Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas formally opened the new headquarters congratulating PEXA for joining the growing list of technology companies with a large presence in Melbourne that now includes Zendesk, REA Group, Carsales, Envato, Odecee, Xero and MYOB to name just a few. “PEXA – borne out of out of a successfully implemented intergovernmental reform to bring conveyancing into the digital era – is exactly the kind of innovation that is growing Victoria and the nation’s high tech economy. Online settlement will mean greater efficiencies for everyone involved,” the Treasurer said. “This includes almost 4,000 digital-ready lenders, lawyers and conveyancers who have joined PEXA’s national network through to property buyers and sellers. PEXA is a great example of a successful business that fuels one of Australia’s main economic wealth generators – the $6.9 trillion property market. This industry is too important to be held back from entering the digital era.” PEXA is globally recognised as the 5th fastest growing technology company in the Asia Pacific region after recently catapulting up Deloitte’s tech leader board. ^Annually several hundred thousand Australians buy and sell property. According to the PwC Digital Property Report, one in three are stressed with 20 per cent facing settlement delays. PEXA at a glance: - A national digital platform for completing online lodgement and property settlements - 115 lenders and 3,805 legal and conveyancing firms are active or joining PEXA to collaborate and share information online - Buyers no longer need to purchase bank cheques, alleviating a last minute rush to arrange cheques and settlement delays when printed cheques contain errors - Funds securely settle through the Reserve Bank of Australia - Property rates and utility payments are paid online instead of via cheques - Home sale funds can be banked in hours rather than days compared with paper settlements (depending on the financial institution that the seller banks with) RBA leaves cash rate ‘untouched’ for another month 2017-04-04T10:27:45Z rba-leaves-cash-rate-untouched-for-another-month The Reserve Bank of Australia has once again decided to leave the cash rate on hold. Today’s decision marks the eighth consecutive month that the Board has left the cash rate untouched at 1.5%. Mortgage Choice mortgage broker, Scott Partridge said he wasn’t surprised by the Board’s decision. “The economy continues to perform relatively well, giving the Reserve Bank of Australia no incentive to adjust the current monetary policy setting,” he said. “Consumer sentiment is stable, business confidence is currently sitting above long-term averages, and property prices rose across the combined capital cities.” According to the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment, confidence appears to be stabilising around the point where pessimists and optimists are around equal numbers. In addition, the latest research from National Australia Bank found business confidence and conditions fell slightly throughout February, but remain above long-run averages. Meanwhile, data from CoreLogic found property prices across the combined capital cities rose 1.4% throughout March. Hobart and Darwin were the standout performers, with both cities enjoying a 3.1% surge in property values over the month. Sydney also performed strongly, with the capital city recording a 1.4% jump in property values, taking the median dwelling price to $805,000. “When you consider all of these factors, it is little wonder why the Reserve Bank of Australia chose to leave the official cash rate on hold once more,” Mr Partridge said. “Moreover, over the past few weeks we have seen a number of lenders increase their fixed and variable rates. As such, the Reserve Bank probably saw no immediate reason to change their current stance on monetary policy.” Looking ahead, Mr Partridge said future rates hikes were “more likely than not”. “It really will be a case of ‘watch this space’,” he said. “Of course, regardless of what happens with rates in the short to medium term, it is important to remember that home loan interest rates are still low by historical standards. As such, whether you are looking to buy, upgrade, renovate or invest, now could be an ideal time to act.” If you want to learn more about your home loan options, call 02 9653 9333. Or, visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au/scottpartridge The fast-track way to clock up 50 property transfers 2017-04-03T06:59:22Z the-fast-track-way-to-clock-up-50-property-transfers Becoming digital-ready is all in a day’s work for Sargeants Conveyancing, Wallan. With the Victorian Government consulting the conveyancing and legal industries for their readiness to ‘turn off’ paper property settlements by July 2019, owner Terri Sari is already in lock step with the trend to embrace 100% electronic property settlements. The company is now on track to steam past its first 50 digital transfers as she explains here.        Ideal vision for the conveyancing industry: Everything is electronic. Paper is gone Sargeants Wallan’s ideal future vision for the industry and our clients in the digital era is that we go fully electronic. Everything is electronic. Paper is gone. I like PEXA! We got on board because we didn’t want to be left behind. We want to keep up with the industry. With the help of our PEXA Direct Specialist Aaron Gibbs we’ve completed a large number of transfers with others in the pipeline. The transition has been smooth. We’ve amended a few processes to put our files through PEXA. Sargeants Wallan is now on track to complete its first 50 online property transfers. No waiting on hold with the banks for long periods of time With the online system we can fix things right up to the last minute putting us more in control of settlement. Problems can be resolved quickly and settlements can proceed on time. PEXA brings a more streamlined and simpler process. We’re no longer worried about documents going missing in the mail. A great benefit is that when a transaction is digital we no longer have to wait on hold on the phone with the banks for long periods of time. The PEXA system is easy to use – the left hand menu is nice and simple Going digital contrasts with paper-based property transactions. There’s greater certainty that our matters will settle on PEXA. In terms of being user-friendly, the system is easy enough once you’re familiar with it. Working down the left hand menu is nice and simple. Our clients are ecstatic that they may be able to immediately access cleared property sale funds Our clients are also ecstatic that they may be able to get access to cleared funds immediately after settlement (depending on the financial institution that they bank with of course). To take paper out of property transactions people need to start using PEXA. Don’t be afraid. Jump in. Everyone is so used to their usual way of working. So when something new comes along they see it as a chore. But there is a new way and conveyancers just need to do it! PEXA is easy to use. PEXA’s free SettleMe reduces our clients stress when buying and selling property e-Conveyancing can also help grow a business to be more competitive. For example, we offer a free tool for members called SettleMe. The app reduces the stress of buying and selling property by instantly updating our clients on the progress of their property settlement through a mobile or from their desktop PC. Ready to settle your clients' properties online but need a bit of help to get started? PEXA has dedicated specialists trained to guide your practice to a digital future. Even better, it's a free service. Get started by emailing aaron.gibbs@pexa.com.au Dragontail expands customer base adding US frozen yogurt brand 16 Handles Franchisee NYC-FROYO 2017-03-28T15:22:32Z dragontail-expands-customer-base-adding-us-frozen-yogurt-brand-16-handles-franchisee-nyc-froyo-1 Highlights  - Dragontail Systems signs agreement with New York based NYC-FROYO, a Franchisee of 16 Handles, a Popular Frozen Yogurt Chain in the United States, to trial the Algo System in one of its New York stores for three months  - Deal represents the first time the Algo System will be used to optimize frozen yogurt and ice cream delivery, opening a new and growing market for the Company  - Dragontail continues to grow into new verticals and more diverse food and beverage categories across the Quick Service Restaurant industry - Initial pilot phase will potentially be followed by a roll-out to the remaining 3 NYC-FROYO New York city locations with a larger vision of a full roll out to the remaining stores owned by 16 Handles  Dragontail Systems Limited (ASX: DTS, the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with US-based Franchisee NYC-FROYO, a  frozen yogurt, ice-cream and smoothie chain, under the brand of 16 Handles, to trial the Algo System across one of its New York stores.  This is the first time that the Algo System will be used in a frozen yogurt or ice-cream outlet and demonstrates the capabilities of the system to be applied across a growing range of Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) segments.  The pilot trial commenced on 15 March, 2017, at no cost to NYC-FROYO, and will run for three months. Following the successful completion of the pilot phase, the system would be potentially installed across other NYC-FROYO, 16 Handles locations.  The Algo System is designed to streamline and optimize the operations of QSR businesses – from ordering through to food preparation and delivery. Efficiency and speed are particularly important to QSR businesses that produce food with a very short shelf life.   In addition to the Algo System, 16 Handles will also utilize Dragontail’s Smart Orders Aggregator, which consolidates all orders from third parties and channels then into the Algo System. This allows all orders to be managed and optimized from a single platform.  The expansion into the frozen yogurt and ice-cream segment presents a new market opportunity for Dragontail to further grow the reach of the Algo System into what is a fast-developing market.  The Frozen Yogurt market has experienced rapid growth over recent years with an annual growth rate of 11.6% between 2011 and 2016 and generating annual revenue of US$2 billion.  Frozen Yoghurt chains dominate this market with the top 10 frozen yoghurt chains accounting for more than 4,335 stores across the globe in 2016. This provides Dragontail with an opportunity to rapidly increase the rollout of the Algo across the segment by pursuing agreements with global franchises.   The ice-cream segment is more established in the US with annual revenues in excess of US$5 billion across almost 10,000 businesses. “We are receiving growing interest from a wider range of QSR segments as more potential clients are catching on to the benefits that the Algo System can bring to their businesses. This is the first time that the Algo System is being used within an ice cream or frozen yogurt store and we expect to see further interest from potential customers in this segment,” said Dragontail’s Managing Director, Ido Levanon.  “The only thing worse than cold pizza is warm yogurt or melted ice-cream; and with the help of the Algo System, QSR operators will be able to deliver their product in a time frame that will ensure the best food presentation and customer satisfaction.”  16 Handles Franchisee Director of Operations, Christopher Ballerini added, “When it comes to delivering frozen yogurt, every second counts and we have not seen anything like the Algo System for increasing the efficiency of our production and delivery operation, enabling us to reach a whole new group of customers.”  Company Secretary: Deborah Ho deborah@tridentms.com.au +61 8 6211 5099 Media Enquiries:  Ben Grubb Media and Capital Partnersben.grubb@mcpartners.com.au +61 414 197 508 About Dragontail Systems  Dragontail is revolutionising the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry with its Algo System, which uses a sophisticated patented algorithm to optimise and manage the entire food preparation process from order to delivery. The Algo is the first system in the world to fully automate and streamline the kitchen flow to deliver immediate and significant returns on investment to fast food and quick service restaurants. The Algo is setting a new standard for the global industry with a number of chains, such as Pizza Hut in North America and Israel, and a large Israeli burger chain already using the system. $7 billion remittance industry set for massive shake-up 2017-03-28T06:20:48Z 7-billion-remittance-industry-set-for-massive-shake-up Sydney Australia: The $7 billion Australian money remittance industry is set for a massive shake-up as a new wave of online and digital-based players enter the market. Ashley Jessen, CEO of Profile Booster, Australia’s leading financial content marketing company, says the retail money remittance industry is a top candidate for fintech disruption and innovation. “A few years ago, most of the fintech companies have been focused on creating products and services for the investment, wealth creation and stock market. But now we are seeing more fintech companies coming up with payments and money transfer solutions,” “The remittance sector will definitely benefit from more advanced technologies and innovative solutions being launched across the globe,” Jessen says. Jessen’s observations came following the aggressive expansion and buoyant merger and acquisition activities among the top players in the global money remittance industry. Early this year, MoneyGram, one of the biggest money remittance providers, accepted an offer to be bought by Ant Financial, an affiliate of China’s Alibaba Group. But that bid was bested by Euronet Worldwide, which offered a higher price to buy MoneyGram. The high level of M&A activities is expected to spur more investment in online and digital technology as global players vie for consumers’ share of wallet. And as Fintech companies continue to inch their way in various financial services sectors, tech-savvy remittance providers are expected to gain market share away from the traditional players with massive distribution networks. The World Bank estimates the global remittance industry at around $600 billion dollars. Western Union and MoneyGram, the two biggest players in the industry enjoy a healthy share of the multi-billion-dollar industry. Double-digit growth forecast for online remittance services While the majority of remittance transactions are still done through physical distribution networks like money kiosks, remittance centres or through banks, online remittance services are also growing. Current industry estimates show that only about 5 percent of the total global remittances are done through online channels. But that’s about to change as more people are getting access to the Internet and digital technology, which will push online remittance services to hit the forecast double digit growth in the next 3-5 years. In fact, over the past few years, Australian has seen a host of technology-powered online remittance providers including WorldRemit and TransferWise – two of the pure online providers that are aggressively expanding their global presence. World Remit, a UK-founded pure online remittance provider, has opened its Australian operation in 2012. It has also set-up offices in the Philippines and Hong Kong as part of its Asian expansion over the past two years. Michael Liu, Regional Director for Asia Pacific at World Remit, says being a pure online remittance provider gives the company and its clients a distinct advantage over their rivals with physical distribution networks. “The core premise of our online service is to make the money transfer process quicker, easier and more secure,” says Liu. WorldRemit lets people send money overseas using a computer, smart phone or tablet. Liu says with more and more people accessing the Internet and preferring to do transactions online, WorldRemit expects that online will be the dominant remittance platform in the future. He foresees online remittance companies to be the disruptors in the industry and estimates the current 5 per cent share of online transactions will grow to about 30 per cent in the next few years. Liu says WorldRemit processes approximately 580,000 transactions per month globally with Asia Pacific sending countries accounting for a big portion of the total figure. The company is confident the numbers will continue to grow as it expands its global footprint. TransferWise, another UK-founded online remittance company, has also entered the Australian market and is eyeing to serve the millions of cross-cultural and expat population. “What’s interesting with this new wave of online remittance companies is how they’re using digital technology, social media and other technology-based strategy to win market share from the traditional players,” Jessen from Profile Booster said. He added, “And we must be seeing only the beginning of what could be massive changes in this industry as we see more people embrace and use mobile apps and social media to do their financial transactions.” Migration powers multi-billion remittance industry In its Migration and Remittance Factbook 2016, the World Bank estimates that more than 247 million people live outside their countries of birth. And this number is expected to rise as international migration continues to grow. The same report paints a growing global remittance business which mirrors the growth in migrant workers seeking employment outside of their home countries. Whether they have migrated permanently or working as contract workers, these millions of people have created a multi-billion-dollar remittance industry. In Australia, the retail remittance industry is estimated at around $7 billion according to the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS). “And this industry will continue to grow due to the influx of migrants,” says Ken Davis, ACFS’s Research Director. And that’s good news to the money transfer operators (MTOs) or remittance companies that have seen consistently healthy growth over the past few years. Michael Minassian, head of Australia, Indonesia and Oceania at MoneyGram, confirms that the migrant workers are the biggest factor behind the growth of the remittance industry. “With more people moving from country to country – including migrant workers and permanent migrants – there is an ongoing need for remittance services,” “Most of the clients in the retail remittance sector are migrants sending money back to their home countries,” says Minassian. According to MoneyGram, a big part of the remittance money sent overseas is spent on day-to-day subsistence (45 per cent) while paying bills also take up a big chunk at about 22 percent. Celebrating special occasions also get a 20 percent share while religious festivities get a healthy 17 percent share. Justin Rampono, director at The Currency Shop, shares Minassian’s observation. He says: “We’ve never seen this high level of migration before. Today, people are more connected than ever and there is a very high level of migration going on globally. These are all contributing to the need and growth for remittance providers and services.” In Australia, the mobility of the migrant population has fuelled the growth of the big remittance companies including Western Union and MoneyGram as well as the network of small and medium-sized MTOs. MoneyGram, which ranks number 2 after Western Union, has been aggressively expanding for the past five years. To date, MoneyGram has over 500 retail outlets including the 7-11 network of convenience stores. MoneyGram boasts one of the largest physical distribution channels in the remittance industry, which allows the company to reach a wide range of clients. According to Minassian, “We are in the business of providing the channels and infrastructure relevant to the people that we serve. If a customer needs a physical kiosk or store location, we provide that. If they prefer to do transactions online, we also provide that.” Given the appetite for expansion of the dominant players like Western Union and MoneyGram, the pure online providers may not have an easy win over their more traditional rivals. This is because even those with the physical distribution network like MoneyGram are also now moving into online remittance. According to Minassian, “MoneyGram is about providing the infrastructure and channel required by our clients.” He cites India as an example of a country that requires a multi-channel remittance service. This is because the large population of blue collar and white collar migrant workers remit money using different platforms. Blue collar workers with families in remote villages prefer to use the face-to-face remittance network, while the white-collar workers tend to go for the online channels. “So, while we have one of the widest networks of physical distribution, we are also investing heavily on online and digital channels,” Minassian says. Mobile Money: Will it mean the end of face-to-face remittance? While online remittance services are eating up on the traditional face-to-face network, another stream of technology-based money transfer is also gathering momentum. It is called mobile money. With billions of people across the globe owning mobile phones, smart phones and other mobile devices, industry observers say it is just a matter of time before mobile money (mobile payment) become the preferred way of receiving and sending money. We are already seeing some form of mobile money transactions, particularly in remote areas where there is lack of banking facilities and financial institutions. For example, some countries in Africa, South East Asia and South Pacific are already using mobile money for grocery shopping, paying medical bills and other day-to-day transactions. According to Liu from WorldRemit, “We are seeing a huge push toward mobile money where people don’t have access to banking services or facilities. People in those countries can easily store money on their mobile devices even if they don’t have a bank account.” With mobile money, anyone who has a mobile phone can send or receive money. The amount stored on the mobile phone can then be spent on any transaction. While it is still in its early days, technological advances and the growing demand for speed and mobility, are all boding well for mobile money to skyrocket. Currrently, WorldRemit’s distribution network includes connections to over 110 million mobile money accounts. Based on all indications, the retail remittance industry is looking at a positive and healthy growth path ahead. However, there are pockets within the industry that could still do with more improvement and efficiency. ******** About Profile Booster Profile Booster is Australia's leading financial content marketing company. It specialises in creating and promoting authority content in the financial services sector. http://profilebooster.com.au/ OrbitRemit reaches out to Africa 2017-03-28T04:55:17Z orbitremit-reaches-out-to-africa Sydney, Australia - March 28, 2017: OrbitRemit, one of Australia and New Zealand’s fastest growing money transfer businesses[1], has announced that it will commence remittance to South Africa for payout in rand (ZAR) starting from this month with market-beating rates. Fund transfer volumes are rising quickly as South African migrants remit a portion of their income back to their home country. In 2015, $175 million USD from Australia and $55 million USD from New Zealand was remitted to South Africa per the World Bank. This development signifies OrbitRemit’s African expansion and the establishment of the first-of-many Oceania/Africa channels expected to come online in the near future. OrbitRemit has become a heavyweight in the funds remittance business in Australia and New Zealand and has taken a solid bite out the funds remittance market share with its recent Android and IOS application releases (available on Google Play and the App Store), competitive rates and almost-perfect online reviews. Robbie Sampson, founder and CEO of OrbitRemit, comments: ‘With the recently introduced channels, it is expected lower company costs will be passed on to our customers, cementing our place as Australia and New Zealand’s go-to online funds remittance company. As our profile continues to rise along with demand, we continue to investigate further direct remittance channels. Immigrants and investors, watch this space.’ OrbitRemit has once again been recognised in Deloitte’s Technology Fast500 listing for 2016 as a leading technology company in the Oceania region; the only money transfer company on the respected roll. For a detailed list of OrbitRemit’s remittance destinations, please follow this link:  https://www.orbitremit.com/ About Orbit Remit Established in 2008, OrbitRemit is a fully regulated online international money transfer solution, offering a fast, safe and secure way to send money overseas. OrbitRemit beats banks on fees, exchange rates and convenience and the company’s highly competitive exchange rates and low fees means that more money will arrive at a customer’s destination. [1] Deloitte Fast 500 2016   Wolters Kluwer CCH Integrator™ shortlisted for Asia Tax Innovator of the Year and Asia Tax Technology Firm of the Year Categories at International Tax Review’s Asia Tax Awards 2017 2017-03-27T23:00:00Z wolters-kluwer-cch-integrator-shortlisted-for-asia-tax-innovator-of-the-year-and-asia-tax-technology-firm-of-the-year-categories-at-international-tax-review-s-asia-tax-awards-2017 Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting today announced its solution, CCH Integrator™, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Asia Tax Awards 2017: ‘Asia Tax Innovator of the Year’ and ‘Asia Tax Technology Firm of the Year’. Sponsored by International Tax Review the awards bring together leading tax service and solution providers for 18 jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific. The awards acknowledge the achievements of companies, firms and individuals in 70 categories. Winners will be announced at the Asia Tax Awards dinner being held in Singapore on Thursday May 4, 2017. Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Integrator™ solution is designed to automate tax compliance and reporting locally and globally. CCH Integrator™ represents a strategic approach to information management and reporting, responding swiftly to changing market conditions or regulatory flux. “Our data collection and reporting capabilities are ideal for organisations seeking a single comprehensive source of enterprise information. We are delighted to be shortlisted for the ‘Asia Tax Innovator of the Year’ and the ‘Asia Tax Technology Firm of the Year’ awards as this recognises our commitment to information management and reporting. We remain committed to innovation with the ongoing enhancements to the CCH Integrator™ platform,” says Russell Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific & Rest of World. CCH Integrator™ is currently in operation at over 250 corporations in over 80 countries globally, with over 15,000 users. Today it is in use by the top 10 financial institutions within Australia and all Big 4 professional services firms rely on CCH Integrator™ to generate local tax returns and statutory financial statements. International Tax Review is the leading monthly publication about cross-border tax issues. Published 10 times a year, International Tax Review is a subscription title, and is essential reading for corporate tax directors, CFO’s and all those involved in the planning and payment of corporate tax. In both 2015 and 2016 Wolters Kluwer was recognised by International Tax Review as ‘Americas Tax Technology Firm of the Year’ for its innovative CCH® IntelliConnect Browser research tool.About Wolters Kluwer Tax & AccountingWolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2015 annual revenues of €4.2 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY). NZ Startup Looks to Disrupt Insurance Industry with AI 2017-03-27T11:09:14Z nz-startup-looks-to-disrupt-insurance-industry-with-ai With its complex rules, fine print and lengthy processes, it’s little wonder that the $NZD1.85 trillion dollar insurance industry has a terrible reputation for trust and customer service. In a recent global survey from accounting firm E&Y, consumers ranked insurance below banks, car manufacturers, online shopping sites and supermarkets for trustworthiness.  A newcomer to the field, Auckland based Digital Squad hopes to reverse that reputation by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) - more specifically  technology and behavioral science to create a faster and more transparent service. The start-up, a collaboration of behavioural economist, Shane Chand, and AI and cryptography specialist, Anvesh Katuri,  set out to create algorithms that make it easy and quick to sign up and approve claims – in minutes rather than days. "AI-SURE will use Machine learning to eventually handle the entire claims process  – from triage, through fraud mitigation and down to the actual payment by wire.A big challenge for AI-SURE will come when it faces a flurry of claims from a major natural disaster such as the Christchurch quakes" Shane said. "Whilst till in testing phrase and far from deployment, the software is looking very promising so far" he added. U.S based venture capitalist and billionaire Mark Cuban predicted recently that the world's first trillionaires will actually be entrepreneurs working with artificial intelligence.  Historic Victorian property sale gives pen and paper the flick 2017-03-27T03:45:15Z historic-victorian-property-sale-gives-pen-and-paper-the-flick A paperless Greensborough home sale has captured a place in digital history. Regan Baines bought her new three-bedroom house at auction and sold her former Box Hill South property on the same day, becoming the first Victorian to digitally sign a contract of sale that was also completed electronically using InfoTrack’s e-Conveyancing platform. Her lawyer then logged onto a computer to finalise settlement through Property Exchange Australia's (PEXA) national e-Conveyancing network marking another online milestone. Why should buying and selling a house be any different to my internet banking? “This new way was quick and easy,” said Regan. “Straight after the auction I signed the contract on an iPad. It involved just a few sign-and-go steps. I liked the convenience of knowing that the contract of sale was actioned straight away. Not like the old school pen and paper way. I pay all my household expenses and bills online with internet banking. It’s secure and convenient and the ‘way of the world’ now. Why should buying and selling a house be any different? The technology is there. I banked my property sale funds on settlement day “This is the third time that I’ve bought and sold property. On settlement day my lawyer also managed the sale of my Box Hill property. Both my sale and purchase were simultaneous. I also loved that I had access to my sale funds on the same day. I didn’t think twice about finalising my property sale online “I work in the property industry and I can tell you that electronic transactions are the only way to go. I see all the paperwork and lease documents when property is exchanged the old way. It’s not unusual for our lawyers to courier over up to four boxes of paper documents related to a sale for signing. So I didn’t think twice about finalising my property sale online.” The process was just as easy for the vendors Matt Cullinan and Peter Gargan who said: “It couldn’t have been any easier. We signed the contract electronically at the auction and got the money from the sale on the same day as settlement. Everything was done online so it was fast and simple.” Going paperless is more secure – First Class Legal Law firm, First Class Legal, used InfoTrack's eSigning technology to sign Regan’s contract cutting out excessive printing and manual hand-offs explained Principal and Solicitor, Leonie Jarrett.  “Instead of the usual five hard copy contracts there was just one digital version,” she said. “The buyer, seller, and real estate agent Hocking Stuart received the fully signed contract within seconds of all parties e-signing. Going electronic is quicker, more efficient and less likely to result in errors – a common occurrence with paper contracts. There’s an entire electronic audit trail that's more secure than the old way of signing using pen and paper. Dumb mistakes delay the last stage of property settlement “By doing away with paper conveyancing we banish the dumb mistakes that often delay the last stage of property settlement. All it takes is the wrong spelling of a name on a settlement cheque to derail and delay a buyer moving into a home when the removalist truck has been booked yet they are unable to move into their new property due to the error. Mistakes don’t happen when property is exchanged using PEXA because all parties to the transaction have agreed that the final details are correct before settlement occurs. Electronic checks and balances automatically call out inconsistencies in advance of settlement. Removing consumer pain points by taking property transactions online “PEXA is working with the banking and legal industries to clear roadblocks so that the network really takes off and transforms the property market. Above all we need to see more banks make their systems electronic to benefit property consumers. Digital processes are better. It's that simple. Conveyancers and banks need to join forces to remove consumer pain points that still accompany pen and paper property settlements." 110 financial institutions and 3,781 conveyancers have joined PEXA The push to take property transactions online is now gaining traction with 110 financial institutions and more than 3,781 legal and conveyancing firms joining the PEXA network. Over 74,000 eContracts were compiled via InfoTrack’s e-Conveyancing platform in 2016 with an average of over 8,000 currently ordered per month. PEXA was born out of a successfully implemented Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) reform to bring property exchange into the digital economy. Property transactions are one of the last major financial dealings to be transformed by technology. Ready to settle your clients' properties online in Victoria but need a bit of help to get started? PEXA has dedicated specialists trained to guide your practice to a digital future. Even better, it's a free service. Get started by emailing andrew.tyrrell@pexa.com.au IMB BANK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HELPS LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS GET MAD ABOUT MONEY! 2017-03-24T06:13:52Z imb-bank-community-foundation-helps-local-high-school-students-get-mad-about-money IMB Bank Community Foundation has partnered with The National Theatre for Children (NTC) to deliver a financial literacy program to high schools, at no cost to the students. The program will deliver educational and entertaining messages to young people who are emerging as consumers. Global Money Week is also being held from March 27 to April 2, with the aim of helping children and teenagers start the journey to a better chance at financial security. IMB Bank Chief Executive, Robert Ryan, sees the value of investing in these students. “Today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s young adults, who will face important decisions regarding their spending and saving habits,” he says. “When we prepare them to develop healthy money habits, the benefits are enormous—they will have less stress, less debt and less confusion about their finances. This program, funded by IMB Bank Community Foundation, is just one of the financial literacy initiatives we will be launching this year for the under 25 age group.” Mad About Money is a forty-minute performance divided into segments that humorously address topics like wages and deductions, the difference between needs and wants, cash and credit and the importance of forming a savings habit. Two professional actors take suggestions from the audience and incorporate the ideas into their scenes through improvisation. “The kids respond so well to the program because they get to help shape it,” says NTC Managing Director Tobias Benn. “It’s an interactive experience rather than a passive presentation. The energy is very high, the information is relevant and meaningful to the kids and the information sticks with them because learning and laughter are blended so seamlessly.” The concepts examined in Mad About Money are aligned with the Australian curriculum and reinforced by free student workbooks and teacher guides for teachers to use in their lessons. Schools also gain access to digital learning materials to supplement their lessons with interactive classroom exercises, quizzes and games based around the program. IMB Bank will further extend the educational experience and knowledge bank for young people with the launch of a new web portal Money Tree – www.imbmoneytree.com.au – which will be loaded with useful tips and information to help add additional value to the financial literacy programs. The tour begins on Monday 20th March and will visit schools across Kirrawee, Sylvania, Miranda as well as Wollongong, Dapto, Oak Flats and surrounding suburbs. Did you know IMB Bank... ·         Was established in 1880 and is one of Australia’s leading mutual banks, regulated by APRA and ASIC ·         Has an overall customer satisfaction rating of 96% and assets over $5 billion ·         Offers a comprehensive range of retail banking, small business banking and financial planning products and services ·         Has home loans, personal loans and deposit products awarded five-star ratings or ‘Best in Category’ by various independent financial services reviewers ·         Offers internet and mobile banking and has a branch network of 48 operating in Illawarra, NSW South Coast, ACT, Sydney and Melbourne ·         Has granted $8.1m to more than 550 community projects during the past 17 years via IMB’s Community Foundation ·         Merged with The Shire…Local Banking in July, 2016 About NTC Since 1978, NTC has dedicated itself to delivering entertaining and highly educational programs to positively motivate families, students and educators.  We inspire young people – and their families – to explore important and timely curricular subjects including: wise energy use, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), financial literacy, health and nutrition and environmental literacy, among others.  Originally focused on delivering its programs via live theatre, NTC is now an award-winning educational content provider whose repertoire includes print and digital curriculum and extracurricular events.  We have developed the art of teaching through educational story-telling into a science of its own, and are currently the largest in-school touring educational production company in the world.  www.ntccorporate.com.au Property transactions go digital in North-West Melbourne 2017-03-24T03:56:34Z property-transactions-go-digital-in-north-west-melbourne North-West Melbourne based Boss Conveyancing, has quickly transitioned its business to be digital-ready. The firm’s director, Sally Nguyen, shares why she’s making the move to settle property transfers online in an intensely competitive market. Q. Well done Sally for backing new technology by encouraging other conveyancers to also come on board and exchange property online. What prompted you to take the plunge with digital settlement? When I heard PEXA was helping industry transition to e-Conveyancing I was very curious as to what change this could bring to our line of work. I attended a PEXA seminar and the excitement in introducing a new way of conveyancing was very intriguing! It made settlements sound painless, straight forward and fast. Q. Can you briefly paint a picture of your local real estate market and how you differentiate your service? While located in a North Western suburb of Melbourne, our firm deals with a wide range of conveyancing transactions across Victoria including purchase and sale of residential dwellings, purchase and sale of off the plan properties, plan of subdivision and transfers of title. The knowledge and experience our team has is extensive. We have years of work experience and the knowledge gleaned from a real estate background helps inform our clients. All of our team is bilingual. This is a great asset to our clients.  And this is why we are heavily investing in PEXA. It’s fast and efficient which will only help us grow.  This is great for us and great for our clients. It serves our purpose and business model as a modern conveyancing firm. Q. You have a real estate background. Can you explain if this is an advantage working as a conveyancer? Most definitely. As a conveyancer you work closely with real estate agents, brokers and bankers. To be able to help each other to complete a smooth transaction – you have to understand the process. Having a real estate background helped me understand the dynamics in real estate and how to deal with certain situations. However, for my clients, sometimes when they are sceptical about whether to sign a contract or unsure before they go to auction – I can help guide them step by step right from the very beginning to end. We’re not just about conveyancing and how stress-free it can be to settle a home. We’re about how stress-free it can be to buy or sell a home throughout. That means knowing a little bit of everything to guide clients through and point them in the right direction. Q. Word is spreading that you’re sending lots of invitations to your peers in Melbourne’s north-west suburbs inviting them to transact. Are other conveyancers willing to innovate with you? Wherever I can, I love to. Recently we’ve started to be really active, inviting any parties that are registered on PEXA to complete a settlement online regardless of where they’re located. You have some firms actively accepting and communicating via PEXA. But unfortunately, some firms aren’t wanting to adapt to this positive change. Perhaps it’s too new or they don’t have the time to give it a chance. We were nervous at the start. Change can be scary. But when Linda Thai from PEXA came and met us, it was comforting and it was a breeze to get started. Many more firms should really consider putting aside 30 minutes with their PEXA trainer if they haven’t already. Q. Some conveyancers are finding efficiency and cost benefits by embracing digital technology. What has been your experience? I find it easy to adapt to. As a licenced conveyancer I know what’s best for my client. As a PEXA user I know the discharge and caveat fees lodgement fees are cheaper. I also save time on bookings, lodgements and stamping. It’s a no-brainer. You simply incorporate the PEXA fee into your current fees. Look at it this way – when a Vendor sells and is told they need to pay $112.60 to discharge their mortgage we explain that this is a mandatory fee. It’s the same as a settlement fee. If it costs ‘X’ amount to complete the file, it’s a fee that needs to be accounted for. Q. What are the benefits of going digital compared with sticking with the traditional paper-based way of settling property transactions? Many including minimising the risk of settlement falling over due to shortfall via bank cheques. I also save paper. There are no settlement agents being late from another settlement. No bank cheque fees. Funds instantly clear for my vendors (depending on their financial institution). Our fee is instantly paid. If settlement is not ready to take place in one allocated time slot, PEXA automatically moves settlement into the next time slot. Instantly assess stamp duty payable. No lost bank cheques in the mail to council and water authorities. Q. Are there any productivity and efficiency benefits that you’ve experienced by making the switch from settling property online rather than using paper processes? One hundred percent. Saving time on the phones with banks when making bookings including sending emails to book settlements with the other side. Communication with all relevant parties is easy on PEXA – you’re all basically in the same workspace to confirm available funds, see everything and complete tasks. Q. Have you had any feedback from clients after transacting online? Clients have previously asked me: “Do people still use bank cheques? It’s the 21st century. Don’t my funds clear straight away?” Now I can tell them no more bank cheques and YES funds will clear on the same day (depending on who they bank with). Q. How can e-conveyancing help grow your business to be more competitive? We can be faster and more efficient. We’re growing with the world by embracing online technology to make the most of what we have. Our business model is to grow and learn where we can – PEXA is it. There is always room for improvement and e-conveyancing is just the beginning. Q. What advice would you offer to firms that are already internet banking and using other e-commerce platforms but have been slow to make the switch online for property settlement? Jump on it now! If you’re already fortunate enough to be tech-savvy with internet banking and other e-commerce platforms – what is stopping you from learning just one more thing? It’s going to happen sooner or later so get on board now. Q. Crystal ball gazing time. Property transactions have been slow to move online. When do you expect that more firms will make the switch online? What will help them to turn to high-tech solutions like PEXA? While some business owners are comfortable with their daily routine and sending their settlement packets to a certain agent – it will eventually phase out. It just takes a mandatory regulation to rule out paper settlements and then they HAVE to make the transition. Or it might just take an open mind to allow and accept change. It’s really simple – you just have to get out of your comfort zone. Victoria recently undertook a bulk conversion of titles to electronic format on 22 October 2016. Everyone just had to adapt to the change. The question conveyancers need to ask themselves is – ‘what would you do if settlements were no longer able to take place manually tomorrow’? Ready to settle your clients' properties online in Victoria but need a bit of help to get started? PEXA has dedicated specialists trained to guide your practice to a digital future. Even better, it's a free service. Get started by emailing linda.thai@pexa.com.au