The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-01-24T04:09:02Z Australia’s leading cryptocurrency exchange launches in Singapore 2020-01-24T04:09:02Z australia-s-leading-cryptocurrency-exchange-launches-in-singapore Following a succession of strategic partnerships and business growth in 2019, Independent Reserve has today announced it has expanded its services to Singapore. Singapore residents will be able to buy, trade and hold digital currencies through Independent Reserve’s platform. Founded in 2013, the exchange is a pro-regulation platform with the highest levels of security.  Having an already strong presence in Australia and New Zealand, including over 120,000 customers and around 8,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs), Adrian Przelozny, CEO and founder of Independent Reserve, said he was pleased to be able to offer the platform’s proven, tested and refined services to a wider audience in APAC. “Following a number of positive moves by Singaporean regulators, including the introduction of the Payments Services Act by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), we felt the time was right to make this move. Having worked closely with Australian regulators, and as the only Australian exchange to have insurance on crypto assets, the response we’ve received so far from the Singapore market has been overwhelmingly positive.” “As part of this, we’ll soon be integrating Singaporean dollar trading pairs into our platform,” concluded Mr Przelozny.  L-R: Independent Reserve executive team, Lasanka Perera (COO), Adrian Przelozny (CEO and founder) and Roman Stefanidi (CTO) The exchange will run under a separate entity called Independent Reserve SG PTE LTD.  Independent Reserve has built a proprietary, institutional grade trading platform to allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and other digital currencies.  Back in Australia, the cryptocurrency exchange has been working closely with various regulatory bodies including AUSTRAC to formulate AML/CTF regulatory frameworks for the industry.  In February 2019, Independent Reserve announced it had become the first cryptocurrency exchange in Australia to offer insurance coverage to its clients. The policy insures against theft or loss of any cryptocurrency that is held in an Independent Reserve trading account. The exchange also partnered with KPMG in a world first partnership between a top four accounting firm and a cryptocurrency exchange to create a crypto tax calculator. The digital tool - developed by KPMG - plugs directly into a user’s Independent Reserve account, allowing traders to estimate tax obligations on their portfolio, all with just the click of a button. Australian finance industry heavyweights Mike Tilley (ex -CEO of Challenger Financial and Chairman of Latitude Financial), Martin Rogers (KTM Ventures) and Steve James (Seer Asset Management) are investors and board members of Independent Reserve.  For more information on Independent Reserve, visit https://www.independentreserve.com.sg/ BeThere™ Group combines expertise with software platform CAPTUR3D to create insurance-specific SaaS 2020-01-23T23:51:30Z bethere-group-combines-expertise-with-software-platform-captur3d-to-create-insurance-specific-saas Today, BeThere™Group has joined forces with CAPTUR3D to provide cutting edge, industry-specific SaaS for insurance.  BeThere™ and CAPTUR3D have combined their extensive knowledge of the insurance process, customer service and software development to meet the needs of the ever-expanding insurance industry.  Leading with one of the fastest-growing tech hardware companies in the US, Matterport, BeThere and CAPTUR3D will pair the latest 3D digital evidence with a best-in-class sharing platform, to assist incumbents and 3rd party providers.  CEO and Co-Founder of BeThere™, Grant Beck, brings to the table six years of intensive experience with insurance claims. As a building assessor and Forensic Fire Scene Investigator, Beck knows first hand the pain points experienced by claims handlers, customers and suppliers when attempting to show stakeholders the magnitude of loss at their property.  Beck explains just how transformative these digital tools will be in easing the claims process: “Using 3D tools to scan an area of damage is going to change the way we look and manage claims. Our workforce of claims handlers is younger and technology to them is the now, not the future. So if we can use this technology to almost gamify their job role to better understand a loss we will see better customer service, improved NPS scores, and overall retention in staff into a role that has on average 40% turnover of staff per annum”. COO of BeThere™, Simon Wojcik, has been able to use his decade of experience in business development and training to guide the transition to this new SaaS with customers:  “Technology is advancing so quickly that organisations need to constantly look for ways to improve and innovate otherwise risk being left behind. Insurance is a unique industry with its own set of challenges.  We have worked extensively with industry experts to tailor and develop a safe and secure 3D solution to fit seamlessly into existing processes whilst providing industry-specific, onsite training and support.” As a world leading content management system for Matterport Virtual Tours, CAPTUR3D provides a cost-effective and efficient way to manage 3D data. By building specific digital tools for insurance, CAPTUR3D is allowing the benefits of 3D data to become ubiquitous across the entire industry.  COO of CAPTUR3D, Steven Kounnas, envisions how quickly this approach to data management could become an industry standard:  “We’re seeing this kind of data visualisation technology be adopted at an extraordinary rate overseas, particularly in the US. The intuitive nature of digital twins is such that the insurance process can become truly accessible for all stakeholders involved. Being able to visualise data in real-time ultimately aids the transparency of claims handling, limiting the opportunity for disputes. As such, we want to see digital twin technology really find a foothold here in Australia and New Zealand.”  For more information, please visit us @ https://bethere.net.au  or contact us on 1300 050 098 About the BeThere™ Group BeThere™ Group provides 3D Digital Evidence Capture Solutions and associated Virtual Reality Training to Companies, Enterprise and Government Organisations.  Insurance Solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNhzUIi6Mo Fire 3D capture Example: https://bethere-virtual-tour.captur3d.io/page/bethere/large-fire-damage Discover more about BeThere™ Group’s services @ https://bethere.net.au  About CAPTUR3D CAPTUR3D is the all-in-one Content Management System that extends value to your Matterport Virtual Tours. Discover more about CAPTUR3D’s services @ http://captur3d.io New Book “The Money Messenger” Eliminates Financial Stress for Millennials 2020-01-21T22:51:31Z new-book-the-money-messenger-eliminates-financial-stress-for-millennials January 22, 2020 (MELBOURNE) — Money Messenger founder Angela Santalia proudly announces the publication of her new book and financial resource, The Money Messenger, which is now available for purchase online. Teaching young Australians how to use their income in a better way to reduce financial stressors, The Money Messenger guides young adults on what they need to know about money to help them form healthy behaviours with their finances and avoid future hardships. From setting up bank accounts with automated savings, the truth behind credit cards and personal loans, and investing 101, Angela’s new book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn about money and spend more wisely. This is not just another money book, this is the essential real world money manual.   With over two decades working in the Australian Financial Planning industry, Angela has learned a lot about money, people, and which spending habits do and don’t work. “In my experience, I’ve discovered that unfortunately, many people don’t use their income in the best way. Many live payday to payday, have credit card debt, and think that’s ‘normal.’ This is a dangerous cycle that can lead to financial stress. The Money Messenger details exactly what people need to know to combat this. This book is a must-read for all ages, whether you’re starting out or starting over.”   In her work as the Money Messenger, Angela’s mission is to increase financial literacy, particularly amongst young adults who suffer from a growing trend of bad debts and financial stress which can follow them around for years. Her expertise in financial planning ensures that Angela’s money secrets and strategies are simple to follow and easy to understand.   Along with her book, Angela runs a thriving website, Money Messenger, which features a blog, resources, tools, videos, and more where Angela shares her money management knowledge with the public. To further reach audiences, Angela is active on social media and regularly posts educational content online. The Money Messenger book is available in paperback for $34.95 AUD (with free postage) or as an ebook PDF for $21.95 AUD. An audio version is coming soon. For more information or to purchase The Money Messenger, please visit www.moneymessenger.com.au. If you are interested in an interview with the author, or would like more information, please contact Angela on 0413 373 021 or info@moneymessenger.com.au. PEXA announces appointment of new CFO 2020-01-21T05:00:23Z pexa-announces-appointment-of-new-cfo-1 Property Exchange Australia (PEXA Ltd) is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Moore as Chief Financial Officer, effective 3 February 2020. The appointment follows an extensive search process over several months that assessed a strong field of external and internal candidates. PEXA CEO Glenn King said the company was delighted that Mr Moore – most recently the CFO at MYOB – had accepted the role. “Having held CFO roles across a range of industries, Richard is an exceptionally qualified candidate,” Mr King said. “In addition to overseeing MYOB’s transition from private to public ownership, Richard has led the financials for a number of Australia’s most successful businesses, bringing an immense depth of experience to PEXA’s senior leadership team.” Prior to MYOB, Richard held senior finance roles across a diverse range of industries, including CFO of Jetstar Airways, CFO of Bankwest Business and eight years in finance roles at GE Capital across both the UK and Australia. He is also a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.   Mr King said the appointment of Mr Moore reinforces PEXA’s commitment to delivering efficiencies to the property industry. “Richard’s appointment is reflective of our investment in leadership talent as we continue to grow the business,” Mr King said. “He compliments our strong performance-oriented culture, setting the business up to continue delivering strong outcomes for our members, our teams and the broader community,” Mr King said. “Richard’s member-first ethos was a critical component in his appointment.” A senior member of the Group Executive team, Mr Moore will report directly to CEO Glenn King. Practifi Completes A$24M Series B Funding Round with US-Based Updata Partners to Accelerate Growth 2020-01-21T04:27:17Z practifi-completes-a-24m-series-b-funding-round-with-us-based-updata-partners-to-accelerate-growth “I’m tremendously proud of how much we’ve accomplished in revolutionising the technology available to Australian advisers, superannuation funds and trustees, but this is only the beginning. Our continued partnership with EVP and our new partnership with Updata will help us drive even more growth. Our vision is to create the most efficient business management platform possible for financial advice firms and the most comprehensive trustee office platform for superannuation funds,” stated Glenn Elliott, co-founder and chief executive officer of Practifi. Adrian Johnstone, co-founder and chief commercial officer, added, “With so much pressure across both advice and super, we are deeply committed to extending our platform to add even more value. Whether our clients are looking to improve client, member or employer relationships or they’re wanting to reduce the burden of compliance, we’re right there.” Driven by a passion for the client experience, Practifi’s collaborative platform connects the tools needed to drive efficient operations so our clients can concentrate on building trust and positive relationships with their clients. Carter Griffin, general partner of Updata, added, “In a competitive market, Practifi has created a tool that enables growth, compliance, and efficiency for financial advice firms and superannuation funds. We invested in Practifi because they have a genuine vision for an industry that needs revolutionising. We‘re excited to be partnering with them as they build exciting new features and create a more innovative financial services solution.” About Updata Partners Updata Partners is a leading technology growth equity firm based in Washington, DC. Led by an investment team averaging more than 25 years of technology experience, Updata invests in high-growth software and software- driven businesses where the combination of its capital and operating experience will help accelerate success. To learn more, visit updata.com. About Practifi More than a CRM, Practifi is a business management platform designed for growing financial advice businesses around the world. Practifi allows financial advisors, family offices and broker dealers to effortlessly manage their client relationships, monitor compliance and automate workflows, all through an easy-to-use interface. To learn more, practifi.com. Why do organisations need a crisis to understand they have a problem? 2020-01-20T01:34:33Z why-do-organisations-need-a-crisis-to-understand-they-have-a-problem Shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders have grown weary of seeing scandalous headlines condemning large businesses and institutions as they lurch from one crisis to another.  From a royal commission about child sexual abuse, to misconduct in the financial sector, age care quality and safety, exploitation of disabled people and so on and on... Why do organisations need to have fires and Royal Commissions in order to understand that there is a problem?    What is it that leads executives and workers alike down a destructive path of bad behaviour and notoriety that destroys businesses, financial wellbeing, shareholder value and reputations in the process?   The answer is an appreciation regarding the neuro-processes of leadership decision making.   Decision making is difficult!  Especially when the outcomes are far into the future and it is hard to calculate what would have happened had a different decision been made.   All decisions are affected by inherent biases of the individuals and teams involved in making them.  We are all biased…it’s how our brain is wired!   Our thinking process is performed using two systems: 1. the automatic thinking (system 1) – fast, automatic and effortless; and   2. the systematic (system 2) – the slow, controlled, rule based, effortful process.   When a new skill is being learned, system 2 is being applied.  By practicing the skill and becoming proficient, we transition to using system 1.   For example, when driving an unfamiliar road, we are usually using system 2.   This is also why so many car accidents happen near home (when we are driving the same way every day we are using system 1).   Yesterday in an interview, one of the fire fighters combatting the bushfire disasters mentioned that they had so many practices and drills over the years, that when the fire near his hometown erupted, they all acted fast as if on ‘auto pilot’.      That is the power of using system 1.   System 1 is based on the heuristic thoughts, our biases.  Using this system saves us time and energy.  Using system 2 all the time is simply not feasible.   The problem within organisations arises when senior executives and staff are using system 1 instead of system 2 for making important decisions.   Adding to this complexity is that we are often unaware which system we are using at a certain time.  So, we find ourselves believing that we are using system 2, while actually we are basing our decisions on our inherent biases.   We cannot see through our neuro-processes and sometimes make decisions without knowing what actually lead to them...what influenced us.   There are over 175 biases and each affects us differently.  Some explain more than others the failures in decision making at management, board and policy making levels.   For example: WYSIATI is when our brain convinces us that What we (You) See Is All There Is.   This means that we are convinced that there is no need to look for further information and hence make decisions based on current knowledge, which causes us to consult with people who think like us, look for the information that supports our beliefs and ignore contradicting information and opinions.   The good news is that there are diagnostic tools that can help decision makers in business understand the inherent biases that they tend to use individually and as a team and learn how to design decision-making environments that mitigates these biases.  The diagnostic tools are based on Decision Science, which is a relatively new field combining behavioural economics, psychology and neuroscience.   In short, it could be the solution for those organisations seeking to ensure 2020 is not another year of lost productivity, goodwill and value.  Executives, teams and employees should be proactive and learn how to design a decision-making environment that shields from these biases and facilitates better decision-making outcomes and results.   Issued by DifferenThinking      www.differenthinking.com.au           Media Enquiries:     Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mob:  +61 412 112 545     Email:  jperri@joeperri.com.au     La Trobe Financial establishes Disaster Relief Package to support impacted customers 2020-01-19T21:00:10Z la-trobe-financial-establishes-disaster-relief-package-to-support-impacted-customers 16 January 2020 – La Trobe Financial has announced that it has established a Disaster Relief Package to assist customers affected by the bushfires. For customers who have lost their homes to the bushfires, La Trobe Financial will pay loan interest and charges for twelve months, provide access to interest-free loans to help cover any gap between insurance payouts and the cost of rebuilding, and allow fee-free withdrawals from investments in the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund. For other customers experiencing hardship because of the bushfires, La Trobe Financial will defer loan repayments for up to twelve months, help with finance on discounted terms to cover property repair costs or support a small business, and make it easier to access investments in the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund without incurring fees. For customers who are volunteer firefighters, La Trobe Financial will also offer financial help including deferral of home loan repayments for up to 6 months. The Disaster Relief Package is in addition to La Trobe Financial’s recent $1 million donation to assist people affected by the bushfires across Australia. The donation was split between The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal and the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. La Trobe Financial President & CEO Greg O’Neill OAM says: “true to our philosophy of others before self, we are determined to look out for our customers and offer meaningful support to those affected through this very challenging time.” For La Trobe Financial customers impacted by the bushfires, please call our Helpline on 1800 620 639 to find out if you are eligible for the Disaster Relief Package. About La Trobe Financial La Trobe Financial is an Australian diversified wealth manager with $9.6 billion of assets under management, and is 80 per cent owned by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager. Since 1952, it has been providing funding and investment solutions to more than 140,000 customers. A proven and trusted investment partner, La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited ACN 007 332 363 AFSL 222213 operates the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund ARSN 088 178 321, Australia’s largest retail Credit Fund. La Trobe Financial is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and holds the requisite regulatory AFSL and ACL licences. Media enquires: Caterina Nesci, Head of Foundation, Sponsorships & Awards  www.latrobefinancial.com First home buyers with small deposits can save $10,000 by comparing 2020-01-19T02:22:27Z first-home-buyers-with-small-deposits-can-save-10-000-by-comparing MEDIA RELEASE Sunday 19 January 2020 Interest Rate update: First Home Buyers can save more by comparing rates Up to ten thousand home buyers will be assisted into their first mortgage in 2020 by the federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, currently only available through Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank. All these borrowers will have low deposits (under 20% LVR, as low as 5% LVR). “First Home Loan Scheme borrowers face higher repayments than borrowers with bigger deposits,” said Vadim Taube, Chief Executive Officer of InfoChoice, a leading Australian financial comparison site since 1993. “So, it’s important to get a good value loan with a competitive rate to ensure you are paying as little as possible in repayments.” “Big banks often give discounts to smart borrowers who have compared the market and know what the best deals are,” said Vadim Taube. “That applies to Commonwealth, NAB and most other major lenders. “If you are applying for a first home loan deposit scheme home loan through CBA, NAB or one of the other lenders who will come on board in February, make sure you have compared their loan rates with the best in the market,” said Vadim Taube.   Fixed rate mortgage market very competitive in January 2020 CBA and NAB have two-year fixed rate specials for first home buyers and owner occupiers. Commonwealth has a 2.99%pa rate (comparison rate 4.47% pa) NAB has a 2.98% pa rate (comparison rate 4.34% pa). Well Home Loans has a 2 year fixed rate of 2.68% pa, (OO, P&I,  comparison rate 2.75% pa) with a maximum LVR of 90%, according to the InfoChoice database of 1800 Australian home loans from 145 institutions.   Variable rate mortgage market: 20 loans < 3% in January 2020 There are 20 variable rate mortgage products now with advertised rates under 3.0 per cent pa, according to InfoChoice (see table below). Most borrowers choose variable rates and the RBA has signalled that rates are heading down in 2020.   FHBs with small deposits can save $10,000 by comparing A first home borrower with just 10 per cent deposit could save $10,000 or more over the life of a 25-year loan by choosing a cheaper loan said Vadim Taube, CEO of InfoChoice. For owner-occupier borrowers wanting a  $500,000, 25-year, variable, P&I loan, the difference between the most competitive rates and the most competitive major lender variable rates is worth over $35 per month in repayments according to the InfoChoice Refinance Calculator. “First home buyers facing higher repayments because of their low deposit can save plenty each month and over the life of their loan by comparing rates,” said Vadim Taube. “Talk to your lender and let them know that you know the best rates in market are less than what they are currently charging you.”     Lender’s cheapest advertised variable loan  on InfoChoice 18/1/20 Variable comparison % Rate (OO, P&I) Approx $ monthly repayments on a $500K, 25-year home loan. $ difference over 25-year loan. Well Home Loans LVR =< 90% 2.96 $2360   NAB 3.09 $2395    ( + $35) +$10,158 CBA 3.23 $2431    (+ $71) + $21, 190     Institution Title  Variable owner ocuupied P&I loan Rate % pa Comparison % pa Reduce Home Loans Rate Slasher 2.69 2.7 Reduce Home Loans Low Rider Variable 2.69 2.71 Reduce Home Loans Rate Lovers 2.77 2.79 Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster 2.77 2.78 Freedom Lend Owner Occupied Variable P&I 80% 2.79 2.79 G&C Mutual Bank First Home Premium Package 2.79 2.79 HomeStar Owner Occupied Loan (P&I) 2.79 2.82 Athena Home Loans Owner Occupier Principal & Interest 2.84 2.8 UBank Discount Offer for Owner Occupied Variable P&I Rate 2.84 2.84 loans.com.au Smart Home Loan 2.88 2.9 Well Home Loans Well Balanced (90) 2.92 2.96 Move Bank First Home Loan - Special Intro Rate 2.94 3.52 Bank of Sydney BOSBasic Home Loan - Owner Occupier 2.96 3.01 Aussie Aussie Select Standard Variable 2.99 3.2 Australian Unity Kick Starter Home Loan 2.99 3.02 HSBC Premier Variable Rate Loan 2.99 3.45 ING Mortgage Simplifier $1m+ where LVR <=80% 2.99 3.02 Morgan Brooks Special Variable Rate 2.99 3.03 Mortgage House The Essentials Low Rate Home Loan 2.99 3.02 UBank Discount Offer for Owner Occupied Variable P&I Rate 2.99 2.99 ING Mortgage Simplifier 3.03 3.06 Freedom Lend Owner Occupied Variable P&I 90% 3.04 3.04 HomeStar Owner Occupied Loan (I/O) 3.04 3.07 ING Orange Advantage $1m+ where LVR <=80% 3.04 3.38 Arab Bank Basics Home Loan 100% Offset - Special Offer 3.05 3.19 Institution Title  Lowest listed Big Four bank variable owner occupied P&I loan Rate % pa Comparison % pa ANZ Bank Simplicity Plus Special Offer LVR not> 80% 3.24 3.28 Commonwealth Extra LVR <= 70% 3.22 3.23 NAB Base Rate Special Offer 3.09 3.09 Westpac First Option Home Loan Promo 3.18 3.19   Compare 1800 home loans from 145 institutions at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.   For more information on Savings account rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794   * listed on InfoChoice’s database of 1800 home loans and 145 institutions in Australia. InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Comparison rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years. WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. BeThere™ Group combines expertise with software platform CAPTUR3D to create insurance-specific SaaS 2020-01-14T01:11:31Z virtual-tours-changing-the-face-of-insurance Today, BeThere™ Group has joined forces with CAPTUR3D to provide cutting edge, industry-specific SaaS for insurance.  BeThere™ and CAPTUR3D have combined their extensive knowledge of the insurance process, customer service and software development to meet the needs of the ever-expanding insurance industry.  Leading with one of the fastest-growing tech hardware companies in the US, Matterport, BeThere and CAPTUR3D will pair the latest 3D digital evidence with a best-in-class sharing platform, to assist incumbents and 3rd party providers.  CEO and Co-Founder of BeThere™, Grant Beck, brings to the table six years of intensive experience with insurance claims. As a building assessor and Forensic Fire Scene Investigator, Beck knows first hand the pain points experienced by claims handlers, customers and suppliers when attempting to show stakeholders the magnitude of loss at their property.  Beck explains just how transformative these digital tools will be in easing the claims process: “Using 3D tools to scan an area of damage is going to change the way we look and manage claims. Our workforce of claims handlers is younger and technology to them is the now, not the future. So if we can use this technology to almost gamify their job role to better understand a loss we will see better customer service, improved NPS scores, and overall retention in staff into a role that has on average 40% turnover of staff per annum”. COO of BeThere™, Simon Wojcik, has been able to use his decade of experience in business development and training to guide the transition to this new SaaS with customers:  “Technology is advancing so quickly that organisations need to constantly look for ways to improve and innovate otherwise risk being left behind. Insurance is a unique industry with its own set of challenges.  We have worked extensively with industry experts to tailor and develop a safe and secure 3D solution to fit seamlessly into existing processes whilst providing industry-specific, onsite training and support.” As a world leading content management system for Matterport Virtual Tours, CAPTUR3D provides a cost-effective and efficient way to manage 3D data. By building specific digital tools for insurance, CAPTUR3D is allowing the benefits of 3D data to become ubiquitous across the entire industry.  COO of CAPTUR3D, Steven Kounnas, envisions how quickly this approach to data management could become an industry standard:  “We’re seeing this kind of data visualisation technology be adopted at an extraordinary rate overseas, particularly in the US. The intuitive nature of digital twins is such that the insurance process can become truly accessible for all stakeholders involved. Being able to visualise data in real-time ultimately aids the transparency of claims handling, limiting the opportunity for disputes. As such, we want to see digital twin technology really find a foothold here in Australia and New Zealand.”  For more information, please visit ... About the BeThere™ Group BeThere™ Group provides 3D Digital Evidence Capture Solutions and associated Virtual Reality Training to Companies, Enterprise and Government Organisations.  Insurance Solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNhzUIi6Mo Fire 3D capture Example: https://bethere-virtual-tour.captur3d.io/page/bethere/large-fire-damage Contact us @ info@bethere.net.au or 1300 050 098 Discover more about BeThere™ Group’s services @ https://bethere.net.au  About CAPTUR3D CAPTUR3D is the all-in-one Content Management System that extends value to your Matterport Virtual Tours. Discover more about CAPTUR3D’s services @ http://captur3d.io Interest rate update - Car loans now have home loan-like rates 2020-01-13T04:04:56Z interest-rate-update-car-loans-now-have-home-loan-like-rates MEDIA RELEASE Monday 13 January 2020 Interest Rate update: Car loans now have home loan-like rates Car loan sales are under pressure as vehicle sales in Australia feel the pinch from restrained consumer spending and business investment. Lenders are responding by cutting car loan and personal loan rates to under five per cent per annum. InfoChoice now lists car loans and personal loans with fixed rates starting from 4.19 per cent pa (comparison rate 4.73 per cent pa) fixed for three years:   Four top fixed-rate rate car loans now listed on InfoChoice: Institution Loan Product Title Rate - 3 Year Fixed Rate - 3 Year Comparison Rate - 5 Year Fixed Rate - 5 Year Comparison loans.com.au Green Car Loans 4.19 4.73 4.19 4.73 RateSetter RateSetter Car Loan^ 4.69 6.03 4.69 6.03 loans.com.au Car Loan (New) 4.89 5.44 4.89 5.44 Move Bank New Car Loan 4.89 5.16 4.89 5.16   And variable car loan interest rates  now start at 4.45 per cent pa (comparison rate 4.65 per cent pa). Five top variable rate car loans now listed on InfoChoice: Institution Title Product Title Rate - Variable Rate - Variable Comparison Endeavour Mutual Bank Term Deposit Secured Loan^ 4.45 4.65 Sydney Mutual Bank Term Deposit Secured Loan 4.45 4.65 Heritage Bank Low Rate Secured Loan (A Personal Loan 100% secured by Heritage Bank Term Deposit)^ 4.69 7.16 Australian Military Bank Green Loan 4.7 5.63 Transport Mutual Credit Union Limited GreenRoad Loan 4.99 5.26   “Car loan rates have fallen significantly over the last year as lenders are under pressure,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of InfoChoice, Australia’s leading financial comparison website. “Car sales are in the doldrums and car loan providers need to compete for each and every borrower out there. “Borrowers have a great choice at the moment of plenty of great low-rate car loans from the banks and the credit unions. “While the credit unions have traditionally been a home to low-rate car loans, the big banks are also offering some competitive offers that are hard to ignore,” said Vadim Taube. NAB has personal loans suitable for purchasing a second-hand car with rates set at 10.69% pa (comparison rate 11.58% pa). ANZ has Fixed Rate personal loan rates set at 12.45%pa (comparison rate 13.32 %pa). Commonwealth Bank has secured car loans from 8.49% pa (comparison rate 9.45% pa). Westpac also has car loan rates starting from 8.49% pa (comparison ate 9.67% pa). Compare interest rates in the Australian car loan market at InfoChoice.  Compare 1800 home loans from 145 institutions at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.   For more information on Savings account rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794   * listed on InfoChoice’s database of 1800 home loans and 145 institutions in Australia. InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Comparison rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years. WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. Honan releases 2019 Market Update – 2020 will be another testing year for businesses seeking insurance cover 2020-01-13T02:08:02Z honan-releases-2019-market-update-2020-will-be-another-testing-year-for-businesses-seeking-insurance-cover Honan Insurance Group’s (Honan) December 2019 Quarterly Market Update has been released and the report foresees 2020 as another year that will again test businesses seeking insurance cover said Travis Wendt, Honan’s Head of Broking & Carrier Management.   Commenting further, Travis Wendt said top line premium growth will continue to take a back seat as the market maintains a focus on improved bottom line underwriting profitability.  “Underwriters continue to be very risk selective on both renewal and new business and are still prepared to walk away if things don’t stack up”.   “We have witnessed a number of instances where the incumbent insurer has elected not to renew cover due to changes to underwriting guidelines – even in long standing client/insurer relationships”!   As a result of this stance, there has been a greater reliance to obtain terms through overseas markets such as London and Singapore.  Unfortunately, these traditional markets are in the midst of their own remedial action, with the aim of restoring profitability after several years of significant losses, especially at Lloyds.       Whilst allowing brokers to obtain capacity to place risks, there have been significant hikes in premium spends. “We expect this to continue into 2020 and beyond”, affirmed Travis Wendt.  “For local insurers, 2019 saw the third full 12-month cycle of underwriting remediation, with no real signs of this altering in 2020”.   “Hard market cycles tend to exist for up to 5 cycles before material and consistent shifts are witnessed and with history as an indicator, we anticipate the peak to occur towards the end of 2021”.   Faced with further flatlining investment returns, underwriting profitability remains a key metric of overall business performance.   In 2020, insurers will continue to apply stringent underwriting principles set by management guidelines and will include pricing adequacy, restrictions on certain aspects of coverage and increased excesses.   High hazard property, Professional Indemnity, natural catastrophe risks and residential strata risks with aluminium composite panel (ACP) construction will remain a challenge as the availability of insurer capacity continues to diminish.   Travis Wendt said, “While risks will be viewed on a case-by-case basis, the need for businesses to differentiate their exposure from their peers will ensure they are seen in the very best light by the market, resulting in the most favourable terms available”.   “Prior to the arrival of summer and the current devasting bushfire disaster across multiple states, insurers had placed embargoes on new business within regional areas of New South Wales.  There’s no doubt that as a result of the bushfires there will be a further drag on premiums and cover”.      “Coupled with the ongoing impact of cyclones and tropical storms in Northern Queensland this results in the market taking corrective action required to limit exposure from losses/claims”.   Honan’s Quarterly Market Update concluded with an insight into the trends and considerations in the global insurance market.   As member of the Worldwide Broker Network WBN) Honan has a unique perspective and an in-depth insight into insurance trends across the globe.    “What we are witnessing is increased premiums for Directors & Officers, Liability of Public Companies, Limited markets for unsprinklered EPS locations and the tough PI Lloyds market”, said Steve Pappas, Honan’s Head of Global & Networks.   “In working with new clients with global business activities, we have discovered instances where we have found that clients with multinational risks may not be covered correctly in certain regions”.   Citing a recent example of a client with exposure in the Middle East.  An initial analysis of the insurance program found particular exposures were not covered under the global policy placed in Australia.  Honan was able to engage partner brokers in the Middle East to bind local policies in that region to ensure the correct insurance program was in place.   “It is important to ensure you have the right support when considering business across different jurisdictions.    “At Honan, we advise our clients to talk to their broker as early as possible as transparent and holistic conversations provide for personalised solutions that can assist businesses to evolve and grow across the globe”, concluded Steve Pappas.   Issued by Honan Insurance Group    www.honan.com.au   Media Enquiries:       Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd                                     Mob:  +61 412 112 545  Email:  jperri@joeperri.com.au   First Home Loan Deposit Scheme warning 2020-01-10T01:43:21Z first-home-loan-deposit-scheme-warning First home buyers participating in the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) could end up paying up to $5,000 in higher loan repayments each and every year as a result. The Morrison government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme commenced on 1 January and the first two lenders participating in the scheme – CBA and NAB – are now accepting applications from potential first home buyers. The scheme allows first home buyers to apply for a 5 per cent deposit home loan on the same basis as a 20 per cent deposit loan, meaning home buyers may be able to get into the property market sooner and with less savings accumulated. That can save first home buyers plenty of money and time spent saving for a sizable deposit. The FHLDS also saves participating borrowers the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance. The chief executive of InfoChoice, one of Australia’s leading financial comparison sites, is warning potential first home buyers that they need to factor in higher repayments if they take out a FHLDS loan, as opposed to saving up a 20% deposit and taking out a typical first home loan.  “A smaller deposit means a higher principal loan amount and hence higher monthly repayments,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of InfoChoice. “Home loan applicants will need to show how they can afford the higher repayments in order to get approved for a FHLDS home loan. “While loans being offered by Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are very competitively priced, first home buyers need to be aware that they will pay more in repayments for a 95% LVR loan than they will for a typical 80% LVR loan. “The government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme saves buyers the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance and the time taken to save up the extra 15 per cent of the house price but monthly repayments could be higher as a result of the smaller deposit,” said Vadim Taube. “While it isn’t possible to directly compare an FHLDS loan with a non-FHLDS loan, its is possible to conclude that FHLDS borrowers could pay more in monthly repayments than they would if they saved a 20 per cent deposit.”   How much more could FHLDS borrowers pay each month? Commonwealth Bank’s Extra Home Loan has variable rates for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest starting at 3.22% pa (comparison rate 3.23% pa) with a $600 application fee and $8 monthly fee. National Australia Bank’s Fixed Choice Package (2 years, P&I) First HomeBuyer Special has a fixed rate of 2.88 per cent pa (comparison rate 4.34 per cent pa) with a $395 annual fee. Both lenders have other loans available for first home buyers with other rates and fees.       FHLDS borrower Non-FHLDS borrower Difference (per month) Difference (per year) Property to be purchased: $600,000 $600,000 minus 5% = home loan of $570,000 $600,000 minus 20% = home loan of $480,000     CBA Extra HL 3.22% pa, $600 application fee, $8 monthly fee Monthly repayments: $2,769 Monthly repayments: $2,332 $437 $5,244 NAB Fixed Choice (2y, P&I) First HomeBuyer Special 2.88%, $395 annual fee Monthly repayments: $2,668 (first 2 years) Monthly repayments: $2,246 (first 2 years)   $422   $5064   Based loan term of 25 years, repayments may exclude some fees, calculations from the InfoChoice refinancing calculator.  “It’s important for first home buyers to compare deals and costs of loans to ensure they are getting the best value around,” said Vadim Taube. “And it’s important to factor in the repayments you will have to make if and when the loan is approved. “The best and cheapest home loan for you may not be the one from the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme lenders,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of InfoChoice. “There are now 25 home loans for owner occupiers with advertised variable rates under 3.0 per cent pa.” Compare 1800 home loans from 145 institutions at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.   For more information on Savings account rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794   * listed on InfoChoice’s database of 1800 home loans and 145 institutions in Australia. InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Comparison rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years. WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. La Trobe Financial donates $1 million to support bushfire relief and recovery 2020-01-09T01:06:16Z la-trobe-financial-donates-1-million-to-support-bushfire-relief-and-recovery 9 January 2020 – La Trobe Financial has announced it will make a $1 million donation, split between The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal and The Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief Recovery Fund, to help people affected by the bushfires across Australia. La Trobe Financial President & CEO Greg O’Neill OAM says: “We express our deepest sympathies to people who have suffered tremendous loss as a result of these devastating fires. We also express our gratitude to the tireless volunteers and emergency workers who are supporting our communities.” For La Trobe Financial customers impacted by the bushfires, please call our Mortgage Help Team on 1800 620 639. About La Trobe Financial La Trobe Financial is an Australian diversified wealth manager with $9.6 billion of assets under management. Since 1952, it has been providing funding and investment solutions to more than 140,000 customers. A proven and trusted investment partner, La Trobe Financial operates Australia’s largest retail Credit Fund and is 80 per cent owned by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager. La Trobe Financial is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and holds the requisite regulatory AFSL and ACL licences. Media enquires: Bridget Crowe, Head of Corporate Affairs www.latrobefinancial.com Melbourne to host the world premiere of Blockchain documentary, “Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet” 2020-01-09T00:57:34Z melbourne-to-host-the-world-premiere-of-blockchain-documentary-cryptopia-bitcoin-blockchains-and-the-future-of-the-internet MELBOURNE, Australia, Thursday 9th January 2020 - The world tour of Torsten Hoffmann’s new documentary, Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of Internet will kick off in Melbourne on 14th January. Five years after his first film, Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It, the filmmaker revisits Bitcoin and sets out to explore the evolution of the blockchain industry and its new promise. Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralised network, really provide a robust alternative to the Internet as we know it? Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our times, threatening banks by building an alternative and decentralised currency system. Some say that blockchain could provide a blueprint for a better and fairer Internet - challenging the dominating technology giants.  Despite this potential, Bitcoin’s value has a volatile history and the community has had its fair share of drama. Moreover, much of the media coverage is often misinformed or misleading, leaving the general public confused about the technology and its larger implications. “Blockchains are one component of a much bigger vision, which is web3.0”, says Andreas M. Antonopoulos in the third act of the film about the future of the Internet. This Screen Australia supported and crowdfunded feature documentary introduces the ‘big brains and big egos’ of this controversial industry including Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Laura Shin, Dr. Jemma Green, Charlie Lee, Vitalik Buterin, Dr. Robert Kahn, Vinny Lingham, Tone Vays, Preethi Kasireddy, Wences Casares, Samson Mow, Roger Ver, Craig Wright, and many more. The world premiere is sponsored and supported by some key stakeholders in the blockchain sector; Blockchain Australia, CoinJar, Independent Reserve, TravelbyBit, Amber, RMIT Online, BraveNewCoin, Nugget’s News, AlphaWallet, DaybyDay, Decred and BANXA. There will be sponsor giveaways, including free cryptocurrency. Industry leaders Alan Tsen (SideFund), Karen Cohen (Blockchain Australia) and others will open the night with a short panel discussion. "As a community-directed cryptocurrency focused on building sound money with inclusive governance, Decred is committed to developing the global blockchain ecosystem and proud to sponsor this exclusive launch event. Our emerging industry needs to reach mainstream users, and the documentary #CryptopiaFilm may help to educate a broader audience.” said Decred’s David Habibi.  The filmmaker will travel to Europe, North America and Asia after the January 14th premiere in Melbourne to showcase the movie that was produced on four continents over two years.  Join the award-winning director/producer Torsten Hoffmann on his journey to better understand this decentralised technology and the promise of web3.0. Tickets for this exclusive premiere event at the Treasury Theatre at 6:45pm on January 14th are currently on sale at www.CryptopiaFilm.com. "We're excited to be sponsoring the upcoming Melbourne premiere of Torsten’s new film. It's an eye-opening documentary, which approaches the blockchain question without an obvious agenda. We’ll be providing free giveaways to all attendees" - CoinJar’s CEO Asher Tan.  Social Media - @CryptopiaFilm Tickets - www.CryptopiaFilm.com -ends- Shellharbour-based broker recognised as industry top performer 2019-12-19T06:17:49Z shellharbour-based-broker-recognised-as-industry-top-performer St Leonards, NSW (December 19, 2019) – Connected Finance’s George Mihalopoulos has been included in the annual Mortgage Professional Australia Top 100 Brokers list, sponsored by Suncorp. This prestigious list recognises the best brokers in Australia and is widely regarded as the industry benchmark for top performers. “With the challenging lending environment of the last two years, brokers’ figures for 2019 have taken a hit, but those who made it into MPA’s Top 100 have prepared their businesses to succeed,” says Mortgage Professional Australia editor Rebecca Pike. “In the past, the Top 100 list has been based on the value of loans written over the past 12 months. But this year we have changed the criteria to take into consideration some of the other factors that show a broker’s success. While loan value still makes up most of the weighting, conversion rate, number of loans and growth in value have also been included.” Speaking to Mortgage Professional Australia about overcoming last year’s challenges, particularly tighter lending restrictions and deeper assessments being completed by the lender, Mihalopoulos believes that this was warranted and is actually a good thing for both the broker industry and consumers. However, this had an impact on lender turnaround times. “We were already in the habit of providing a detailed submission to support any application, therefore deeper assessments being completed by the lender did not really affect our business and processes. With longer turnaround times, it was all about setting the right expectations with the clients from the first meeting and providing detailed updates during the process through to approval and so in the customer’s eyes, this was the norm in any case.” Read the full report in issue 19.12 of Mortgage Professional Australia, out now or find out more about Mihalopoulos HERE.   -ENDS-   Mortgage Professional Australia (MPA) is the leading business magazine for the mortgage and finance industry. Launched in 2001, MPA continues to be the key resource mortgage and finance professionals turn to for in-depth industry issues, market trends, business analysis and intelligence. MPA is also very well known for its annual surveys and special reports such as Brokers on Banks and the MPA Top 100 that recognise key individuals and businesses and provide a unique snapshot of an industry that is continually evolving. MPA is published by independent media company Key Media. In conjunction with the print and online publications, Key Media also produces several mortgage and finance industry events including the Australian Mortgage Awards. Find out more about Key Media’s magazines, events and websites at www.keymedia.com.