5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

XXXX brewery. (Source: Lion)

Here’s the must-read tech news for Thursday:

1. Samsung Pay was just enabled for 1.7 million Australians. The tech giant has onboarded payment sourcer Cuscal, which provides services to 38 banks and credit unions. The customers of those institutions, which include the likes of Credit Union Australia (CUA), Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and SCU, can now use Samsung phones and watches for contactless payments instead of their credit and debit cards. Read more here.

2. Telstra CEO Andrew Penn is blaming new technology and the NBN for the decision to cut 1400 jobs. In his memo to staff yesterday, Penn said the company needs to “transform urgently” with old jobs replaced with new ones for the digital age. Meanwhile, the communications union curiously claimed it was “ambushed” and didn’t know about the sackings until it saw it in the media yesterday – which is strange because the first report of the job cuts came out from their tip-off.

3. A prominent female tech exec says it’s “disheartening” that so many smart young women don’t pursue STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) careers because they don’t think they’re smart enough. Tabcorp chief information officer Kim Wenn said the findings from her company’s research show parents, businesses, educators, the government and STEM industries need to collaborate to remove the “stigmas and stereotypes” around those subjects. Read more here.

4. Every company is launching a startup accelerator, it seems. The latest is Lion, the food and beverage giant behind brands like XXXX and Dairy Farmers. Corporate startup engagement specialist Slingshot has helped it create a 12-week programme called Lion Unleashed, which is now taking applications for the first intake. Read more here.

5. Centrelink wants software that blocks people from using the new cashless welfare card for alcohol, drugs and gambling. iTnews reports that the department of social services has appealed to the market for such technology, to relieve the current situation of merchants having to manually stop people from buying prohibited goods.

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