5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Heritage Bank’s Visa wristband. (Source: supplied)

Huzzah, it’s Friday:

1. If you don’t like the big banks, you can just use someone else. There are now legitimate alternatives to the traditional institutions with a wide variety of personal finance apps available for Australian phones. Here are just nine of them, and the reasons why it’s such a lucrative area for startups.

2. The big banks are keeping up with tech though. NAB this morning launched Google Assistant capability, to allow customers to do their banking by voice. Meanwhile, Queensland’s Heritage Bank, as Business Insider revealed back in April, has today released to the public its waterproof Visa debit card in the form of a wristband.

3. The Productivity Commission is trying to work out how the government can collect GST from overseas online retailers. The ATO submitted to the enquiry that it has already identified 3000 businesses it will monitor for compliance when purchases under $1000 become liable for GST from July next year. Meanwhile, Amazon wants the delivery provider to collect the GST on its behalf, which has met with a frosty reply from Australia Post. Read more on that debate.

4. Australian engineers are creating VR to train astronauts. Aeronautical company Boeing’s Brisbane team has developed a cirtual reality trainer for the Starliner capsule to help train astronauts on manoeuvres like docking with the International Space Station and reentry to earth. Read more here.

5. Tesla cars have now hit the roads, but planes are going electric too. Electric airplane startup Zunum Aero announced plans to introduce a 12-seat hybrid-to-electric jet by 2022. The US company made headlines in April for attracting investment from aircraft manufacturer Boeing and airline JetBlue. Read more here.

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