Trending Financial News 23 August

Not everyone likes the new Commbank app

The Commonwealth Bank’s new app, CommBank app 4.0 is being hailed as a transformative step on the road to the digital banking future. 

The app is generally recognised as the best in Australia and one of the best in the world. The new upgraded app finds Centrelink and other benefits, rebates and concession payments that you might be eligible for.

The app supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Siri Shortcut, Cardless Cash and PayID.

But some users have expressed their dissatisfaction about the new app. Read more in InfoChoice’s review of the new CommBank app.

More lenders cut rates under 3%

Brisbane based mutual MOVE Bank has trimmed interest rates across its range of variable and fixed rate home loans for both owner occupiers and investors.

MOVE’s Ultra-Low Lockit 3-year fixed home loan rate is now set at 2.98 per cent pa (comparison rate 4.06 per cent pa).

MOVE’s Straightforward Home Loan has a new advertised variable rate of 3.09 per cent pa (comparison rate 3.12 per cent pa).

St George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne cut four and five year advertised rates to under three per cent earlier this week.

One million Aussies like Zip

Buy Now, Pay Later service Zip reported an 80 per cent increase in customer numbers to 1.3 million Australians over the year to June. In the last 12 months Zip processed 4.8 million transactions worth A$1.1 billion and is targeting an increase to 2.5 million customers during 2019/20.

The number of retail partners grew from 10,600 to 16,200.

Yesterday Zip announced the launch of a small business product, ZipBiz, a Buy Now, Pay Later service for business purchases worth up to $25,000.

ANZ says ‘we failed our customers’

ANZ Bank has completed but not released an apparently damning self-assessment required by government regulators following the banking royal commission in 2018.

ANZ Bank’s chairman David Gonski said ANZ had has taken steps in recent years to simplify the business and develop “a stronger sense of our core purpose, ethics and fairness.”

“We recognise there have been instances where we have failed our customers,” said Mr Gonski.

“Where this has occurred we are determined to make things right as quickly as practicable.

Reserve Bank says: Expect more rate cuts

The Reserve Bank held the official cash interest rate steady at 1.0 per cent in August, after rate cuts in June and July and has now signalled that more rate cuts are likely in coming months.

“An extended period of low interest rates [will] be required in Australia to make sustained progress towards full employment,” stated the members of the RBA board in minutes released this week.

“[RBA board] members would consider a further easing of monetary policy if the accumulation of additional evidence suggested this was needed.”

The RBA expects inflation to edge higher over the remainder of 2019 and unemployment to decline slightly.

Trump’s trade war worrying to RBA

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Dr Philip Lowe, says he is worried that US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China could impact economic growth.

“[Some people in the US] say it’s time for ‘Team West’ to muscle up against China,” said Dr Lowe.

“That is very worrying.

“No country has made itself wealthy and prosperous through protectionism,” said Dr Lowe.

Read more about Trump’s trade war and the impact it could have on your mortgage.

It’s raining frequent flyer points

Credit card issuers are offering thousands of Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity points as competition in the cards market heats up. Some cards are offering enough points for a couple to take off on a return international getaway. For example, the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle Qantas card is offering 75,000 QFF bonus points. 60,000 on a Mastercard and 15,000 on the Amex companion credit card (spending requirements and other terms and conditions apply).

Find out more about the cards offering thousands of points to new approved applicants.

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