Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations

Globe and Mail | | July 29, 2018

Crypto kitties bryce bladon - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First NationsRichard Cochrane thinks he has the solution for a problem that has plagued First Nations online shoppers since the start of the digital age.

That solution is his fintech startup, Status Exempt. The 29-year-old entrepreneur has developed a service and plugin for Shopify Inc.’s e-commerce platform that allows First Nations people to shop online without being charged the harmonized sales tax (HST), provincial sales tax or goods-and-services tax.

First Nations people who buy items online and have them shipped to a reserve are exempt from these taxes on purchases. But Mr. Cochrane says most retailers do not have an online process that takes the taxes off immediately. First Nations shoppers must submit their receipts to a provincial ministry of finance or the Canada Revenue Agency to get a refund, which Mr. Cochrane says can take up to 90 days to arrive.

“I’m thinking about 500,000 First Nations live in rural areas,” Mr. Cochrane says. “They don’t have access to Canadian Tire or Walmart. Almost their entire wallet will be spent online or through catalogues. This is one of the few interactions outside their reserve, and this is how they are experiencing it. I knew I had to build something a lot better.”

His business idea was born out of personal experience. Mr. Cochrane is a member of Curve Lake First Nation, north of Peterborough, Ont. In 2016, he was bedridden after knee surgery, got bored and decided to shop online. He says very few stores had a process to refund the HST.

“The stores that did have processes had poor ones. It took them at least a week to process the transaction for me,” he said. “I realized then what First Nations people in this country have to deal with daily shopping online.”

Status Exempt is intended to expedite that process . First Nations shoppers register online. Their Indian status cards and addresses are checked, and then they get login credentials. When they shop, retailers that offer the service will take the tax off immediately.

See:  ‘No Coffee for Bitcoin’ Starbucks Clarifies as Media Misinterprets Its New Crypto Venture

The service is free for First Nations people who register, and Mr. Cochrane says it takes about five minutes to validate the status card and address. Status Exempt will get its revenue from fees of 3 per cent to 5 per cent that retailers will pay for every purchase made online via the app.

For the roll-out, retailers need to be on the Shopify platform to add the plugin to their sites. However, Mr. Cochrane is working on plugins for other e-commerce platforms, such as Magento and WooCommerce. He’s willing to build a custom plugin for major retailers not on an e-commerce platform.

Canada has more than 970,000 First Nations people, and the number is growing, and it’s a young population. The 2016 census found that one-third of First Nations were 14 and under – a group raised with digital devices and who are comfortable shopping online. Of the First Nations people with registered or treaty Indian status, 42 per cent live on reserves, according to the 2016 census.

Mr. Cochrane thinks his startup could open a sizeable market. “This is a huge opportunity for online merchants to increase their sales overnight by providing this service,” he said. “Online stores are missing out on a huge percentage of the Canadian population that is hesitant to shop online because the experience isn’t up to par compared to the bricks-and-mortar experience.”

Tom Phillips, an economist with Trent University’s School of Business in Peterborough, says Mr. Cochrane has an innovative idea, but his primary challenge will be getting widespread adoption from First Nations and retailers.

“There are lots of apps that have great application and make a lot of sense, but have a roadblock in terms of adoption,” Mr. Phillips said. “You’ve got to spend some money exposing the market to the benefits. Users have to have knowledge of it.”

He says Mr. Cochrane will need money to expose Status Exempt to shoppers and businesses, and he will also need to use his networks in the aboriginal and entrepreneur community to help market it.

See:  How To Start a Startup: 10 Steps to Launch

Mr. Cochrane has been funding the development of Status Exempt with his personal savings and about $30,000 in grant funding.

The University of Windsor graduate worked in Toronto with the Bank of Montreal’s aboriginal banking unit as well as at HSBC Global Banking and Markets before deciding to launch Status Exempt in 2017. He has used the funding to hire professional developers to build his plugin and is targeting Sept. 1 as the date for it to go live.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First NationsThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First NationsFF Logo 400 v3 - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nationscommunity social impact - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations

The Byte | Noor Al-Sibai | Feb 3, 2023 The CEO behind the record-breaking ChatGPT has a bit of a strange background, the TL;DR of which being that he once admitted to being a doomsday prepper who believes that killer artificial intelligence or a lab-modified virus could bring about the end of days. Origins:  Altman, who is also the president of the uber-influential Y Combinator startup incubator, is one of only OG OpenAI cofounders still standing. The company's decision to go from more of a research vehicle to a for-profit venture in 2019 was somewhat overshadowed by his fellow cofounder Elon Musk's decision to leave the firm — over some seemingly huge disagreements about its direction. General Intelligence AI:  While Altman doesn't think we're that close to AIs gaining consciousness — a belief that's not quite shared by fellow OG OpenAI-er Ilya Sutskever — he did tell Forbes that creating AGI is "the thrust that drives all my actions" and, it seems, his raison d'etre for the firm. See:  Billionaire investor Ray Dalio on capitalism’s crisis: The world is going to change ‘in shocking ways’ in the next five years Sam Altman: "I think capitalism is awesome. I love capitalism.  Of ...
Read More
Freepik Starline AI - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
FCA | Release | Feb 3, 2023 The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) required firms to amend or remove 8,582 promotions during 2022 - 14 times more than 2021, a report published today shows. Social media remains a major focus for the regulator’s work in combatting misleading promotions. The FCA has worked closely with several Big Tech companies to change their advertising policies to only allow financial promotions that have been approved by FCA-authorised firms, but more needs to be done by tech companies to protect consumers. The FCA has made significant improvements to the digital tools it uses to find problem firms and misleading adverts. These improvements have enabled it to work through a much larger number of cases compared with 2021. ‘Fin-fluencers’ have also been a growing concern for the regulator. Unauthorised individuals should not advise people on the merits of certain investments, as this will likely be subject to our regulations and it could lead to action being taken against them. The FCA has already acted against several social media influencers over the past year. In one case, the FCA found a director of a regulated firm using their personal profile to promote the advice of unauthorised traders ...
Read More
Unsplash Merakist social media - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
Guest Post | Feb 3, 2023 Technology advancements have allowed us to improve processes and cover previously impossible areas. For example, the latest technological advances in security have enabled our homes to remain safer daily, stay one step ahead and keep our home and loved ones safe. In this blog post, we will explore the latest tech in home security so you can know which of these innovations might be helpful for your home. Garage door security Improving garage door security is relatively simple and can be achieved through a few key steps: Upgrade your garage door with a smart opener for added convenience. With a smart opener, you can easily control and monitor the status of your garage door from your smartphone. This allows you to check if the door is open or closed and close it remotely when needed. Regular checks are recommended to maintain the proper functioning of the garage door. If any issues arise, a local garage doors professional can be consulted. Add remote access controls: Many smart garage door openers can add remote access controls, such as key fobs, which allow authorized individuals to open and close the garage door without a physical key. Install ...
Read More
Unsplash Brian Babb home security - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
MarketWatch | Dean Seal | Feb 2, 2023 Shares of Coinbase Global Inc. rose 21% to $79.50 after a federal district judge dismissed a proposed class action accusing the crypto exchange of selling tokens that qualified as unregistered securities. The suit, filed in October 2021, alleged that nearly 80 of the digital assets traded on the Coinbase exchange fit the description of a security under federal law, and that Coinbase therefore violated the law by selling the tokens without proper registration. A New York federal judge ruled Thursday that the token buyers behind the suit have made contradictory allegations between their original complaint and a later amended complaint as to whether Coinbase actually held title to or sold the tokens, rather than just facilitate their trading on its exchange, in "an apparent attempt to evade dismissal." See:  Coinbase is Cutting 950 Employees (20%) | Brother of Former Employee 10 months Sentence for Insider Trading The judge further found that the terms of Coinbase's user agreement, which state that only exchange users hold title over tokens they trade, "flatly contradict" the lawsuit's allegations.  Finding that further amendments would be futile, the judge dismissed the case with prejudice. The dismissal marks a ...
Read More
Pixabay sergeitokmakov crypto and regulation - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
Tristram Waye for Bitvo | Feb 2, 2023 After a substantial lift in crypto, it begs the question, was that the bottom?  The answer, of course, is no idea.  Because bottoms are not events but rather a process.  After a challenging crypto winter, the relief is welcome, but the question of whether it’s over requires some evidence. This lift might be what is known as a bear trap. Bear traps entice buyers before heading back down. On the other hand, it might be the beginning of a new trading range for bitcoin and ether. So let’s have a look at some things that might tell us about where we are and how to use what we discover. See:  Is Crypto Bouncing Back, or Bull Trap? Be careful picking market tops and bottoms Jesse Livermore:  “One of the most helpful things anyone can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth —or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world. They have cost stock traders in aggregate enough millions of dollars to build a concrete highway across the continent.” So on the upside, this means picking tops, getting on the short side too early ...
Read More
Dolphin - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker | Anjali Das  | Jan 23, 2023 The recent implosion of crypto firm FTX and its affiliates provides a case study for potential crypto exposure under traditional insurance policies in this series of four articles Silent Crypto for D&O and Corporate Liability Insurance (Part I), Silent Crypto Exposure for Accountants (Part II), Silent Crypto Exposure for Lawyers (Part III), and Crime and Custody Coverage for Crypto Assets (Part IV). See:  White House Releases Comprehensive Framework for Digital Assets Highlighting 6 Key Priorities OCC Softens Stance on Banks' Cryptocurrency Activities: In the past few years, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a series of interpretative letters and guidance regarding the agency's loosening stance on banks engaged in cryptocurrency activities. First, OCC confirmed that banks may provide cryptocurrency custody services to customers by holding the "unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrency. Second, OCC has indicated that banks also may hold reserves to support "stablecoin" transactions. Third, OCC has authorized banks to participate in cryptocurrency transactions based on blockchain or DLT, including independent node verification networks (INVNs). With advances in technology and the global financial markets, there is "increasing demand in ...
Read More
Unsplash PiggyBank dogecoin - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
Accenture | Michael Abbott  | Jan 10, 2023 A combination of well-established forces and recent developments is reshaping banking. Overview: In the absence of that revenue stream, banks shifted their focus from the totality of customers’ financial needs to isolated products that continued to generate fees. At the same time, fintech innovators burst onto the scene, awash with cheap capital and valuing scale over financial returns.  Now that positive rates have returned, the constellation of banking products is drifting into a more familiar and predictable orbit. Rising rates catalyze product innovation:  It will come in the form of offerings similar to that of Amazon Prime. 2023 will see a renewed focus on branches:  Without in-person interaction most banks have struggled to maintain close relationships. Demistifying the metaverse: Just as mobile did, the metaverse is opening a new world of possibilities. It won’t be without risk—but banks were invented to manage risk. Culture and Talent:  Talent will make ever-increasing demands on banks’ leadership. If it isn’t given its due, it will become a burning platform. See:  Will Open Banking Launch in Canada This Year? Risk everywhere:  As new risks emerge, banks that focus on helping customers solve their problems, rather than on collections, ...
Read More
Unsplash Viktor Forgacs Office building - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
Fortune via Yahoo Finance | Christiaan Hetzner | Feb 1, 2023 Hypersonic flight, 3D printed humanoid robots, groceries delivered by drones, molecular biomarkers for early detection of malignant tumors Report: That's the conclusion from her annual Big Ideas report published on Tuesday by her money management firm. This 153-page deep dive attempts to handicap the potential commercial opportunities awaiting those startups and incumbents quick to embrace promising new technologies set to supplant older, obsolete ones. Wood believes companies that succeed in disrupting existing industries will experience “super-exponential growth”, lifting their cumulative value by an average annual rate of 40% in the process to reach a staggering $200 trillion by 2030. To put that gargantuan figure into perspective, the International Monetary Fund estimated last April that the size of the entire world's economy would cross the $100 trillion mark in nominal GDP terms by the end of the year. See:  a16z: Big Fintech Ideas to Tackle in 2023 Forecasting winners: Instead of emphasizing spreadsheets and valuation models that often focus on short-term fundamentals like a company’s forward-year cash flow or earnings per share, her ARK Invest research team prefers a top-down analysis of what macroeconomic problems inhibit social progress before examining ...
Read More
Ark invest big ideas 2023 - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
Chainanalysis | Feb 1, 2023 2022 was the biggest year ever for crypto hacking, with $3.8 billion stolen from cryptocurrency businesses. DeFi protocols by far the biggest victims of cryptocurrency hacks accounting for 82.1% of all cryptocurrency stolen by hackers — a total of $3.1 billion — up from 73.3% in 2021. And of that $3.1 billion, 64% came from cross-chain bridge protocols specifically. Bridges are an attractive target for hackers because the smart contracts in effect become huge, centralized repositories of funds backing the assets that have been bridged to the new chain — a more desirable honeypot could scarcely be imagined. If a bridge gets big enough, any error in its underlying smart contract code or other potential weak spot is almost sure to eventually be found and exploited by bad actors. See:  Do Industry Operators, Researchers, and Regulators Agree On How Big Crypto Crime Is? Double edged sword:  DeFi is one of the fastest-growing, most compelling areas of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, largely due to its transparency.  But that same transparency is also what makes DeFi so vulnerable — hackers can scan DeFi code for vulnerabilities and strike at the perfect time to maximize their theft. The core ...
Read More
Chainanalysis 2022 hacks by type - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations
CNBC | Jordan Novet | Jan 31, 2023 Artificial intelligence research startup OpenAI on Tuesday introduced a tool that's designed to figure out if text is human-generated or written by a computer. Schools were quick to limit ChatGPT's use over concerns the software could hurt learning.  Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO, said education has changed in the past after technology such as calculators has emerged, but he also said there could be ways for the company to help teachers spot text written by AI. Working on solution: OpenAI's new tool can make mistakes and is a work in progress, company employees Jan Hendrik Kirchner, Lama Ahmad, Scott Aaronson and Jan Leike wrote in a blog post, noting that OpenAI would like feedback on the classifier from parents and teachers. Far from perfect: "In our evaluations on a 'challenge set' of English texts, our classifier correctly identifies 26% of AI-written text (true positives) as 'likely AI-written,' while incorrectly labeling human-written text as AI-written 9% of the time (false positives)," the OpenAI employees wrote. Our work on the detection of AI-generated text will continue, and we hope to share improved methods in the future See:  How AI Is Disrupting The Web Development Industry ...
Read More
Sam Altman - Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 − 1 =