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Top 10 stories of the week: November 28th to December 4th 2016

In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 4th December 2016

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: PhonePe, Indian Express and E2E for their support.

Facebook is piloting Express WiFi in India through tie ups with telcos

Facebook has started testing its Express WiFi, its public WiFi service in rural areas in India. According to the company’s Internet.org website, the service is currently live in India and Facebook is “working with ISPs and carriers and local entrepreneurs” to help expand the project. The development was first reported by PTI. Read it here

Traditional taxis case against Uber in EU will “define” Uber’s status

Uber will present its arguments about being a digital service, as opposed to a transportation service, in the European Court of Justice tomorrow, reports New York Times. This hearing will determine the way the company will operate across the European Union. Globally, Uber maintains that it is a digital platform connecting drivers and riders. Read it here

Cash vs Digital Money: why going cashless is going to be tough in India

At the end of a panel at “Startup India Standup India”, adequately named “Disruptive Power of Technology in Financial Inclusion”, the panelists, which included Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Eko Founder and CEO Abhishek Sinha, and Ispirt’s Sharad Sharma, pledged to make India a cashless economy. Read it here

CCAvenue & Razorpay slashes debit card processing fees

Following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, online payment gateway CCAvenue, along with its partnering banks has slashed its domestic debit card processing rates to 0.10% and service tax for all MasterCard, Visa and Maestro Cards from today to 31 December, 2016. Previously, CCAvenue used to charge 2% processing fee for debit card transactions. Read it here

RBI places withdrawal limits on Jan Dhan accounts

In view of a large number of reports of money laundering through Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed withdrawal limits. Fully KYC compliant Jan Dhan account holders will be allowed to withdraw Rs 10,000 in a month while limited or non KYC compliant account holders may be allowed to withdraw Rs 5,000 per month. Read it here

What the Internet of Things is, its security & privacy concerns – CCGNLU, Delhi


On 21st October 2016, multiple cyber-attacks on the Internet infrastructure company Dyn shut down web browsing across America and Europe for hours. Over 100,000 devices were reportedly connected via a malware botnet named Mirai for this attack. The attack was a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS), which is carried out by flooding the bandwidth of a web server with artificial traffic from multiple devices. This causes it to crash and renders it inaccessible. This attack specifically was carried out by using a medley of devices connected over the internet, including security and street view cameras used for industrial security. Read it here

Paytm claims 1M merchants; updates app to accept payments, but it’s no “App PoS”

Alibaba backed payments company Paytm seems to have updated its mobile application to allow merchants to accept payments. Hat tip: @manogath. A Paytm executive has confirmed this to us, though its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and its corporate communications team have not responded to calls or text messages seeking clarifications. We’ve also not heard back from them on whether changes have been made following an intervention from the Reserve Bank of India. Our analysis of the ill fated App PoS is here. Read it here

Two days after launch, Mobikwik changes how its lite application works

Yesterday morning, a source informed us that the Mobikwik Lite application stopped allowing users to accept money: After you entered the customers mobile number, to solicit payment, a user got the message that said: “Transaction Status; This feature is currently disabled”(screenshot). We checked and this was true. Read it here

Congress hacking and some thoughts on publishing of emails online

Yesterday and the day before, twitter accounts of the Indian National Congress were (allegedly) hacked: first the political party’s own twitter handle, then that of its VP Rahul Gandhi, and finally, the twitter handle of another member, Rachit Seth. At the time of writing this post, Seth’s twitter handle still appears to be inaccessible to him: the pinned tweet has an email a political supporter apparently sent to Gandhi, and other tweets appear to suggest that they have access to the party’s emails: Read it here

Gujarat HC disposes Amazon & Flipkart’s entry tax petitions

The Gujarat High Court has disposed petitions from Flipkart and Amazon which challenged the 6% entry tax into by the state government for goods purchased through e-commerce sites, following the recent Supreme Court verdict which upheld the validity of the imposition of entry tax into states, as indicated by the Economic Times. Read it here

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