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Paytm suspends POS app a day after release due to security concerns

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India’s Paytm has withdrawn its POS app a day after it was released amid security concerns. 

Paytm released a new point-of-sale app dubbed Paytm POS to much fanfare on Wednesday, addressing the inadequate availability of POS machines in India. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was expecting over 10 million downloads of Paytm POS app by the weekend. 

However, the ecommerce company announced last evening it is rolling back the app, a decision it reached after talking with several stakeholders and realising its app needed to be more secure. Shortly after its release, payment network giants MasterCard and Visa had flagged privacy concerns in how Paytm POS app was handling user details. 

“Based on some suggestions from the industry, we have decided to add additional certifications and features before making it available to merchants,” the company wrote in a blogpost, adding that it will re-launch the app with some amendments later without sharing a firm timeline. 

India has roughly about 1.5 million point-of-sales card machines, and over 700 million with debit cards and credit cards. Paytm POS app was designed to mimic as a terminal machine. 

Shortly after its announcement, however, people began expressing security concerns in the way Paytm POS app handled bank credentials. 

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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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