The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web. In today's briefing:

Mobile matures fast in a crisis: India's decision to remove most of its currency from circulation was sure to boost mobile wallet and banking use, but Paytm is expanding so fast it's actually generating a narrow category of economic expansion. The company is going to hire more than 10,000 agents to expand its offline merchant network and bolster its onboarding teams, according to the Economic Times of India. Paytm's volume in India has passed 5 million transactions per day in less than a week, and the average number of transactions per user has hit 18 per day, up from three before the crisis. "This is a historic opportunity for India to skip the plastic generation and leapfrog to mobile payments," Nitin Misra, senior vice president of Paytm, told the news service. Companies in India have been trying a lot of things to jumpstart the evolution from cash, including special prepaid cards and encouraging smartphone use, but it turns out getting rid of cash itself may be what does the trick.

Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Worse than Ashley Madison: A new hack at adult dating site Friend Finder Network has compromised more than 412 million accounts, e-mail addresses and passwords, a theft that's particularly dangerous because this information can also be used to compromise payment networks. Engadget reports the hack has revealed usernames, payment patterns, internet addresses and easily crackable or unprotected passwords. The hack is far larger than the 2015 hack of the "cheating" website Ashley Madison, which compromised about 32 million accounts, according to The Verge.

Facebook's bot sandbox: Facebook has made Messenger a major venue for bots in the past year, an effort that has included collaborations with payment companies such as Amex and Plum, as Messenger becomes a broader payments venue for the social network. Facebook is upgrading Messenger to allow track bots on its analytics platform and is also opening its developer program to bot developers, according to TechCrunch. The analytics will help developers gauge how well bots are performing, for payments and other uses. There are about 34,000 bots in existence covering shopping, news, entertainment and other content.

DDoS in Russia: Several Russian financial institutions were hit by a distributed denial of service attack, reports Yahoo News via AFP, adding the attacks began early last week and continued through the end of the week impacting account and payment networks. Five or more banks were victimized, including the state-run Sberbank and Alfabank. Tens of thousands of botnets of hijacked devices, spanning 30 countries, were used to flood Russian bank sites with as many as 660,000 requests per hour--DDoS attacks are designed to disrupt web services by overwhelming them.The attack was similar to the recent attack in the U.S. that hit PayPal, Twitter and the New York Times.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Omnichannel is pushing Kohl's toward its future
Business Insider • B.I. Intelligence
This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "E-Commerce Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here. Kohl's reported a disappointing Q3 2016 performance with total sales dropping over 2% year-over-year (YoY), totaling $4.3 billion. However, the company's e-commerce sales continue...

India's Largest Bank Gets $7 Billion in Deposits as ATMs Run Dry
Bloomberg • Divya Patil
Indians rushed to deposit 478.68 billion rupees ($7.1 billion) of cash at State Bank of India after the government's surprise move to abolish high-denomination banknotes, as customers queued for hours to deposit or exchange the old bills and ATMs ran dry.

How Cities Stopped Panicking About Fare Evasion and Made Transit Faster
Streetsblog • David Meyer
All-door boarding could significantly speed up bus rides for millions of New Yorkers, but MTA officials have refused to endorse it as citywide practice, citing “the very real threat of fare evasion.” Transit agencies in other cities, meanwhile, aren’t hiding behind that.

More from PaymentsSource

Millennials' selfie obsession drives Mitek's security moves
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EMV 'bum's rush' is a disaster for merchants and consumers
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Dwolla drops consumer-facing products to focus on payments
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