‘Democratic’ technology Open Network for Digital Commerce opens for Bengaluru today

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The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will be available to the people in Bengaluru from September 30 as part of its beta testing process of the commerce and industry ministry’s initiative to help small retailers and reduce the dominance of e-commerce giants.

The programme aims to reduce the dominance of two significant multinational e-commerce businesses, which account for more than half of countrywide e-commerce activity, restrict market access, favour specific vendors, and reduce supplier margins.

Also Read: Politics must not determine ONDC architecture

While calling it a “democratic” technology, Piyush Goyal earlier said that it would empower buyers and small businesses. The Minister of Commerce and Industry announced on Twitter that, with ONDC, Bengaluru consumers would get “a whole new shopping experience”.

A total of 255 crore from up to 20 national organisations has been pledged to ONDC. Lenders including State Bank of India, UCO Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda have previously guaranteed investments.

On September 27, Bank of India (BOI) announced that it had invested 10 crore in ONDC via a private placement. As a result of this investment, BOI will own 5.56% of ONDC, according to the bank’s regulatory filing.

In five cities—Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong, and Coimbatore—the ministry started ONDC’s experimental phase in April. This protocol is similar to UPI. In these cities, transactions were permitted through ONDC.

Also Read: How ONDC seeks to democratize digital commerce

ONDC allows customers to shop from a single-buyer application of their choice across different categories of goods and services. Mystore, PayTM, and Spicemoney are the available buyer apps at the time of release. Bizom, Digiit, e-Samudaay, eVitalrx, Go Frugal, Growth Falcons, Innobits Mystore, nStore, SellerApp, Ushop, and Uengage can be used to purchase groceries or place meal orders.

Speaking on the occasion of this development, Anil Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, said, “This is a proud moment for all of us that have built ONDC and an important one in evolution of e-commerce in India as an inclusive, democratised public good infrastructure. We look forward to public feedback at this beta test stage to confirm and strengthen the design as we look to roll out across the country in the coming weeks and months.”

(With agency inputs)

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