Open network for e-commerce: It’s an idea whose time has come

Context: The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) was launched in few cities recently on a pilot basis. It has the potential to usher in a disruptive change.

India’s potential in digital economy

India has the world’s highest fintech adoption rate of 87%, as compared with the global average of 64%.

E-commerce market in India doubled between 2017 and 2020.

3 of the largest public digital platforms in the world are from India i.e.

  1. Aadhaar – A unique digital identity platform
  2. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) – largest digital payments ecosystem.
  3. Co-Win – the largest vaccination platform
About ONDC

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is a globally first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to democratize digital commerce.

Read about ONDC

How ONDC would bring disruptive changes in online commerce?

It creates a shift from a platform-centric model to open networks. It means citizens of India would be able to make deals using any ONDC-compliant platform.

Furthermore, it will digitize the entire value chain, and standardize operations (like cataloging, inventory management, order management, and order fulfillment).

It will make e-commerce more inclusive for small retailers.

It will give freedom of choice to the consumer.

Not only that, but it will enable transactions of any denomination, thus making ONDC a truly ‘open network for democratic commerce’.

Small businesses will be able to save more as they won’t have to pay deep cuts to aggregator platforms.

ONDC will be compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the emerging Personal Data Protection Bill. It will provide privacy protection to the users.

The development of ONDC has been very contextual to Indian needs, designed for a diverse society with a wide continuum of digital skills and for solutions to specific local problems.

Lastly, it offers a vital global template for the harnessing of technology for and as a public good at population scale in an inclusive and equitable way.

Source: This post is created based on the article “Open network for e-commerce: It’s an idea whose time has come” published in Live Mint on 7th June 2022.

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