Digital commerce to be gradually expanded to more cities: Goyal
Digital commerce to be gradually expanded to more cities: Goyal

NEW DELHI: A Unified Payments Interface-type protocol for open network for digital commerce, will be gradually expanded to more cities after the successful launch of its pilot phase, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said.

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is a set of standards that merchants, logistics companies, and payment gateways can voluntarily implement. The objective is to democratize the fast-growing e-commerce segment in India to help small retailers and cut the dominance of online retail giants.

Small retailers have the ability to select whatever logistics provider and seller platform they want based on several factors like location and prices.

"ONDC is in beta testing, therefore it will be gradually ramped up in Phase-2"  To determine how reliable the technology is, how user-friendly it is, and the kinds of capacities we will need for data storage and management of the entire process as we develop, we would like to keep growing it up. So, it is still a work in progress,'' the minister said.

The programme also aims to reduce the market dominance of two significant international e-commerce giants, which dominate more than half of the nation's e-commerce activity, restrict entry to the market, favour specific vendors, and reduce supplier margins. 

In April, the ONDC was introduced in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong, and Coimbatore. "ONDC is democratising the realm of digital commerce." The minister said that it might spur a lot of entrepreneurs to spread technology to India's most rural areas.

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