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PhonePe launches e-commerce app Pincode on ONDC network

Walmart-backed Indian fintech decacorn PhonePe has recently launched Pincode, a new consumer-facing app aimed at strengthening its e-commerce initiatives. The app will be integrated into India’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) framework. This move comes three months after Flipkart completed the full ownership separation of PhonePe.

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What is ONDC?

  • The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is a government-backed initiative that seeks to democratize e-commerce by transforming it from a platform-centric model to an open network for buying and selling goods and services.
  • With ONDC, a buyer registered on one e-commerce site can purchase goods from a seller on another participating e-commerce site.
  • It’s not-for-profit and promotes open networks developed on open-sourced methodology.
  • ONDC is neither an aggregator application nor a hosting platform and all existing digital commerce applications and platforms can voluntarily choose to adopt and be a part of the ONDC network.
  • The Quality Council of India has been tasked with integrating e-commerce platforms through a network based on open-source technology similar to Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

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What is the Significance of ONDC?

  • ONDC allows buyers and sellers to transact across different e-commerce platforms, which could benefit smaller retailers and new players.
  • However, larger e-commerce companies may face challenges if required to comply with ONDC’s processes and technology.
  • ONDC aims to digitize the entire value chain, standardize operations, and promote inclusion of suppliers, resulting in logistics efficiency and enhanced value for consumers.
  • The platform’s equal-opportunity participation is expected to make e-commerce more accessible for consumers, who can discover any seller, product, or service using any compatible application or platform.
  • ONDC allows transactions of any denomination, making it a truly open network for democratic commerce.
  • In the next five years, the network aims to onboard 90 crore users and 12 lakh sellers, leading to 730 crore additional purchases.

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