ONDC, India's Open E-Commerce Network, To Start Beta Testing With Public Users
The government on Tuesday (30 August) said that the open public digital infrastructure framework entity Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) plans to start beta-testing the network with public users in limited areas.
ONDC is a government-backed UPI-type protocol to promote an open platform for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services through electronic networks.
The alpha version of platform was launched in April in five cities - Delhi, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Shillong and Bhopal.
Since the alpha launch, ONDC has been testing with a closed user group for end to end execution to understand their fulfilment.
ONDC expects the number of network participants to substantially increase to more than 30 in the coming weeks, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
Building on this, ONDC plans to start beta-testing the network with public users in limited areas, the ministry added.
The ministry's statement came after Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting to review the progress of ONDC.
During the review meeting, Goyal said that existing e-commerce platforms are popular because they remain consumer focused and have created robust trust in their platforms based on their ability to deliver on promises made about products, fulfilment of orders in time, no-questions-asked returns policies, and consumer friendly refunds and cancellations.
"ONDC will be tested against these benchmarks. ONDC must create consumer trust through robust mechanisms for ensuring redressal of grievances of consumers and enforcing transparent policies for returns, refunds and cancellations," the ministry quoted Goyal.
Goyal said that while continuing various network development initiatives, we must keep in mind that the basic purpose of ONDC is to assist the small, undigitised trader, who must be assisted to get digitised and avail opportunities offered by the e-commerce ecosystem.
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