ONDC is seeking feedback from banks, NBFCs, and buyer and seller apps for the design of the protocol for buying financial products and services, including gift cards, personal loans and invoice-based credit.
The government-backed digital commerce network also aims to bring onboard FastTag and insurance products
Financial products will add to the growing kitty of products and services that ONDC offers, which presently includes food & beverages, grocery, home & kitchen, mobility, electronics, fashion, and beauty and personal care products
After the successful launch of food and grocery delivery services, the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has released draft specifications for the flow of buying and selling financial services on the network.
The development comes months after CEO Thampy Koshy told Inc42 that the network was planning to venture into the financial products and services segment soon.
“The open protocol has established a working committee consisting of fintech industry experts. Their objective is to define a standard/protocol for the onboarding and integration of sellers and industry players. Additionally, the committee will decide which fintech players will be onboarded,” the ONDC chief had said.
As of now, ONDC is seeking feedback from potential participants, including banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and buyer and seller apps for the design of the protocol for buying financial products and services, including gift cards, personal loans and invoice-based credit.
The draft specifications have been released on GitHub by ONDC. According to its website, the government-backed digital commerce network also aims to bring onboard FastTag and insurance products alongside gift cards and credit instruments on the network.
The memo appearing below the specs on the GitHub page said that ONDC financial services aim to build a nationwide, multimodal network, which “provides seamless experiences, supports growth & innovation by bringing together a diverse set of financial services players who can engage with the open network on their own terms, fostering collaboration, sharing & new models, facilitating responsive policy by bringing onboard decision making authorities.”
The memo added that ONDC financial services will enable seamless and interoperable service options by bringing in diverse inventory onboard at scale. For this, all financial services apps on the network will have to be built to enable communication in the same language.
The specifications will be finalised in a week or two, Moneycontrol reported, citing ONDC sources. Citing a source, the publication added that network participants will then decide whether they want to join the network and offer financial services or not.
Financial products will add to the growing kitty of products and services the ONDC offers, which presently includes food & beverages, grocery, home & kitchen products, mobility, electronics, fashion and beauty and personal care.
ONDC claims to be present in more than 250 cities, though it has extended limited alpha and beta services to nearly 620 cities. For now, the government is planning to double down on penetrating deeper into Tier II cities and beyond in the next iteration of its incentive scheme, which may be released this week.
The network has also enjoyed promotional support from participants such as Paytm, PhonePe’s Pincode and magicpin. This has resulted in ONDC scaling to more than 1.1 Mn retail transactions and 5.4 Mn mobility transactions since its inception.
The spike in mobility has come from the Namma Yatri app, which aggregates auto rickshaws without charging any fee from drivers in Bengaluru. In the retail space, the network has onboarded 54,500 merchants so far, offering around 75 Lakh SKUs and averaging around 16,000 orders per day. ONDC hit a peak of 35,000 orders in July.
The endgame for ONDC remains to increase ecommerce penetration in India to 25% in the next two years, reaching 900 Mn buyers and 1.2 Mn sellers through the network.