ONDC seeks public input on 24 questions to strengthen its network

ONDC, a government entity aiming to democratize e-commerce in India, has solicited public feedback on 24 issues relating to payments, order fulfillment, refunds and cancellations to build trust among network participants.

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has launched a consultation paper to gather feedback on the steps it is taking to build trust so that more and more participants (buyer apps, seller apps, payment gateways and delivery apps) are taking advantage of the rapidly growing e-commerce sector.

“This is an open consultation. The deadline for submitting responses is October 31, 2022,” says the 43-page document titled – Public Consultation: Building Trust in the ONDC Network.

Questions cover search and discovery, order placement, order fulfillment, payment and settlement, returns, refunds and cancellations, grievance handling, application and compliance, and community governance.

He listed 24 questions, including what more ONDC can do to make the search and discovery process fair for buyer and seller; What disclosures, other than price/fees/charges, must be made to the buyer; What concerns about linked orders and network logistics they should be aware of; What are the gaps or issues in the proposed approach to returns, refunds and cancellations? and what mechanisms ONDC and network participants can put in place to prevent issues with returns, refunds and cancellations from escalating into litigation.

In addition, the network also sought views on mechanisms that ONDC and network participants can put in place to prevent issues from escalating into conflicts in the first place; what are the challenges in implementing and obtaining redress for the system designed by ONDC; and How can the ONDC streamline monitoring and enforcement of policy compliance without centralizing responsibility and power within it.

“Trust in any trading system is essential for potential buyers and sellers to be genuinely willing to transact,” he said, adding that ONDC’s goal is to build an open and interoperable on which buyers and sellers can transact without needing to be present on the same platform.

In the consultation document, he described the efforts ONDC has undertaken to build trust between buyers and sellers.

“The purpose of this document is to invite comments on how ONDC can improve trust in the ONDC network,” the document states.

ONDC has formulated a network policy, protocol specification, and transaction-level contact for network participants.

“ONDC uses these three levers to ensure that network participants conform to a certain standard of good conduct and to create binding contracts between the parties,” he added.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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