ONDC, a government entity to democratise e-commerce in India, has sought public comments on 24 issues pertaining to payments, fulfilment of orders, refunds and cancellations to build trust among network participants.
Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has floated a consultation paper to seek views on steps it is taking to build trust so that more and more participants (buyer apps, sellers apps, payment gateways and delivery apps) take advantage of the fast-growing e-commerce sector.
“This is an open consultation. The last date for submitting responses is 31st October 2022,” the 43-page paper titled – Public Consultation: Building Trust in the ONDC Network – said.
The questions pertain to search and discovery, placing an order, fulfilment of an order, payment and settlement, returns, refunds and cancellations, grievance management, enforcement and compliance, and community governance.
It has listed 24 questions, including what more can ONDC do to make the process of search and discovery fair for both the buyer and seller; What are the disclosures, other than prices/ fees/ charges that are necessary to be made to the buyer; What are the concerns around the linked orders and on-network logistics that it should be aware of; What are the gaps or issues in the proposed approach to returns, refunds and cancellations; and what mechanisms can ONDC and network participants put in place to avoid issues related to returns, refunds and cancellations from escalating into disputes.
Besides, the network has also sought views on what mechanisms can ONDC and Network Participants put in place to avoid issues from being escalated into disputes in the first place; what are the challenges in implementing and getting redressal from the system being designed by ONDC; and how can ONDC streamline policy compliance monitoring and enforcement without centralising responsibilities and power within itself.
“Trust in any system of commerce is essential for potential buyers and sellers to actually be willing to transact,” it said, adding that ONDC’s aim is to build an open, interoperable network on which buyers and sellers can transact without needing to be present on the same platform.
In the consultation paper, it has outlined the efforts that ONDC has undertaken to build trust among buyers and sellers.
“The goal of this paper is to invite feedback on how ONDC can improve trust in the ONDC network,” the paper noted.
ONDC has formulated a network policy, protocol specification, and transaction level contact for network participants. “ONDC uses these three levers to ensure Network Participants conform to a certain standard of good behaviour and to create binding contracts between parties,” it added.