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Explained: Here’s what you need to know about ONDC, the government-owned rival to Swiggy, Zomato 

Reportedly incorporated in December 2021, ONDC allows customers to order food, groceries, buy clothes, book cabs, buy movie tickets, electronics and other deliveries

Published Date – 04:26 PM, Wed – 10 May 23

Explained: Here’s what you need to know about ONDC, the government-owned rival to Swiggy, Zomato 

Hyderabad: Swiggy and Zomato have been ruling the food delivery segment since 2014. Scores of other food delivery apps have come and gone in between. However, a new player, ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce), backed by the Indian government, which has been in the market for a while, is making headlines in recent days.

Read along to know more about the new rival for Swiggy and Zomato.

What is ONDC? 

Reportedly incorporated in December 2021, ONDC allows customers to order food, groceries, buy clothes, book cabs, buy movie tickets, electronics and other deliveries. Significantly, it cuts down the middleman between the business and the consumer, unlike Swiggy and Zomato.

How to use ONDC? 

ONDC is not a separate app that can be downloaded from the Play Store. Instead, it works like UPI, and can be added to existing apps like Paytm, PhonePe, Meesho, and others. Users can also navigate to ondc.org to use it. Currently, the service is live in Bengaluru. However, one can still access the ONDC network in your city via the Paytm app and the restaurants in your area must be live for you to order food.

ONDC’s website answers questions on its availability in pin codes across India. The website reads, “ONDC as a network is enabled across India, Buyer apps may choose to be live on a few of these pin codes. Also, serviceability on a pin code will depend on specific buyer location in that pin code.”

Competition for Swiggy, Zomato 

Over the last couple of days, a lot of people have been posting screenshots on their social media handles, comparing the food delivery prices offered by ONDC, Swiggy and Zomato. And it’s been observed that ONDC costs relatively cheaper. ONDC’s food, beverage, and grocery orders reportedly saw a huge jump in the past few months, albeit from a low base.

However, according to a report by ‘Moneycontrol’, the discounting tap was slightly tightened on Sunday by levying packaging fees and a small delivery fee on consumers who had ordered multiple times. It was reported that several users in Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR stated that the discounts available on ONDC had dropped from double-digit percentages to single digits.

While a few experts are of the opinion that the current price difference between ONDC and Swiggy/Zomato will not be sustained in the long run, it is interesting to watch how the government-backed e-commerce platform pans out and manages financials while catering to consumers who are used to deals and discounts.

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