ONDC Explained: What Is ONDC and How to Place an Order?

byjitendra7.singhLast Updated: April 30, 2024
ONDC Plans to Venture Into Financial Services With Credit & Insurance Offerings

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an innovative initiative in India that aims to revolutionize the digital commerce ecosystem. It addresses various challenges faced by consumers and businesses in the online marketplace, such as monopolies, multiple delivery apps, and user convenience issues. ONDC uses advanced technology to establish a fair and open network, promoting competition, empowering consumers, and enhancing user experience.

This is a comprehensive guide to understanding ONDC, its advantages, and the transformative impact it will have on the marketplace. Additionally, we will delve into the process of ordering food and groceries from ONDC on Paytm.

ONDC: Revolutionizing Digital Commerce in India

ONDC, or the Open Network for Digital Commerce, is an initiative by the Government of India to improve online shopping in the country. It aims to make the digital commerce experience fairer, more convenient, and innovative. ONDC wants to create a user-friendly platform that eliminates the need for multiple delivery apps, making online shopping easier for everyone. It also wants to encourage more choices for consumers and create a level playing field for businesses in the digital commerce industry.

History of ONDC

ONDC Pilot Phases and Expansion Timeline

Objectives of ONDC

  • Enhancing Competition: The goal is to break the monopoly of big digital platforms, which means you’ll have more options to choose from.
  • Empowering Democracy and Decentralization: The aim is to distribute power more evenly in the digital world, ensuring everyone has a say.
  • Embracing Digital Transformation: This means helping businesses make a smooth transition to digital technologies, making your online experience better.
  • Streamlining Operations: Efforts are underway to make things more standardized and efficient, which can save time and money for businesses.
  • Ensuring Fairness and Access: The objective is to ensure even small businesses and local shops have a fair shot online, giving you more choices.
  • Improving Delivery: By making deliveries more efficient, you’ll get your orders faster and with fewer hassles.
  • Empowering You: You’ll have more choices and control over your online experience.
  • Protecting Your Privacy: Your personal data will be kept safe and confidential.
  • Lower Costs: Businesses can operate at lower costs, potentially leading to better prices for you.
  • Learning from UPI: Lessons are being drawn from the success of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to guide these efforts.

ONDC’s Approach to Enable Independent Transactions

  • Independent Transactions: ONDC allows consumers and merchants to conduct transactions for goods and services without being limited to a specific platform or application.
  • Technology Provider – Beckn: Beckn provides the necessary technological infrastructure and specifications for ONDC. ONDC uses these resources to establish network policies, ensure trust, handle grievances, and maintain a reputation system.
  • Enhancing Efficiency: ONDC aims to improve efficiency by implementing a dynamic pricing model, digitized inventory management, and optimizing delivery costs. This helps reduce the overall cost of doing business for all participants on the platform.
  • Hyper-Local Search Engine: ONDC introduces a hyper-local search engine that uses GPS proximity data as the default setting. This allows buyers to independently choose sellers and logistics partners to fulfill their orders.

How Does ONDC Work?

ONDC works by providing a platform that connects individuals who want to make online purchases with businesses that offer products and services. It operates similarly to the widely-used Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system for mobile payments. Just as UPI facilitates mobile payments through different payment apps, ONDC simplifies the entire online shopping process.

When using ONDC, you can easily browse through various businesses, select the items you want, and make secure online payments. It takes the hassle out of online shopping by bringing together different sellers in one place, offering you more choices and competitive prices. Whether you’re looking to order food, buy groceries, or shop for other products, ONDC allows you to explore different sellers and find the best deals. Overall, ONDC aims to enhance the convenience and efficiency of online shopping by providing a user-friendly platform that connects buyers with sellers.

Features of Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)

ONDC brings a multitude of potential advantages for both users and sellers, encompassing:

  • Increased choice and competition: ONDC brings together multiple e-commerce sellers, creating a more extensive selection of products and services for consumers. This heightened competition among sellers often results in competitive pricing, giving users more options at attractive prices.
  • Lower prices: A significant advantage of ONDC is that it generally offers lower prices compared to other food delivery apps. This affordability is a big plus, as it can help users, especially those who are mindful of their budget, save money on their orders. It’s a great choice for people and families looking to get good deals on their meals.
  • Discounts and promotions: When you use ONDC, especially through platforms like Paytm, you’ll often come across special promotions and discounts. These deals can involve price cuts on certain restaurants or specific menu items, getting free delivery, or taking advantage of seasonal offers. This means you can enjoy extra savings and perks when you shop.
  • Support for small businesses: ONDC plays a crucial role in supporting small businesses and local vendors. It provides them with a platform to reach a wider audience, helping them expand their customer base beyond their local areas. This inclusivity also allows users to discover unique products and services that might not be available on traditional e-commerce websites.
  • Government-backed initiative: Being supported by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) of the Government of India, ONDC is backed by the government itself. This official support gives ONDC extra credibility. It means that users can trust that the platform is legitimate and follows all the rules set by the government.
  • Customer support: ONDC offers dedicated customer support services within the app. Users can reach out to the support team for assistance with various issues, including order tracking, payment problems, or general inquiries. This ensures a seamless and reliable shopping experience for users.

How to Use ONDC to Order Food & Groceries on Paytm?

You can order food and groceries through ONDC via Paytm: 

  • Log in to the Paytm app using your credentials.
  • In the app, enter ‘ONDC’ into the search bar to quickly access it. You’ll see options for Food, Grocery, Home Decor, and Electronics.
  • Choose a specific restaurant or select items from the menu.
  • Add the desired food items to your cart.
  • Click on ‘Go to Cart.’
  • Select your “Delivery Address” from the available options.
  • Use the map to specify your preferred delivery location and confirm it.
  • If you have a coupon code, apply it at this stage and proceed to payment.
  • Choose your preferred payment method from the available options.
  • Enter the PIN associated with your chosen payment method to complete the food order.
  • After a successful transaction, you will receive a notification on your registered mobile number.

List of ONDC Services on Paytm

Currently, Paytm offers a variety of ONDC services to its users. These service categories include food, groceries, beauty and personal wellness, as well as electronics. Users have the freedom to select from a vast range of products offered by different sellers across India. All they have to do is pick their desired category, choose the product they want, provide their address, apply any relevant coupon codes, and select their preferred payment method. This streamlined process is designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for users to find and purchase their preferred products from the wide selection available online.

Is ONDC Available in Your City?

Currently, ONDC extends its services to various regions throughout India, ensuring widespread accessibility. You can access ONDC in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), covering cities such as Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Faridabad. In Maharashtra, ONDC is available in key areas like Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and Nashik. Furthermore, residents of Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Hyderabad, and Bagalkot can also take advantage of ONDC’s services.

How to Check if ONDC Is Available in Your City or Not?

  • Open the Paytm app on your device.
  • Use the search function to find ONDC or simply scroll through the screen until you locate ONDC.
  • Next, pick your preferred category. Currently, Paytm offers ONDC services for food, groceries, electronics, and beauty products.
  • Make your selection, choose the item you want, and add it to your cart.
  • On the following screen, you can enter a new address to check if ONDC is available in your city.
  • If it’s not available yet, rest assured that ONDC, with the support of Paytm and other channels, is gradually expanding its services to reach more areas.”

Difference Between ONDC and Other Food & Grocery Delivery Apps

Here is a comparison between ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) and other food and grocery delivery platforms:

Why ONDC via Paytm for Easy Food and Grocery Ordering and More?

1.  Food for every craving: Hungry for your favourite dish from the local eatery or craving a gourmet meal from a renowned restaurant? With ONDC via Paytm, you can easily explore a wide range of culinary delights. Whether it’s a quick snack, a family dinner, or a special treat, the choices are at your fingertips.

2. Groceries at your doorstep: Running out of essentials or planning a grocery haul? ONDC via Paytm simplifies your shopping experience. From fresh produce to pantry staples, you can conveniently order all your groceries and have them delivered straight to your door. No more waiting in long queues or carrying heavy bags.

3. The Paytm advantage: Paytm, a name synonymous with secure digital transactions, adds an extra layer of trust and reliability to your online shopping experience. With its user-friendly interface and extensive network, it’s never been easier

4. Easy ordering process: Ordering through ONDC via Paytm is easy. Just log in to your Paytm account, and you’ll have access to a world of food and grocery options. With a few taps on your mobile device or clicks on your computer, you can quickly fill your cart with all your desired items.

5. Variety and choice: One of the standout features of ONDC via Paytm is the incredible variety it offers. You can choose from a multitude of restaurants and grocery stores, from local favourites to well-known chains. This variety ensures that you’re not just limited to the usual options but can explore new tastes and cuisines.

6. Savings and deals: Who doesn’t love a good deal? ONDC via Paytm often features exclusive discounts, promotions, and cashback offers. So, while you indulge in your favorite foods or stock up on groceries, you’ll also enjoy savings that make your purchases even more delightful.

7. Secure transactions: Paytm’s commitment to security ensures that your payments are safe and protected. Your financial information is handled with the utmost care, giving you peace of mind while you shop.

Conclusion: ONDC presents a transformative opportunity for the digital commerce ecosystem in India. With its focus on fair competition, user convenience, and support for local businesses, it has the potential to revolutionize the market. Embrace the convenience and explore the possibilities of Paytm ONDC for your food and grocery delivery needs.


What is ONDC?

ONDC stands for the Open Network for Digital Commerce, which is a technology-driven initiative aimed at transforming the digital commerce ecosystem in India. It promotes fair competition, user convenience, and innovation.

How does ONDC work?

ONDC acts as a middleman between various apps, bringing together buyers and sellers in the online shopping world. It provides a centralized platform where users can compare prices, explore options, and place orders from different small and large scale vendors.

What are the benefits of ONDC?

ONDC offers increased choice and competition, improved efficiency, support for small businesses, lower prices, discounts and promotions, access to local products, and a wide range of features like government backing, customer support, and a wide network of partners.

How can I order food and groceries through ONDC?

You can order food and groceries through ONDC by visiting the ONDC website or using Paytm app. Both platforms offer a seamless ordering process with a wide selection of options.

Where is ONDC available?

ONDC is currently available in various locations across India, including Delhi NCR, Maharashtra, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and others.

What is the difference between ONDC and other food & grocery delivery apps?

ONDC aims to create a fair and open digital commerce network, empower small businesses, provide user convenience, offer competitive pricing, and promote a diverse range of choices. Other platforms may have different business models, varying government backing, and may not focus on supporting small businesses.

Does Paytm handle the delivery of products?

Paytm ONDC is not responsible for logistics or delivery. Merchants, either independently or through partners in the ONDC network, handle the delivery process.

Who handles customer service for Paytm ONDC purchases?

Paytm ONDC provides customer service and support. Users can seek assistance through the Help and Support section of the Paytm app.

How long does it take for Paytm to deliver products to customers?

Paytm ONDC does not directly control delivery timelines but aims to provide the best service possible.

What is the return policy for Paytm ONDC?

Return policies within the ONDC system are primarily managed by the sellers. As most vendors on ONDC are small-scale businesses, they handle the majority of delivery and return processes.

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