New Delhi: Google is actively in discussions with the government-backed Open Network of Digital Commerce (ONDC) and is “exploring” ways to work with the ambitious initiative, some people familiar with the matter said.
So far, the conversation has been “exploratory,” spanning a variety of businesses within Google, such as search and payments, according to the person mentioned above, who said he was “clearly interested” in working with e-commerce networks. Was interested”.
Another person familiar with the ongoing debate said he had had several meetings with Google. There, ONDC is seen as a means of discovering a company. “There are many possibilities, but we haven’t decided yet,” he said.
A representative for Google said the company has been consistently invested in efforts to help India’s vast base of small and medium businesses build a digital presence and support discovery across its platforms and payment capabilities with Google Pay.”
“We have nothing further to share, the person added.
GooglPay’s two main competitors – PhonePe and Paytm, have already begun integrating their services with ONDC. The network’s pilot programme was launched through a buyer app from Paytm, with the Noida based company stating that it will pivot to the ONDC network to drive the next eCommerce stage.
Earlier this month, ET reported that Flipkart and Walmart-owned PhonePe are at an advanced stage of integration and will join ONDC’s buy-side and sell-side networks. “Similar to the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), we want to build an open ecosystem like ONDC while leveraging payment relationships with merchants and consumers. We are actively working with ONDC. We try to launch as soon as possible, “PhonePe told ET.
For Google, the partnership with ONDC fits well with its stated agenda of digitizing small businesses. It could also be in line with the global e-commerce ambitions of American tech majors and could be globally expanded, like Tez, which was launched in India and extended as Google Pay. The company already has over 10 million sellers on Google Pay.