Walmart-backed PhonePe looks to enter India’s e-commerce space

One thing that we can congratulate Flipkart’s child company PhonePe, which has now become a separate entity, on is the fact that it was one of the first to adopt the Indian Government’s UPI platform which is a way to let transactions take place between a buyer and a seller without any commissions whatsoever. However, it is worth noting that the charges are currently being beared by the Indian Government and it was also recently announced that some charges will be levied when the UPI transactions are done from a wallet.

Having said that, the Indian Government has launched a new initiative which is called as ONDC which stands for Open Network for Digital Commerce and this is also a platform where sellers can get their products into people’s hands without paying any sort of commissions. Now, Walmart-backed PhonePe has launched its first e-commerce app to support this platform as well. The app is named as Pincode and is a hyperlocal commerce app currently available in the Bengaluru region only. PhonePe’s CEO Sameer Nigam says that ONDC is the UPI moment for e-commerce in India and adds that “I think there is legitimate friction in the e-commerce industry. Would we have entered the e-commerce industry had ONDC not happened? Absolutely not.”

Talking about his app, he says “Pincode is a brand-new shopping app and offers a revolutionary new approach to e-commerce, which puts all the local stores and sellers at the heart of the digital shopping growth story. Pincode is built on the ONDC network, which allows us to generate demand for merchants inclusively digitized by various seller platforms, while creating new opportunities for growth and driving innovation at scale,” Some of its early partners such as Sangeetha Mobiles hopes that this app will be able to deliver its products in the hands of the customers and also other platforms will lower their commissions. Morgan Stanley published a report and revealed that it sees a few challenges for ONDC right now “such as in the ability to bridge the trust deficit between sellers and buyers, and provide real-time availability data for inventory management,”

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