PhonePe, one of India’s leading digital payment platforms, has launched an e-commerce app called “Pincode” to enter the e-commerce space.
This app is built on the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform. That aims to connect consumers with local sellers and offer hyperlocal shopping options in various categories.
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The Pincode app is designed to make shopping easy and convenient for consumers, with features such as fast checkout and delivery at the doorstep. It also offers flexible payment options such as cash on delivery, UPI payments, debit/credit cards, wallet payments, and PhonePe’s digital payment solutions.
What is ONDC, and why is it significant?
India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry created the ONDC to create a network for digital commerce that is open and interoperable. This platform enables small retailers and sellers to reach more customers directly and reduce their dependency on large e-commerce platforms.
By providing a common framework for data sharing, catalog management, order management, payment processing, and logistics, the ONDC also supports innovation and competition in the e-commerce sector.
ONDC was launched in September 2022 as a pilot project in some parts of Bengaluru. In this project, consumers could buy products or order food from local stores and restaurants enabled by various seller apps. The network also partnered with logistics providers like Dunzo, Loadshare, and Shiprocket and gateway services like Protean eGov Technologies Ltd.
PhonePe’s Pincode app is the first consumer app launched on the ONDC platform. It will allow users to discover and buy products from all the sellers listing their products on ONDC. This is without having to download different apps or visit other websites.
What are the features and benefits of the Pincode app?
The Pincode app will initially be available in Bengaluru and offer hyperlocal shopping options in food, grocery, electronics, pharmacy, fashion, and home decor categories. Users can browse products from nearby stores, compare prices and ratings, place orders, make payments, and track deliveries through the app. The app will also provide personalized recommendations based on the user’s preferences and location.
With Pincode, you can leverage PhonePe’s over 450 million registered users and its robust payment infrastructure. Users can pay for their orders using the PhonePe wallet, UPI, debit or credit cards, or cash on delivery. PhonePe will also offer rewards and cashback to Pincode app users.
The Pincode app will benefit consumers and sellers by providing a convenient, fast, and secure way to shop locally. Consumers can access a wide range of products from trusted local sellers at competitive prices and deliver within hours or even minutes. Likewise, sellers can increase their visibility and sales by contacting more nearby customers. This is without paying high commissions or fees to e-commerce platforms.
What are PhonePe’s plans for the Pincode app?
PhonePe’s founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said Pincode is an innovative shopping app that puts stores at the heart of interaction. He said the app would take 10,000 transactions a day before expanding to other cities. He said PhonePe is looking at 100 thousand daily orders by December 2023.
Nigam also said that PhonePe had launched a separate app for Pincode because customers expect different from its payments app. In addition, he noted that this separate app would give PhonePe more control and agility to experiment and innovate on the ONDC platform.
Nigam also hinted that PhonePe might eventually look at the mobility space by leveraging ONDC. He said that PhonePe is interested in enabling ONDC commerce.
Pincode app is a bold move by PhonePe to enter the e-commerce space and challenge established players like Amazon and Flipkart. It is also a significant step for ONDC to gain traction among consumers and sellers across India. However, it remains to be seen how the Pincode app will perform regarding user adoption, engagement, retention, and monetization.
If you want to try, the Pincode app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or App Store.