September 2, 2023

Transforming Trust in E-Commerce: Exploring ONDC's Trust-Centric Approach

Published By

Eswar Angusamy
Statistic Icon


Transforming Trust in E-Commerce: Exploring ONDC's Trust-Centric Approach

Transforming Trust in E-Commerce: Exploring ONDC's Trust-Centric Approach

Trust is the biggest concern in any kind of commerce activity. In e-commerce, when we don't have a personal connection, it's a paramount concern. So, the responsibility of trust is centrally taken care of by e-commerce platforms, primarily Amazon and Flipkart in India. With the emergence of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), trust is no longer solely the responsibility of one entity; instead, it's managed by shared rules of all participating parties.

In this blog, we delve deep into how ONDC is revolutionizing the world of digital commerce by placing trust at the core of its operations. We explore the transformative shift from traditional e-commerce platforms to the innovative trust-centric model of ONDC, making online shopping not only better but also more reliable.

A significant change is happening in the world of online shopping, and it's all thanks to the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). This exciting network is shaking things up by rethinking how trust works when we buy things online. Let's dive into the details and see how ONDC is making online shopping better and more trustworthy.


Old Way (Platforms) - Big online stores like Amazon or eBay had full control.

New Way (ONDC Network) - ONDC is a network with no single boss; it's shared control.

Rule Setting

Old Way (Platforms) - Platforms made all the rules.

New Way (ONDC Network) - ONDC relies on shared rules.

Terms & Agreements

Old Way (Platforms) - Platforms set the terms for buying and selling.

New Way (ONDC Network) - ONDC uses common rules agreed upon by network participants.

Participants' Agreements

Old Way (Platforms) - Agreements with everyone who used the platform.

New Way (ONDC Network) - Network participants have agreements with ONDC through the Network Participant Agreement (NP Agreement).

Trust Dynamics

Old Way (Platforms) - Platforms acted as the central "bosses" of trust.

New Way (ONDC Network) - Trust in ONDC emerges from collaboration and digital contracts, no single central authority.

Management Approach

Old Way (Platforms) - Centralized and top-down management.

New Way (ONDC Network) - Decentralized and collaborative approach.

Meet the ONDC Team

To understand how trust plays out in ONDC, let's get to know the main players:

  • Buyer Apps (Buyer Nodes): These are the apps that help you, the buyer, find and order products.
  • Seller Apps: They're in charge of the sellers. There are two kinds a. Marketplace Seller Nodes (MSNs): These act as intermediaries, helping sellers who aren't part of ONDC sell their products. b. Inventory Seller Nodes (ISNs): These are sellers who are part of ONDC's network themselves.
  • Gateways: Think of these as the search engines of ONDC. They help you discover the products you're looking for.

Source: ondc.org

Trust in Action

In ONDC, trust works in a unique way. When you make a purchase, you and the seller agree on the terms of the sale, and you get an invoice. But here's the interesting part: before this transaction, you and the seller don't have any special legal connection. Instead, both you and the seller have legal connections with ONDC through something called the Network Participant Agreement (NP Agreement).

Now, let's talk about the magic moment when trust happens. It's when you and the seller create a special legal connection right at the moment of purchase. This connection is formed through what's known as a "Transaction-level Contract." It's like a digital promise made within ONDC's system. What's neat is that ONDC isn't directly part of this promise. It's there to ensure everything runs smoothly, like a trusted referee.

The Trust Handbook: ONDC Network Policy

Trust is further strengthened by ONDC's Network Policy. This handbook of rules guides how everyone in the network behaves. It specifies what can and cannot be part of the Transaction-level Contract. These rules make sure everyone plays fairly and follows the same playbook. And, while ONDC always obeys the law, these rules, along with the Network Participant Agreement and Transaction-level Contract, help everyone trust each other even more.


Trust, United and Reimagined

ONDC isn't just changing the way we shop online; it's changing the way we think about trust. In a world where big online stores used to be the sole trust custodians, ONDC shows us that trust can be built through teamwork within a network. By using digital contracts and clear rules, ONDC is introducing a fresh way of fostering trust in the online marketplace. Trust isn't just one big rule from one big boss anymore. It's something that emerges when everyone in the network collaborates. In ONDC, trust is a group effort, and it's lighting up the path to a more promising future for online shopping.


  1. https://ondc.org/