Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second-largest public sector bank, is acquiring 5.97 per cent stake in the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), an initiative of the Commerce Ministry promoting open networks for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services over digital networks.

It maybe recalled that the PNB Board had earlier approved equity participation of up to 9.5 per cent in ONDC. Of this, the bank has now invested ₹10 crore in the first tranche to acquire 5.97 per cent stake and may announce on the acquirement of the remaining stake later.

Going digital

ONDC was incorporated on December 30 last year with an early investment from the Quality Council of India (QCI) and Protean eGov Technologies Limited. ONDC is expected to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics, and enhance value for consumers for almost all types of businesses.

ONDC is based on open-source methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols, independent of any specific platform.

In the current platform-centric digital commerce model, buyers and sellers must use the same platform/application to do a business transaction. With ONDC’s network-centric model, buyers will be able to access all services currently provided by various sellers on different platforms, on a common network, thus making the network interoperable. 

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