Beckn vs ONDC: What’s the Difference?

You may have heard the names ‘Beckn Protocol’ and ‘ONDC’ in a digital e-commerce context and like many others, understood them to be the same. This has caused some confusion in our community, so it’s time to clear things up!
Beckn Protocol and ONDC are at the heart of India’s open digital e-commerce revolution. But the two in fact play two distinct roles.
As Ansha details, Beckn Protocol is a universal language that uses open APIs to allow interactions between any platforms that can talk using this universal language, or as we like to say, ‘built with Beckn’.
Both existing and new platforms can adopt this universal language and thus join a ‘Beckn-enabled’ open network, where they can transact with other participants and platforms on the network.
ONDC is one such Beckn-enabled open network. It is built on Beckn Protocol to create an open, interoperable and inclusive digital marketplace, with low-to-zero entry barriers for buyers, sellers and platforms.
Since Beckn Protocol eliminates the need for a buyer and seller to be present on the same platform, they can use any application to transact on the open network. Some popular applications currently part of the ONDC networks are PayTM,, Spice Smart Shop, Pincode and Magicpin. Users can utilise these existing platforms to transact on the ONDC network. Any platform can join the ONDC network by simply adopting Beckn Protocol into their existing applications.
As more platforms adopt Beckn, we are steadily building a vast open network of platforms that can transact seamlessly across various sectors like e-commerce, logistics, mobility, health, energy, and beyond. This represents a significant shift away from traditional centralised, closed e-commerce space that is often dominated by a few major platforms, and typically presents high entry barriers for newer or smaller market participants.
So, no, you can’t download Beckn or ONDC from the app store, because one is a set of specifications and network architecture rules used to create open networks of Beckn-enabled platforms, and the other is an example of an open network built on top of Beckn Protocol.
We hope this video clears things up for you and deepens your understanding of Beckn Protocol, and why open networks are the next game-changer for our digital ecosystems.
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