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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Google Maps partners with India’s ONDC to add metro ticket booking

Google Maps will soon allow users in India to book metro tickets directly through the mapping app, the search giant announced as it deepens collaboration with the country’s open e-commerce network. 

At the Google for India event on Thursday, Google said its users will be able to book metro tickets through the Maps app, as a result of its partnership with Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

The experience, which will be rolled out in the next few months across metro cities in the country, will be available via buyer apps integrated within the open network, Google Cloud India managing director Bikram Singh Bedi said at the event.

Earlier this year, Google partnered with ONDC to launch an accelerator program for sellers coming online through the open network. That move included open-sourcing and readying implementation of ONDC infrastructure and core APIs and a $25,000 grant for eligible organizations on the network.

Subsequently, Google introduced an India-wide hackathon for startups and developers building solutions for digital commerce and the availability of Google Cloud’s generative AI tools for buyers and sellers coming into the open network.

“As always, partnerships are at the heart of this entire effort while we as Google will play our part, but as all of you know, acknowledging is only an enabler for the real and tactile aspects of our life,” said Sanjay Gupta, country head and vice president at Google India. “We will collaborate deeply with all stakeholders, which includes the government, the financial ecosystem, the startups, public health infrastructure, law enforcement, and many more, to make this a reality.”

WhatsApp also recently introduced metro ticket bookings through the instant messaging app for users in Bengaluru and Delhi. The Meta-own app, however, offers the ticket booking experience along with payment support end-to-end through its partnerships with the respective city metro train corporations.

At the annual event, Google also announced new lending offerings for Google Pay users and merchants and number of generative AI updates. Additionally, the Android maker revealed its anticipated plans to start manufacturing Pixel phones in the country, starting with the Pixel 8 series.

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