Cash on Delivery

Cash on delivery is the process of shoppers paying for a product in person on its delivery. If the COD buyer fails to make the payment, the product is returned to the seller. In India, the system was designed to attract mainly rural consumers who didn’t have access to digital payment systems — such as online banking and credit cards. Cash on delivery has facilitated much of the growth of Indian ecommerce.

When Flipkart launched CoD in 2007, the Indian ecommerce sector was in its infancy. A decade later, India’s ecommerce sector is surging, thanks to an increasingly internet-savvy population and cheaper smartphones.

Cash on delivery or COD is a popular form of payment for purchases made online. COD allows buyers to make payments for their purchases via cash or card at the time of delivery of their orders. Research suggests that the customers are confident about their purchases made via the COD mode. It also increases the probability of sales for E-commerce sellers.

COD Process

The process of the COD mode of payment for an order is simple. Delivery agents collect the invoice amount of a consignment from its consignee in the form of cash at the time of delivery. The collected cash is then deposited at the local office of the E-commerce company that made the sale. In this method of payment, both the buyer and seller are satisfied.

From the seller’s point of view, cash handling is simple and does not involve any complex processes. The proceeds from a sale are realized instantly, and the possibilities of payment failures are ruled out. COD could only pose a problem if the order amount is too high.

From the buyer’s viewpoint, the cash on the delivery mode is preferable as payments are made only after a consignment actually arrives. Furthermore, in cases of damaged or wrong deliveries, the buyer may refuse to accept the package. There are fewer risks since the payment is made only after the ordered product is delivered. Payments can be deferred until delivery of the required item is effectuated.

COD model of payment is popular in India, and there are several reasons for this. One being that Indians are comfortable dealing in cash rather than in debit or credit cards for making payments.

Working of Cash on Delivery (CoD) and its Process Flow

The entire process of COD involves the placement and execution of an order except for the collection of the payment. The cash payment is made to the supplier by the buyer after consignment is delivered. However, the process of COD begins from the moment your order is placed.

Usually, e-Commerce companies ship via their logistics. If not, they hire a separate logistics partner for delivering consignments and collecting payment.

  • After an order is placed with an e-Commerce company, the concerned item is sourced from a supplier. Once sourced, an invoice-cum-delivery challan is prepared by the e-Commerce company. This invoice-cum-challan is in most cases attached to the consignment for easy retrieval.
  • The consignment together with the invoice is handed over to a logistics company for delivering the order and collecting payment in cash.
  • The delivery boy is authorized to collect cash immediately on delivery of the order to the customer’s doorstep. However, some companies accept card payments as well at the time of delivery. That being said, delivery executives also carry a card swiping machine.
  • After the collection of the invoice amount, delivery agents deposit it in the office. The logistics company, in turn, hands over the cash to the supplier or the e-Commerce company after deducting handling charges.
  • The money ultimately reaches the merchant of the ordered product.

Cash on Delivery is a relatively risk-free process of buying products and services online. It is especially true for the first time online buyers, and for products that are expensive. COD has been instrumental in the unprecedented growth of online commerce in India. It is an easy concept for the masses to understand and accept. In India, it is a payment process that is expected to stay for several years.

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