afaqs! news bureau

After Jharkhand, Swiggy and Zomato launch alcohol delivery in Odisha

Starting with Bhubaneshwar, Swiggy and Zomato will also provide alcohol delivery services in in cities like Rourkela, Balasore, Balangir, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Cuttack.

After Jharkhand, Odisha gets its online alcohol delivery service. Both Swiggy and Zomato announced that the platforms will start delivering alcohol in Odisha from today. Zomato’s service named Zomato Wine Shops would be available on the home page of the Zomato app and will allow users to select any product from the listed retailers (like grocery stores). Similarly, Swiggy customers in Odisha can access the ‘Wine Shops’ category by updating their Swiggy app.

While Swiggy has launched both in Bhuvaneshwar and Roukela, Zomato has currently launched in Bhubaneshwar only. The services will be available in cities like Balasore, Balangir, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Cuttack in the newar future. The Swiggy team in a media statement says that the move into Odisha comes after “gaining good traction” in Ranchi.

“We’re happy to be of service to our users in Odisha who can now use Zomato to get alcohol delivered in addition to grocery and food delivery. We are working very closely with excise departments to ensure end-to-end compliance to the safety guidelines and are also introducing consumption and identity verification protocols to promote responsible ordering and consumption. We are thankful to the Odisha government and the liquor retail industry in enabling safe and compliant delivery of alcoholic beverages in Odisha. We look forward to building this partnership together,” said Rakesh Ranjan, vice president at Zomato.

To place orders on Swiggy, customers need to complete an instant age verification by uploading a picture of their valid government ID, followed by a selfie which the platform will use for authentication. All orders will carry a unique OTP which needs to be provided by the customer at the time of delivery.

Zomato has built several safety processes and checks to ensure safe delivery of alcohol. There would be age checks at the time of ordering as well as when the product is delivered. Users will be required to upload a valid ID proof to be eligible for ordering which would later be verified by the delivery partner at the time of handing over the order. There would also be product category limits to promote responsible ordering.

Swiggy has also partnered with HyperVerge to enable AI-face recognition for mandatory age verification and user authentication for alcohol deliveries. The integrated solution instantly digitises the customer's ID card, checks if the customer's selfie matches with the picture on the ID card, and then checks for selfie's liveness, i.e. if the customer is really present or if it is a photo of a photo. This additional layer of safety ensures that delivery of alcohol is in complete compliance with applicable laws and avoids under-age customers from placing the orders.

Speaking about the launch of the service in Odisha, a Swiggy spokesperson said, “Over the course of the last two months, Swiggy has stepped up to support the state government and citizens of Odisha by ensuring convenience through home deliveries of food, groceries and essentials. After successfully launching alcohol delivery in Jharkhand, we are expanding our services to Odisha, starting with Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. Cuttack and Berhampur will follow in the next couple of days. Consistent with Swiggy’s approach, we have leveraged technology to automate the customer verification process and solve an important challenge and support the government with enabling safe deliveries.”