The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), an initiative of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce, on Thursday began beta testing in Meerut, a tier-2 city. For the Meerut beta launch, there are four live buyer applications (IDFC First Bank,  Mystore, Paytm, and Spice Money) that allow consumers to transact on ONDC, it added.

“After the initial learning from the beta test in Bengaluru, ONDC is now moving forward to make the network live in Meerut, the very first tier-2 city targeted for network expansion. The city has been strategically selected for beta testing as it shows great promise through its strong seller density. The launch of ONDC in Meerut will provide insightful learning to understand the network adaptation in tier-II cities and to drive further inclusivity of regional sellers on the network,” the official statement added.

T Koshy, MD and CEO, ONDC, said, “Starting from Bengaluru, we’re excited to expand ONDC beta to Meerut, given the existing number of sellers already adopting ONDC here. We hope that with the beta rollout today, more sellers and local businesses will join ONDC in Meerut, and pave the way for bringing the vision of Vocal4Local to reality in UP and across India.”

On December 15, it rolled out a one-time incentive programme aimed at expanding the network from 700-plus merchants across India in the F&B and grocery category to over 20,000 merchants across categories.

ONDC had its alpha rollout in April this year in five cities to test live transactions with a closed group of sellers and buyers, and marked its footprint in 85 cities. As part of beta testing, the network went live to public users in Bengaluru in the grocery and F&B categories on September 30, with five buyer applications (PayTM, IDFC, Mystore, Spice Money, Craftsvilla), 12 seller applications (GoFrugal, Growth Falcon, eSamudaay, Digiit, Ushop, Sellerapp, Bizom, uEngage, Innobits, eVitalRx, Mystore, nStore), and two logistics providers (Loadshare, Dunzo).

“Since September, multiple other buyers, sellers and logistics applications have gone live (ITC, EkSecond Technologies, Meesho, Uengage, Grab, Delhivery, Shiprocket) to a total of 26, and 70-plus participants are in advanced stages of integration. Additionally, four social sector enterprises (Tamul, Creyo, Shwet, and Anubhuti) went live on ONDC with the support of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI),” the statement added.