The government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) saw an uptick in order volumes during the festival week as it recorded 1.2 million transactions in the week leading up to Diwali across 600 cities, said Shireesh Joshi, Chief Business Officer.

The orders were placed across 600 cities during the festival week, covering verticals ranging from food & beverages, grocery, electronics, and fashion to home & kitchen, mobility, and health & wellness.

The transaction growth seen during the festival season was on the back of buyer-side applications like Paytm, Pincode (owned by PhonePe), Magicpin, and Ola among others.

“There was an effort to prompt the users of the buyer applications that there were Diwali-related offerings available, which hit a new high during that week. In the days leading up to Diwali, we breached 2.1 lakh orders per day,” he said.

Food and beverages drove the growth, while fashion as a category picked up on the network after Snapdeal joined the network, he added. The bulk of the orders came from Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune.

The ONDC monthly transaction has jumped from 12,281 transactions in January to more than 6,08,307 in September.

“ONDC is already clocking on average 50,000 plus a day and would like to hit a lakh a day as a regular practice,” he added.

Gearing up for festival season, ONDC launched a network-level gift card in September to empower companies for corporate gifting and employee engagement. The card enabled consumers to shop across thousands of sellers on the network, using any ONDC-enabled buyer applications. Unlike traditional gift cards tied to a specific brand or platform, the ONDC Network Gift Card allowed consumers to choose from a range of products and brands, spanning categories such as food, fashion, electronics, and home and kitchen essentials.

The network currently has one lakh sellers, and it adds 3,000–4,000 sellers every week across categories.

The network also looks to bring financial products such as insurance loans and mutual funds and expects to go live in the next two to three months.