The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa -COMESA- has started the process of implementing the COMESA digital retail payment platform to facilitate on-line transactions among cross border traders in the region.

The regional body, through the COMESA Business Council -CBC- will next week convene the 5th Digital Financial Inclusion Public-Private Dialogue in Malawi to validate the draft operational plan for the implementation of the digital payment platform.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka today, CBC Chief Executive Officer, TEDDY SOOBRAMANIEN said the project will be piloted in eight countries before being rolled-out to all the 21 member states by June next year.

Mr. SOOBRAMANIEN said the platform will be first piloted in Zambia and Malawi before being spread to other participating countries.

And Mr. SOOBRAMANIEN also announced that the business council will next week hold the Zambia-Malawi Proof of Concept workshop to exemplify the feasibility and benefits of the retail payment platform.

Meanwhile, CBC Chief Operating Officer, JONATHAN PINIFOLO said the platform will help to promote financial inclusion in the COMESA region.

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