Safaricom revises expected downtime from M-Pesa systems update

M-Pesa is market leader in mobile money business. FILE PHOTO | NMG
M-Pesa is market leader in mobile money business. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM says that the major M-Pesa upgrade scheduled for Saturday night will now result in a 4-hour outage and not 11 as the telecommunications firm had earlier indicated.

The telecom firm, beginning June 30, embarked on a three-week upgrade of its mobile money platform, in what will see new features added and some functions automated, reducing the need for customers to make requests at its call centre.

This upgrade, the third in 10 years, has so far seen customers unable to transact on M-Pesa for two hours on June 30 beginning 1am and again on July 5 at a similar time.

The final upgrade this weekend was initially scheduled to take place starting Saturday 10pm and last until Sunday 9 a.m., during when services M-Shwari and KCB M-pesa were to be unavailable.

“Contrary to the earlier announced outage period, M-Pesa services will only be unavailable for four hours starting Sunday July 16 from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.,” Safaricom’s chief executive, Bob Collymore, said in a notice to customers.


“We expect all services to be restores and M-Pesa to be fully functional following the process. We thank our customers for their continued support during this update,” he added.

Safaricom says the tests it has been conducting since the upgrade started has seen them optimise several processes, significantly reducing the anticipated downtime.

This system upgrade will reduce the time that new partners take to be integrated onto the M-Pesa system from weeks to a few hours and also see M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA integrated into the Safaricom App.

Grow revenue

Safaricom’s revenue from M-Pesa stood at Sh55.1 billion in the year to March, a 32.7 per cent year-on-year growth which the telco is keen on growing.

The telecom firm recorded Sh1.84 trillion in deposits in the year to March compared to Sh1.6 trillion in withdrawals.

“Since (launching M-Pesa), we have experienced tremendous growth as the platform has grown to provide even more value to the ecosystem,” Mr Collymore, said when announcing the upgrade.

“This upgrade paves the way for the next phase of M-Pesa and will enable the service deliver even more value for our customers and partners,” he added.