Safaricom has announced in a statement that it will be taking down all M-PESA services, including the purchase of airtime for the undertaking of “enhancements and maintenance” of its systems.
“We are constantly investing and innovating M-PESA to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our customers as well as continue to support our partners in their business ambitions,” the company says.
Safaricom says that all M-PESA services, including its app, will be offline from 23:59 on Tuesday evening 19 October 2021, until 04:00 Wednesday morning 20 October 2021. Kenya’s top telecom says that during these four hours, maintenance (and improvements) will be performed on the service and its network.
The timing of this maintenance and outage, Safaricom says, “has been planned to result in the least of inconvenience to our customers.”
“We apologize for any inconvenience that may be caused and thank you for your continued support.”
Effectively, from 00:00 to 04:00, users won’t be able to purchase airtime or send money via M-PESA, or use any other of its wide range of features. While Safaricom has chosen a time where it probably sees the least usage on its network, some users may still require M-PESA services during the time, in which case they should make any necessary preparations as to not be inconvenienced by the four-hour-long maintenance.
However, most users will simply awaken on Wednesday morning and find that M-PESA and its services are all online and operational – barring any unforeseen consequences.
According to TechWeez, this is the “third or fourth” major system interruption M-PESA has seen in the last couple of weeks. The mobile money product has been Safaricom’s golden egg-laying goose in the last few years, being by far the telecom’s leading revenue generator.
The service has a massive market share in Kenya at around 99%, and more than 50-million customers use M-PESA around Africa.