Thursday 25th November 2010…Safaricom’s M-PESA service is set for a major upgrade starting Saturday 27th November 2010 at 9.00 p.m. (at night) with a planned 36 hours downtime.
Customers will be able to resume the use of the M-PESA services on Monday 29th November 2010 at 6.00 a.m. (in the morning).
The upgrade will put the M-PESA system on a new platform with very high capacity to keep in pace with the service’s unprecedented take-up since launch in March, 2007.
During the 3 years and 8 months that the system has been in use, M-PESA has grown to attract over 13.5 million subscribers served from over 21,000 agent outlets all over Kenya.
From the initial ‘send money home’ service, the service offering has expanded to facilitate airtime top-up, bill payment, salary disbursements and more recently the M-KESHO partnership with Equity Bank.
During the scheduled downtime, ALL M-PESA Services, including new registrations, M-PESA Transactions, Customer Care and airtime top-up via M-PESA will be unavailable. Customers and Agents attempting to transact on M-PESA will receive an SMS response advising them of outage.
Although customers will not be able to access funds in their account during the service outage, any balance they have in their M-PESA account will remain secure and become available to them once service is resumed.
Commenting on the upgrade, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore regretted the inconvenience caused to customers but stressed that it was a necessary but a temporary sacrifice in order to be able to take the globally-acclaimed service to the “next level.”
“In line with our aim of continuously satisfying and meeting customer needs, Safaricom shall be carrying out an upgrade of the M-PESA system to a new platform. The M-PESA service has become critical to so many Kenyans, and we regret the need to disable M-PESA for any period of time. However, I am excited by the opportunities that the new platform will provide us to enhance our service offering in the future.
“This new M-PESA platform will allow for faster transaction turnaround and ensure system stability as it will be able to handle more transactions. M-PESA will also be able to offer innovative services with the new platform and also give our current and potential business partners ease of integration,” said Mr Collymore.
“We are aware of the critical role M-PESA plays in facilitating and enabling day-to-day life in Kenya, no effort has been spared by Safaricom to ensure the system is back up as soon as possible and on schedule.”
“I would also like to assure all our customers that during this period, all the money kept as M-PESA shall be safe in line with the high standards of human and systems integrity that this great and revolutionary service was founded on,” Mr Collymore added.