Kenya’s Number 1 operator Safaricom has announced that it will perform a key upgrade on its wildly popular M-PESA platform for the next three weeks. This will be the first major upgrade of the platform after the company moved its servers from Rackspace in Germany to Kenya in 2015. It is also the third major upgrade since M-PESA’s introduction a decade ago.
Once completed, M-PESA will be on an all-new platform that will pack extra features and improvements for 26 million M-PESA users (an appreciable bump from 19 million customers in 2015 when the service was moved home).
Based on this upgrade, M-PESA services will not be available on the following dates (prepare accordingly):
- 30th June 2017, from 1AM to 3AM (all services)
- 5th July 2017 – International Money Transfer (IMT), KCB M-PESA, M-Shwari and M-Kesho services will be affected from 1AM to 3AM
- Mid July – a major changeover to the new platform will take place, lasting up to 12-hours. There will be a country-wide outage.
The telco has also revealed that it will withdraw some M-PESA services to harness the changeover process. The details about such services will be communicated at a later date through social media channels and partners.
“Ten years ago, we began the journey of M-PESA by focusing on our customers’ need to send money home. Since then, we have experienced tremendous growth as the platform has grown to provide even more value to the ecosystem. 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,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
On the plus side, the upgrade will bake more features on MySafaricom app such as the ‘coming soon’ M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA options. The full scale upgrade will also boost efficiency and speed of the service (meaning faster transactions and enhanced stability). Furthermore, customers will benefit from an increase in the number of partners offering services on the platform with functional oomph.
Safaricom will out a new set of APIs to complement the process of integrating services into the M-PESA, a feat that will significantly cut down the time it takes to perform similar processes from weeks to days or hours. Lastly, some M-PESA procedures will be automated to get rid of need to call customer services.