Safaricom to switch M-Pesa off for migration, upgrade

Money Transfer

Safaricom plans to completely shut down its popular money transfer service for about half a day this weekend to allow for an upgrade as it begins “the journey to bring M-Pesa home”.

This follows at least two other recent suspensions of the service for routine maintenance by the mobile services provider in recent weeks.

New customer registrations, personal identification number (PIN) changes and account activations will be unavailable in the 48 hours leading up to the shutdown. This includes signing up for M-Shwari and M-Kesho accounts.

“The M-Pesa system upgrade is scheduled for Saturday April 18, 2015 at 11pm to Sunday April 19, 2015 at noon,” the company said in an advertisement placed in local dailies. “We have begun the long-awaited journey to bring M-Pesa home.”

The mobile giant had earlier revealed plans to transfer all M-Pesa servers from Germany to Kenya by the beginning of April, promising users of the mobile money transfer service a more reliable system.

“The new M-Pesa system is aimed at improving efficiency, stability and speed,” the advert reads.

The installation of M-Pesa servers locally is expected to end nearly eight years of foreign hosting, which has at times been cited for delayed response to service interruptions.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore had earlier said that the new M-Pesa platform was expected to be completed by the end of March.

“We will be running a parallel network from time to time while undergoing test runs,” Mr Collymore told Business Daily in an interview last December. “Thereafter, we will have a complete switch over. We expect the new platform located here will have bigger capacity, be much faster and allow other merchants to connect directly to the platform.”
Source: Business Daily 15 April 2015