Routine maintenance to render M-Pesa services unavailable on Monday morning


A man holds a mobile phone with M-Pesa message displayed on screen in Nairobi on January 9, 2024.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Mobile telephone service provider, Safaricom,  has announced that it will be carrying out maintenance on the M-Pesa system on Monday, June 24, 2024, morning, making all services on the mobile money platform unavailable.

M-Pesa services will be undergoing maintenance from 1am to 1:30am on Monday.

In a statement on Saturday, Safaricom said the maintenance is aimed at improving M-Pesa services.

"As part of these ongoing enhancements, we will be carrying out planned system maintenance on the evening of Monday, June 24,  2024 from 1am to 1.30am," the telco said in a statement.

During the maintenance, all M-Pesa services will be unavailable.

"The timing of this maintenance activity has been planned to result in the least inconvenience to our customers."

The company also apologised to its customers for any inconvenience this temporary interruption will cause.

However, Safaricom said that all other services, including calls, data and SMS, will remain available.

In January, Safaricom was forced to apologise to customers after a technical glitch affected its M-Pesa mobile money service, leaving thousands stranded.

"'Our apologies for the inconvenience caused, we have a technical issue affecting M-Pesa, resolution is in progress, we ask for your patience,' Safaricom said on its social media accounts.

In 2016, a Treasury report warned that the collapse of Safaricom’s M-Pesa service would cause widespread disruption in the economy, indicating the deep entrenchment of mobile money transactions in Kenyans’ daily lives.

According to Business Daily, the Treasury’s Budget Policy Statement (BPS) released in 2016 showed that a technology disaster affecting the M-Pesa-dominated mobile transactions was a fiscal risk, placing the money transfer systems among other potential threats to the economy that are watched keenly by policy wonks.

The authors of the report predicted that an M-Pesa outage would cause a loss of revenue — direct excise tax and corporate tax by firms running the systems — and reduce confidence in the services.

That was the first time the mobile money transfer system featured among the fiscal risks, indicative of the strategic importance it has acquired in Kenya’s economy barely a decade after the launch of M-Pesa.