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Safaricom to Take All M-PESA Services Offline – When, Why & How Long

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
Journalist. Reach me at

Safaricom is set to take down all M-PESA services from Saturday 6 November 2021 at 23:59 until Sunday morning 04:00 – effectively for four hours as Kenya’s largest telecom company conducts maintenance on its services for around the 10th time this year.

The company says that all M-PESA services, including the purchasing of airtime, will be inaccessible during these 4 hours in the very early morning, a time which 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.”

Safaricom is asking those whose businesses may be affected by the outage to make necessary arrangements to “cushion” the impact of the services being offline. While the company isn’t explaining what the maintenance will entail, it says “We are constantly investing [in] 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.”

“To support this continued transformation, we regularly undertake enhancements and maintenance of our systems from time to time.

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.

Its 50-million plus customer base has made M-PESA the largest fintech in Africa in terms of sheer userbase. Of course, Kenyan users make up the majority of its customers at 29.1-million, but the service is also available in Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana, and Egypt.

M-PESA was initially launched in 2007 and has been constantly improved through new features and services that have propelled it to the status it enjoys today. The platform has also been responsible for the continued closing of the financial inclusion gap across the continent, and especially in its home of Kenya.

By Luis Monzon
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