Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) will over the next three weeks conduct a major upgrade of the M-Pesa platform.
This becomes the third major upgrade since M-PESA’s launch ten years ago, and the first such upgrade since Safaricom migrated the platform to Kenya in 2015.
As a result of the upgrade process, all M-PESA services will be unavailable for a period of two hours on 30th June 2017, from 1.00 A.M. to 3.00 AM. International Money Transfer (IMT), KCB M-PESA, M-Shwari and M-Kesho services will be unavailable on 5th July 2017 for a period of two hours, from 1.00 A.M. to 3.00 AM. In mid-July, Safaricom will conduct the changeover to the new platform, resulting in a 12 hour outage.
A number of M-PESA services will also be sequentially withdrawn in the lead to the changeover. This will be communicated to M-PESA customers and partners through the media and Safaricom social channels.
The new M-PESA platform paves the way for Safaricom to rollout more features and enhancements on the service to the more than 26 million M-PESA customers. Among the new features that customers can look forward to include M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA implementation in the Safaricom App.
“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.
Following the upgrade, M-PESA customers are set to benefit from an increase in the number of partners offering their services on the enhanced M-PESA platform. This will be made possible through a new set of Application Programming Interfaces(APIs) that will simplify the process of integration into M-PESA, cutting down the time it takes from weeks to a few days, or even hours.
In addition to providing for new customer features, automation of different M-PESA procedures will eliminate the current requirement for customers and merchants to make such requests to the call centre.
Safaricom and the different M-PESA partners will gradually deploy new features and services over the coming months.