After the 2015 upgrade of the M-PESA platform and bringing of its servers to Nairobi, Safaricom has announced a third major upgrade to the M-PESA platform in a move expected to bring more services to its 26 million plus customers over the next three weeks.
According to Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom, “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.”
With the new M-PESA platform, customers will benefit from new features and enhancements such as M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA which will allow users to borrow and save on the go via their Safaricom app taking on apps like Branch and Tala. In house, Safaricom has partnerships with firms such as CarePay which runs health insurance firm m-tiba and we believe these partners would be the firm to take up residency on its app.
With a simpler and modern platform, Safaricom aims to launch more services such as insurance partners among others via its new set of APIs. The upgrade also comes with automation of different M-PESA procedures simplifying the entire payments process.
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A number of M-PESA services will also be sequentially withdrawn in the lead to the changeover.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. Customers are asked to bear with the firm as it upgrades its platform to get on board new partners to deploy new features and services over the coming months.