M-Pesa Experiences Major Outage

Update 2: Safaricom has issued an official statement acknowledging outage and saying services are now back up and running. There has been no explanation on what caused outage, and how long it lasted.

Update 1: Services seem to be back up. There has been no official statement from Safaricom official communication channels on cause of outage.

Safaricom’s M-Pesa services are experiencing a significant downtime, impacting millions of users. The outage, affecting core functionalities of the mobile-based money transfer and micro-financing service, includes sending and receiving money, linked bank services, and various payment services reliant on the platform.

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In a message users have been receiving Safaricom announced, “M-PESA is undergoing scheduled maintenance,” indicating an issue.

Banks with services linking to M-Pesa have also issued notifications, confirming that all services connected to the mobile payment system are currently non-operational. This widespread outage is not just confined to the traditional SIM Toolkit (STK) but also extends to the M-Pesa App, broadening the scope of affected services.

The situation has led to a significant interruption in the daily transactions of thousands of users who depend on M-Pesa for their digital payments. Users attempting to conduct transactions are being met with various error messages. Safaricom has advised customers to wait for 10 minutes before retrying a transaction, indicating a potential intermittent issue.

Safaricom has acknowledged the problem, assuring its customers that the issue is receiving the “utmost priority” in terms of resolution. “We are currently having challenges with M-Pesa services and resolution is underway,” responded Safaricom’s customer care team to a query from a user on Twitter.

This outage of M-Pesa, a vital cog in the wheel of digital financial transactions in the region, underscores the reliance on digital platforms for day-to-day transactions and the significant impact such disruptions can have on the economy and individual livelihoods. Safaricom has not provided a timeline for when services will be fully restored.


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