M-PESA Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

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There were chaos since yesterday evening after thousands of Kenyans who heavily rely on M-PESA were unable to make payments for goods and services.

Shoppers now accustomed to the convenience of Lipa na M-PESA had to return goods after the system could not process payments.

While shoppers had the option to return goods, club goers and those who fueled hoping to pay with M-PESA were not so lucky. They had to remain at the points of purchase trying to figure out how else to settle bills.

The outage, which is not the first this year, has underlined the risk of solely relying on Safaricom’s M-PESA for mobile money transfers.

While other platforms exist, they account for negligible market share and don’t have the widespread distribution of agents and integration as M-PESA does.

M-PESA boasts of 20.55 active million subscribers who generated Ksh 62.91 billion revenue for Safaricom in the financial year ended March 2018.

The issue is yet to be resolved as at the time of penning this article. Trying to transfer money via the platform only yields an “M-PESA is undergoing scheduled maintenance” message.

Safaricom is yet to issue a statement regarding the issue.

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