Safaricom says that it is working closely with the communications regulator and the central bank to address the intermittent MPesa outages that have rocked the country since Saturday.
The Kenyan telco says that the outage was caused by a slow database response that resulted in a reduction in the number of transactions being processed. This led to queuing of incoming transactions and a delay in responses to customers.
“Our engineers are working with officials from both the Central Bank of Kenya and Communications Authority of Kenya to ensure continuity of services,” said Safaricom in an update report to the public.
The MPesa inconveniences commenced on Saturday 1904 hours, and services were restored at 2253 hours. The issue reoccurred on Sunday morning at 0719 hours and was resolved 34 minutes later.
Monday morning, Kenyans were subjected to the same delays.
Mpesa is down again wtf??i’m here unable to make a payment and i’m in a queue. @Safaricom_Care whats happening?
— Watiri (@voluptaz) December 10, 2018
Joe Mucheru, the cabinet secretary in charge of Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, expressed concern on MPesa outage.
“The Ministry has instructed CA to liaise with CBK and investigate the cause of this outage and forward a report to government, including remedial measures that Safaricom will take to ensure this outage does not happen in the future,” he said.
Mr Mucheru said that even as the Ministry ensures the mobile service providers give uninterrupted services, it urges mobile money users to have redundancies to guarantee continued services.
“We wish to inform the public that in line with ensuring we have a competitive market, mobile money interoperability is now fully functional. Subscribers can now move money in their wallets across different mobile money service providers,” he added.
CA, in its part, says that in light of the important role the mobile payment platforms play in the country’s economy, it shall engage CBK with a view to ensuring that ICT firms operating mobile money services have in place adequate redundancy measures to guarantee 100 per cent service uptime.
It also noted, as much as MPesa is largely regulated by CBK, it has a mandate to protect consumers of ICT services.
“In line with terms and conditions of the Safaricom licence, CA is, however, awaiting a formal explanation from Safaricom on the cause of the outage and measures and actions put in place to avoid a recurrence,” said Ngene Gituku, CA Board chairman.
The CA’s 2016-2017 Industry Report shows that MPesa controls 81 per cent of the country’s mobile money market, with 22.62 million subscribers.