Glitch Underscores Vulnerability Of Africa’s Mobile Money

Glitch Underscores Vulnerability Of Africa’s Mobile Money

A system upgrade scheduled to last four hours triggered eight hours of system issues and shutdowns for Tanzania’s M-Pesa money transfer service, according to a report in ITNewsAfrica.

Vodacom Tanzania said it resolved a technical problem that affected M-Pesa money transfer services across the country.

M-Pesa is a mobile-phone based money transfer service for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania.

The problem left experts questioning if the breakneck speed of mobile money movement in the country would overwhelm companies and result in shutdowns.

The company said the disruption has been resolved and the issues that caused it reportedly figured out so the problem would not arise again in the near future.

Vodacom Managing Director Rene Meza apologized to customers, saying the disruption was caused by a scheduled system upgrade on Sept. 21. “It had been due to start at 00:00 hours and end at 04:00 hours,” but Meza said it triggered “eight hours of system issues,” which meant that it “shut down certain aspects of the M-Pesa service.”

Services were fully restored by 17:30 hours the same day, Meza said.

The issues highlight how important mobile money services have become to the country, which hopes that continued bolstering of mobile money services in the East African country will help boost the overall economic situation for the majority of Tanzanians, the report said.