This follows at least two other recent suspensions of the service for routine maintenance by the mobile services provider in recent weeks.
The telecommunications company says it has completed transferring and upgrading M-Pesa servers from Germany to Kenya and is conducting final test-runs this weekend.
New customer registrations, personal identification number (PIN) changes and account activations will be unavailable in the 48 hours leading up to the shutdown.
This includes signing up for M-Shwari and M-Kesho accounts.
“The M-Pesa system upgrade is scheduled for Saturday April 18, 2015 at 11pm to Sunday April 19, 2015 at noon,” the company said in an advertisement placed in local dailies. “We have begun the long-awaited journey to bring M-Pesa home.”
The mobile giant had earlier revealed plans to transfer all M-Pesa servers to Kenya by the beginning of April, promising users of the mobile money transfer service a more reliable system.
The process of installing the M-Pesa servers locally began 24 months ago, with Safaricom having brought in 50 engineers from across the globe, mainly from Vodafone, IBM and Huawei to design, install the new platform and re-locate the servers locally.
It is expected to minimise service outages that occur whenever the undersea fibre optic cables which relay information to Germany and back are damaged.
The installation of M-Pesa servers locally brings to an end nearly eight years of foreign hosting.
“The second generation M-Pesa platform has a bigger capacity, is much faster and will allow other merchants to connect directly to the platform, unlocking a new era of services,” said Betty Mwangi-Thuo, general manager Financial Service
As M-Pesa mobile phone money transfer system as it moves its servers from Germany to Kenya.
Some services will be cut off:
But by Saturday, all services will be unavailable until Sunday noon when they will resume.
Below are the most important things to know about the shutdown;
1. Registration of new customers will not be allowed starting Thursday to Sunday.
2. Transfer of cash to other mobile networks will not be possible during the period.
3. M-Pesa subscribers will not be able to send cash to unregistered users.
4. You will not be able to change your M-Pesa pin while the upgrade is ongoing.
5. Registration of new customers on mobile banking services M-Shawari or M-Kesho will also not be possible, along with borrowing or repaying loans on the services.
6. Starting Saturday, the entire system will shut down and sending or receiving money will not be possible.
7. Customers will not be able to pay their weekend bills in restaurants, supermarkets, petrol stations and pubs over the weekend.
8. Transfer of money from bank to M-Pesa or the reverse will not be possible.
9. You will not be able to pay electricity, water and other utility bills through M-Pesa.
10. Purchasing of airtime through M-Pesa will also not be possible throughout the period of upgrade.