We all know of the traditional means of recharging your phone with airtime or credit, which is via buying a recharge card or voucher and then loading it on your phone with a USSD code. For example, *555* PIN #
However, there is another way to recharge the phone. This is called Virtual Top-up (VTU). This article provides information on the VTU, how to start a business with it and makes profits.
VTU Business in Nigeria
With VTU, the phone will be directly credited by the vendor with the help of digital crediting and there will be no need for scratching a card or loading with USSD. The buyer will simply get an alert that his phone has been topped up. In other words, in VTU business you sell airtime credit.
This kind of business is easy to start with little capital. More so, there is still a huge demand because it is much more convenient for the customer to apply for a VTU vendor than to buy a paper scratch card to recharge the phone.
There are many benefits associated with the VTU business. These include:
The buyer receives the benefits based on the tariff provided by the network provider e.g. MTN gives customers free 10 MB data weekly on MTN Pulse for a recharge of N100.
You can run this business without obtaining any certificate, huge capital or necessarily owning a blog or website.
You can start a VTU business with a capital as low as N1, 000 – N7, 000. All you need is an internet-enabled device such as a smart phone or laptop. You also do not have to go through the process of loading SIM cards in order to do your VTU business.
Tools needed for a VTU business
- PC or Android device.
- Mobile Banking App or Debit Card
- Google Drive App
- And the Virtual Top Up Vending PACK.
Step to step way of starting a VTU business in Nigeria
- Ensure you have an internet-enabled phone. Having more than one or two devices depends on the number of services you want to provide. The more phones you have, the faster is your work.
- You should have a considerable amount of airtime. 1000 to 2000 naira worth of airtime is not bad for a start.
- When using VTU SIM Cards, you will need to have the SIM cards of each network you wish to work with. These could include the major networks which are Glo, MTN, Airtel, etc. The SIM cards must be loaded with a substantial amount of money.
- If you decide to have a shop, ensure the fixed physical location of your business can enhance the profitability of your business activity. You should also put the location of your business into consideration. Commercials such as those close to institutions, school campuses, crowded squires are profitable for your business.
- Order a good showcase where you can display information on the services you provide, products for sale, prices, and networks you work with.
- You can also build and make use of a website with a convenient and good-looking design. Having a website helps to attract customers online who do not come to a physical location.
- Laptop and smartphones are essential tools for your business so you can install applications to top up in the easiest way.
The start-up capital depends on your abilities, the minimum sum to start is about 5000 – 10000 Naira. These include the money you will use to purchase devices such as good phones, SIM cards, etc.
Registration and licensing for VTU in Nigeria
When you start on this business, as a small scale business of one man, no license is needed. However, you are required to have Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration.
Another important step is to download the VTU application. It is through this platform that the Airtime will be credited to your customers/the third party. There are many VTU apps available for download.
How VTU platforms work
When using the SIM loaded VTU, one has to buy a SIM card on each network and also load airtime on each network. VTU apps, however, take away this disadvantage.
Once you activate the VTU selling platform as a reseller, you can use just one portal.
You can access your VTU portal via your mobile phone or on a web platform.
With the little capital you begin with, you can sell to all networks such as MTN, 9mobile, etc.
The VTU recharge business allows you to earn monthly. With VTU apps, you can also sell airtime, data, send bulk SMS, pay bills such as Startimes, GoTV, DSTV, etc.
How to promote the VTU business
For the VTU business, you can use any type of promotion. These include:
Create pages on different social networks and so on. As long as you make sure to provide quality services, your customers will find you
If you have all this in place, then the process of starting your VTU business is on. All you need to do is follow the required procedure to credit people’s account
Reasons why you should start the VTU business
As a VTU vendor in Nigeria, you get at least 3% discount on your airtime purchase.
So, let’s say you only sell just one VTU per in two days (which is a worst-case scenario, you are expected to do much better because people make use of airtime per day), you will obtain 3% in 2 days.
Based on this, you will earn about 45% profit in one month. This is good as no other Nigerian business can bring such a high return over the investment of 45% interest in one month, without risks.
There are over 100 million active GSM users in Nigeria. Telecommunications companies earn an average of N2000 per month on each user. Monthly airtime usage is 260 billion naira. Telecommunication companies now focus on Virtual Top Up rather than paper recharges. You can earn up to 5% commission on recharge cards sold on airtime recharges with the VTU business. Nigerian banks are also VTU sellers, this goes to show how lucrative the business is. The sale of paper recharge card is fast fading and the virtual Top-up is taking over.