7 Steps to Starting A VTU Business in Nigeria

7 Steps to Starting A VTU Business in Nigeria

June 9, 2020 12

Are you young and ready to work? Are you ready to earn some extra income? How about starting up a business with little capital that can bring you profits in a short while? Ever heard of VTU (Virtual Top-Up) Business? With very little investments, you can start your Virtual Top Up business and generate steady income by offering services like Airtime Recharge, Data Bundles, Utility Bills like Electricity bills, and Cable subscriptions.

In this article, I will be introducing this business to you and I will be showing you a step by step process on how you can start YOUR OWN VTU Business and earn passive income. Exciting right? Let’s dive in right away!

What is VTU Business All About?

A Virtual Top Business is a business where a vendor tops up customers with airtime. We are all familiar with the method of recharging our phones with a scratch card and USSD code. For example, MTN users recharge their phones using the code *555*XXXXXX*#. Virtual Top recharges customers through digital means. The user will automatically receive a notification that his phone has been recharged.

With as little as 5000 naira, you can start selling recharge cards, data plans, and cable subscriptions right from your mobile device or tablet. As you grow you can expand and include cable subscriptions and electricity bills. There are some major key players in the VTU business in Nigeria today. Some of them include; Quickteller, Recharge and Get Paid, Stratford Communications limited, Appletree Nigeria Limit amongst others.

What You Will Need:

·         Sim cards of the networks you would be selling

·         An internet-enabled phone or phones for sim cards

·         Mobile Banking App or Debit Card (ATM card)

·         Google Drive App

·         And the Virtual Top Up Vending PACK.

You may ask, what’s in it for me? Is the VTU business really profitable?

Well, according to research, Nigeria has over 184 million active mobile lines as of December 2019. The average mobile phone user spends about N2000 on airtime monthly. Billions of Naira is spent on data every single month. This means you have a wide customer base. I mean everyone you know around you needs to keep in touch with their friends and family and they need airtime to do that! This business is on high demand in Nigeria and Virtual Top-up makes recharging and paying bills very seamless.

You get a 5% commission on airtime, data bundles, subscriptions, and bills.

Why do you think all banks are in the VTU business? For every recharge you make, a 5% commission goes straight to the bank. You can make some money too!

Now we know all about the VTU business, let’s get to the part you have been waiting for.

Here are 7 key steps to starting your own Virtual Top-Up (VTU) business:

1.       Go for the Knowledge

Yes, you don’t need a BSc to start a VTU business, but you do need to have a good knowledge of what the business is all about. You can do this by learning from those who have already been in the business as well as attend seminars that educate you on VTU business. You will need strategies to stay at the top of your game, so go for knowledge!

2.       Get the materials you need

You will need to get VTU sim cards for each of the networks(Glo, MTN, 9mobile, Airtel) and load each of them with some substantial money. You could register with one phone by registering with a trusted VTU website like RAGP- Recharge And Get paid Ltd, and then become a vendor through your account.

You might also need a physical shop that builds a level of trust with your customers because they know they can reach you when the need arises.

3.       Get the best Location

This is a very important step. Strategically set up your business in a location that has a high demand and a large influx of people like in crowded areas or high traffic areas.

4.       Get Funding

You can get funds through personal savings or loans from friends or banks. With your laptop or smartphone, you can start with as low as N5000 on each of the VTU sim cards. You can get access to credit companies that help with funding in Nigeria!

5.       Register Your Business

If you are just starting as a one-man business, you might not need to register your business just yet but you are to have a Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration.

6.       Promote Your Business

The power of social media cannot be overemphasized. Leverage social media to promote your business. You can build a very attractive and informative website that will attract customers and also advertise on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Build a strong network of people and stay updated on the latest trends, and offer quality services that will keep you ahead of other businesses.

7.       Manage Your Business

As your business expands, you will need to employ and manage other retailers and distributors that will be helpful to your business. You need to expand your operations as your business grows.

Finishing Up!

With these steps, you are well on your way to actualizing your dreams. There is a wide range of opportunities in the VTU Business as Nigeria continues to evolve digitally! Don’t be afraid to take that first step!

Shannon Okubor
Shannon Okubor
12 comments on “7 Steps to Starting A VTU Business in Nigeria
  1. Avatar


    How can I get started

    September 4, 2020 Reply
  2. Avatar

    Ada chimamaka

    How do I join the business or how do i get started?

    September 30, 2020 Reply
  3. Avatar

    Babajide Ibiayo

    Hi you can get started quickly by getting a personal VTU portal which will enable you start operating immediately even without a physical shop. Take the following steps.
    1. Use this URL to register for a VTU account https://rechargeandgetpaid.com/register.php?username=bibiayo
    2. Choose a package. The 5K package is ok to start with.

    October 13, 2020 Reply
  4. List of VTU Websites in Nigeria - SME360

    […] So yes, there you have it! Click on the links of any of the VTU websites and get started now! You can also check out our article on 7 steps to starting a VTU business in Nigeria.  […]

    October 27, 2020 Reply
  5. Avatar

    Ogedegbe Lucky

    It’s helpful,But I’m a bit confused.
    One I want to own it and not to be a reseller.
    You talked about RAGL which im not too clear about.

    October 29, 2020 Reply
    • Avatar

      Shannon Okubor

      Thank you!
      Sure you can own yours! You can set up your own VTU website. You can check out our article on How to create your own VTU website in Nigeria.
      RAGP stands for Recharge and Get Paid. It’s a popular VTU website. You can check their website to find out more

      October 31, 2020 Reply
  6. Avatar

    Igwe Christian emeka

    Please my name is Christian emeka ,I recharged data using my vtu top up,and they debited my account,but the data buddle did not reflect on account.

    November 27, 2020 Reply
  7. Avatar


    How can I get started

    February 5, 2021 Reply
  8. Avatar

    Akogwu Michael

    I can I get started

    April 30, 2021 Reply
  9. Avatar

    David AGHA Okoro

    I want to be one of the VTU customer .

    April 30, 2021 Reply
  10. Avatar

    saina carolyne

    Just asking is VTU in kenya now

    May 10, 2021 Reply
  11. Avatar


    Do you want to know the plugin for creating vtu website see


    June 4, 2021 Reply
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