The smartest way to make money in Nigeria is to start a recession-proof business. That is, a business whose products or services are everyday necessities and are always in huge demand; regardless of the state of the economy. One of such businesses is recharge card printing and selling.

There are about 80 million active mobile phones lines in Nigeria—that’s about half of the country’s population. And the average phone user buys recharge cards every week. This, coupled with the fact that communication over the phone is now an everyday need, explains why printing and selling recharge cards is a very profitable business.

If you are looking to start your own small business and are completely at sea as to which option to go for, then you should consider starting a recharge card printing and selling business. The required startup capital is minimal, you don’t need any formal qualifications to get started, and you can start making profits as in a matter of days to weeks.

Does this business idea pique your interest? If YES, then read on to understand the basics of the business and the steps involved in getting started.

How to Make Money Selling Mobile Recharge Cards Online

What do you need to get started?

As with any other business, starting a recharge card printing and selling business requires putting something in place. These include:

  • A PC (desktop or laptop computer)
  • A laserjet printer
  • A software package for printing recharge card
  • A reliable internet connection
  • Recharge voucher PINs (obtainable from dealers)
  • The zeal to succeed
  • N10,000 or more to start with

How much can you make from recharge card printing and selling?

The recharge card printing and selling business is volume-based. How much profit you will make weekly or monthly depends on how many cards you print and sell. On each card, you can make a profit of anywhere between N5 and N10. The more money you invest, the more cards you can print, and the more money you can make.

However, aside capital and rate of production, many other factors influence how much you can make from the business. These include the competition, your marketing skills, and selling margin.

What are the options for getting started?

There are three ways to break into the business of recharge card printing and selling—as a dealer, as a sub-dealer, or as a small-scale printing business. What do these options mean?

Being a dealer means setting up a dealership or agency arrangement with the service providers. As a dealer, you will be issued card product licenses by the service providers and maintain direct correspondence with them. This is the most lucrative of the three options, but you will need a huge amount of money—about N1m or more—to get started.

A sub-dealer is not licensed by service providers and does not have direct correspondence with them. Sub-dealers depend on licensed dealers for generation of recharge card PINs, but they print and distribute recharge cards in huge volumes—hundreds of thousands to millions. To start out as a sub-dealer you will need around N400,000.

Small-scale recharge card printing entails buying already generated PINs from dealers or sub-dealers, printing them out, and selling them either to recharge card sellers or directly to consumers. There are two ways to print recharge cards on a small-scale level: you can either print them out over the internet or use a voucher printing machine belonging to a franchise company.

What are the steps involved in printing recharge cards?

For small-scale recharge card printing, the process is quite straightforward and there’s nothing complex about it. Here are the steps involved:

  • Connect your PC to the Internet (if you don’t have a PC, you can use a cybercafé—but having your own PC is highly recommended).
  • Register with a company that has been licensed to generate recharge card PINs.
  • Download the company’s custom card printing software package, and install it on your PC.
  • Order for recharge card PINs through the company’s website and pay the required amount for the number of PINs you ordered. After making your payment, notify the company by sending the transaction details to them via text or email (you can also call them for quicker response).
  • You will be sent encrypted PINs that can be read and interpreted only by the company’s custom software.
  • Use the software on your computer to print out the PINs.

Recharge cards are fast-selling commodities, so you will hardly go wrong with this business. If you are armed with the relevant information and aggressive marketing skills, you can become a millionaire by printing and selling recharge cards.