In this post, VTU Business – PiusJoe Telecoms, I explain what the VTU business is. I also explain how it is an effective personal finance management tool. Finally, I discuss how you can make money from it; how much to make; as well as how you can start a VTU business in this period COVID19 lockdown period. I used my VTU Busines – PiusJoe Telecoms – as case study.


VTU stands for Virtual Top-Up. VTU is a business package that communication companies offers to enable individuals to securely buy, sell and pay for utility services.

Last October, at the Independent Education Seminar at Federal College of Agricultural Produce Technology (FCAPT); I spoke on Sustainable School Growth and Multiple Streams of Income for Teachers.

The objectives of my talk was to provide leading guides for school owners and administrators on how to achieve sustainable growth in their schools; and also to provide directions for teachers on how they can create multiple source of income.

Then, and on the former; one of the sources of the multiple streams of income for teachers that I included in the list is the VTU business.

At the time however, I wasn’t and didn’t think I would go into the business myself for some reasons. But this boring and tiring COVID19 break revealed different perspective and prospects.

Hence, I started my VTU Business – PiusJoe Telecoms – on the 7th of July, 2020. It is now 20 days. And I now have better first-hand information on VTU than I had to share last October. Have I made any profit? Of course yes! How much profit did I make in 20 days? What are the projections? How can you start yours? These are the questions I address in this post.

Is VTU Scam?

No!! VTU is absolutely not a scam. Now you must know that I represent my brands in other businesses. For those that understand what this means, I prioritize my name brands above all else. Therefore, speaking on this; not just to individuals but also on the public domain means that I guarantee it is genuine without reservation. That being said, I am not asking you send money to anyone – not even to me. You can do what I am going to explain below absolutely on your own without help.

With this assurance, I can now say that if you are still buying paper airtime and paying your TV and electricity bills with scratch card; then I categorize you into one of two groups: It is either you are an arrogant rich person or you are a pitiable poor person.

If not for business, at least I believe you will do this for the personal finance management aspect of it – to reduce cost.

So let’s begin.

How Does VTU Work?

First let us explain the VTU technology in detail – but without boring you with ‘technobabbles’ (i.e. technical terms/details).

VTU is the digital form of the traditional way of recharging our mobile phones; subscribing for data and Cable TV packages; and paying for utility bills. This means that instead of doing these things the traditional way, VTU allows us to do them with our computers and phones.

Traditional ways

The traditional way that we recharge our phone with airtime credit is by buying a Paper or scratch card. Then scratching/unpinning it, we load by dialling the USSD code for our mobile network together with the recharge pin.

We also do the same to buy data (internet subscription). After loading the airtime credit with USSD code, we still use another USSD code to buy the data plan of our choice.

As for CableTv subscription and electricity bill payment, quite a good number of people travel all the way to nearest office of their TV network and power distribution company to make payment. But recently too, some now renewal their subscription through scratch cards.

Problems of these traditional ways

With deeper service penetration and wider coverage, subscribers come to discover many problems with the traditional ways. Some of these problems are:

1.       Accessibility

If anything takes you to a place where there is no paper or scratch recharge card, then you will not be able to recharge your phone when your airtime is exhausted. Many have been stranded in their journey, maybe you too!

2.       Difficulty of recharging

To recharge, one must first of all scratch the card or remove the staple pins; dial the right USSD code and enter the recharge pin one after another. Not for many young people, but this is a heavy task for the older people. Some people even forget the recharge USSD code for their mobile network – that’s not funny.

3.       Damage of Recharge Card

Maybe wet by liquid, or you over-scratch the card; but it is a common problem with traditional way of recharging. Sometimes the recharge card gets damaged or some of the recharge pin become undiscernible. Then you’ll have trouble recharging your credit airtime – usually several minutes of call with customer care agents.

4.       Loss of Recharge Card

Have you bought recharge card that got lost before? Well, this is not a forbidden experience. And people face this problem occasionally. When you do, you do not only losses the opportunity to call but also your money!

5.       Loss of time

Go to the seller; buy the recharge card; scratch it or remove the pin; locate the recharge pin; recall the recharge USSD code for your network; dial the code; enter the recharge pin; and send.

Isn’t that time-consuming to you? Sure, it is! Have you been so busy at work that even though you have the card you were unable to load until a later period? Or maybe you were so occupied that you were unable to recharge your TV subscription for a couple of days?

These are not uncommon experiences. And that is a major problem.

VTU – The Problem Solver

Just as the different companies were thinking of how to overcome the problems I mentioned above – and also make life easier for their subscribers; MTN broke the ice with their VTU technology.

The VTU is now in three forms. This means you can recharge your credit airtime easily in anyone of three ways. These include:

  1. VTU sim Cards
  2. VTU USSD codes
  3. VTU Website/Portal

Now before I explain each of these, you should know that the VTU technology has two main objectives:

  1. Make recharging easier for subscribers
  2. Create Small and Medium business opportunities for willing and interested subscribers


This is the very first form of VTU technologies. Since it is the take-off point from the traditional ways, this VTU technology is also very similar to the traditional ways.

This VTU technology works like this:

1.       Buy VTU sim card

Interested subscribers who want to do the VTU business buys a special kind of sim card. This sim card is called VTU sim card. The telecommunication companies made this sim to be different from the regular ones in what they can do. For example, you can send any amount of airtime to anybody with the sim card. This is not like sharing or gifting airtime. You cannot do this with your regular sim card.

There is no single VTU sim card for all the mobile networks. So, you must buy VTU sim card for any mobile network you want to be selling airtime for. This means if you want to sell airtime for all the networks; you must buy 4 VTU sim cards and at least a 2 double-sim phones or 4 different single-sim phones.

2.       Load your capital into the VTU sim card

Alright, a little business studies – capital is the money you want to use to start a business. After you buy the VTU sim card, you will fund the VTU sim card with the amount of money you want to use to start the business.

3.       Start selling by sending airtime directly to buyers

After the prospective VTU businessman or woman fund his/her VTU sim card; business has started. The person can start announcing that s/he sells airtime. And if anybody wants to buy airtime, he or she collects the money; and simply sends the amount of credit airtime directly to the buyer’s phone. The VTU businessman/woman can collect the money by hand or through bank payment. And s/he can send the airtime to anybody anywhere and at any time.

Do you see how selling airtime through VTU is better than the traditional way? The seller can sell to people that are far away and the buyer can buy from someone that is far away too.

The buyer will not need to scratch any card, locate any pin or dial any code. S/he will just receive an SMS notification that his or her recharge of the amount is successful. Isn’t that amazing! Recharging like this has no disadvantages to the buyer at all. The mobile network operator’s computer will simply see it as if the person has recharged usual.

Well off course, technically the record will be there that the buyer recharged through VTU.

In fact, in support of the cashless economy policy and to promote the VTU business; many of the telecommunication companies may even give the subscriber bonuses if they recharge through VTU. Also, to enable the VTU business owners to make profit, the VTU system offers discount to the business owners. This discount ranges from 0.5 to 5%.

Disadvantage of VTU Sim card technologies to Small and Medium VTU Business Start-up

The major disadvantage of this VTU technology to the VTU business owner is that s/he will need to buy two or more phones and two or more VTU sim cards. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of money to start the business, then it will be difficult.


The second and better VTU Technology is the VTU USSD Codes. Shortly after introducing the VTU technology, it became a very successful business for those that went into it.

So, many companies considered going into it too. Not only small and medium businesses this time but even large companies. There are companies like banks, payment gateways, and even the telecommunication companies themselves!

With the involvement of these big companies, comes better system. The companies are able to link subscribers’ phone line (number) to their bank and payment gateway accounts. Then through some technical setup, they created special code for each company. With these codes, users are able to recharge their airtime and make payment directly from their bank accounts and payment gateways.

This VTU technologies works as follows:

1.       Technical setup and USSD code creation

The first thing is that large companies carry out the technical setup. This majorly surrounds putting up necessary MoUs, partnership, policing, database sharing and linking subscriber base to bank/payment gateways. After this, the companies create USSD codes that users of different network operators will use to make purchases and payment.

All these happens without the knowledge of the ordinary user. Also, the USSD code for the different companies that offers the VTU business differs. In fact, just like the VTU sim card, any company that wants to add VTU for any mobile network operator to their services will create special USSD code for that mobile network operator. There are cases were the same code works for two or more mobile operators though.

Most companies offer E Top-up (another name for VTU – Virtual Top-Up) as one of the options in their already existing services. For example, banks offer E Top-Up alongside their mobile banking codes.

2.       Subscribers Top-up

After the setup and the creation of the VTU USSD codes, the companies will begin advertising their VTU platform to their subscribers. And users can instantly begin to recharge their credit airtime and make payment by dialling the codes.

 Below are VTU (E Top-Up) USSD codes for some companies.

CompaniesCode to access VTU (E Top-Up)
1.       MTN*131#
2.       GLO*777#
3.       Access Bank*901#
4.       First Bank*894#
5.       Zenith Bank*966#
6.       GT Bank*737#
7.       FCMB*329#
8.       Jaiz Bank*389#
9.       Eco Bank*326#
10.   UBA*919#
11.   Union Bank*826#
12.   Fidelity Bank*770#
13.   Sterling Bank*822#
14.   Quick Teller*322# or *805#
15.   OPay*955#

NOTE: For the non-banking VTU platform like Quick teller and Opay, you must have account with them for the code to work. Similarly, the bank’s codes work only on your BVN line. Otherwise, some return error. However, sometimes instead of the errors; it will reroute you to either create account or one of your mobile network self-service platforms.

VTU Websites/Portals/Apps

This is the latest VTU technology. This takes advantage of the platform-independent and programmable nature of the web. It incorporates and brings airtime, data (internet subscription) and payment features to one place.  There is also mobile app specially dedicated to this technology.

Find how VTU Websites/Portals and Apps Works below

1.       Distributors Set up the platform and sell in bulk to resellers

Just like the VTU USSD Code technology, large communication companies carry out the initial setup. These are usually telecommunication companies like MTN, GLO, AIRTEL and 9Mobile. But there are also national/multinational non-mobile-network-operator companies like Unify and Zazoo.

With the exception of the mobile operator companies, most of the direct VTU distributors deals in wholesale. Hence, although their prices maybe low per unit, they mostly do not sell in unit but in bulk. And distributors mostly sell to VTU retailers (Resellers).

However, the mobile network operators who are also distributors like MTN, GLO, AIRTEL & 9MOBILE offers end subscriber unit sale. Still at this, their prices are usually more than those of resellers.

2.       Resellers buys in bulk from distributors and sell to subscribers

To buy and sell from distributors; people that are willing to go into the VTU business will visit the distributors’ platform, register and fund their account with capital.

Thereafter, resellers sell directly to subscribers from their capital. The good part of the VTU Website/portal technologies is that it allows resellers to emulate their distributors platform. So, every reseller tends to have their independent VTU website/portal.

Through this websites or portals, the VTU reseller and anybody can visit and buy, sell and make payments. When either the reseller or anybody else buys, sells or makes any payments from the website; they receive discounts.

1. Choose a good reseller website and register

Recharging, buying and making utility payments through VTU reseller websites is a very good personal financial management option. Although most people usually do not keep record of how much they spend on airtime and data subscription on a monthly basis; if they do, they will see how much they could be saving.

How much do you budget for data per month?

Personally, on average; I use between 20GB – 30GB monthly. That depends on how much work I have for any particular month – and that’s very conservative, it could be much higher. Ordinarily, that cost around N5, 000 – N8,000. But I mostly cut cost by buying about half my data needs as night plan. And the other half as regular. Still, I was spending between N 3, 000 to N 5, 000 monthly on data.

Now that’s not much for some people. But I still wanted to save cost, at least money no dey scratch body.

While I was thinking of how, my thought went immediately back to my lecture on VTU. And I began to look for good reseller to register under. Then my generous Lagos friend posted on facebook. I got into her inbox and she redirected me to her WhatsApp group.

Step 1

I got her link from the group, then I registered on the distributor’s portal under her for free. And that is how I began the journey of saving huge cost and later starting my telecom business – PiusJoe Telecoms.

So, the first step you need to take so that you can buy airtime, data and make utility payment at lower and even start your telecom business (if you want to); is to get a trusted VTU reseller, and register under him/her.

You need to register under a reseller because like I said earlier, most VTU distributors usually do not allow you to register under them directly. Instead, if you want to be directly under a distributor; you first of all register under a reseller for free. Then you upgrade your reseller level to stand on your own – to stand directly under the distributor.

Do you want to start buying airtime, data and making your electricity (all states) and Cable TV (whether GO TV, Startimes, or DSTV) payments at lower prices? Are you thinking of a reseller you can trust, well; I have upgraded my reseller membership, you can trust me. And I am available 24/7 to guide you through the processes all for free, click here to register under me.

2. Fund Your Wallet

Did you register in the steps above? Congratulations! You’re on your way to start saving cost or even start the popular VTU business.

Immediately you register, you view all the items in one screen.

Now from screenshot 1 above, there is will be able to see all the items that are on the three screenshots. He used his smartphone. That is why the screenshots are three. But if you are using iPad, Tablet or Laptop/Desktop, you will be able to a place I circled with red pencil. There, you will see that your “wallet is N 0.00”.

Wallet in VTU Portal or Website

Wallet here is like your regular wallet, purse or handbag. If you are going to market to buy something, you put the money you want to use in buying inside your wallet, purse or handbag. For the people that have excellent personal financial management, when they keep money for a particular item in their wallet; they will never again use that money for something else.

For instance, if they keep N5000 in their wallet to buy perfume when they get to market; but on their way to market they see an interesting book that cost N2000, these financially disciplined people will not touch their N5000 perfume money to buy the book. Instead, if they have extra money; they buy the book. Otherwise, they will simply say, another time.

This is exactly how the wallet in your VTU portal works.

Immediately you complete your VTU registration, a special bank account is created for you with Providus Bank. This special bank account is your wallet.

So, the next step for you to start buying airtime, data and making electricity and Cable TV subscription at a cheaper rate is to fund your wallet.

To fund your wallet is like keeping the amount of money you want to use to buy airtime, data and making payment or to even do the business in your wallet.

Remember, your VTU wallet work like the wallet of a financially disciplined person. Any money you keep in the wallet can only be used to buy airtime, data or to make electricity and Cable TV payments. You will not be able to withdraw the money to buy rice or fura da nono.

In my case, since I know the estimated amount of money I use to buy airtime/data on a monthly basis; I simply fund my wallet with that amount – around N3,000. Then whenever I needed airtime or data, I simply go to my portal and recharge or buy data with the amount until it finishes. Then I will fund it again.

How to fund your wallet in VTU portal

You can fund your VTU wallet just like you deposit money in your regular bank account. You can transfer, go to bank and deposit with deposit slip, go to any POS close to you and deposit or use your ATM card to pay online – if the money you want to deposit is already in your bank account.

The first step to is to go back to your portal and click on deposit money. I circled it with purple color pencil in screenshot 2.

After you click on Deposit Money, it will load and show you where you can enter the amount of money you want to fund your wallet with and how you want to pay. You can fund your wallet with as low as N100 and as high as N5, 000, 000 (five million naira).

VTU Business - PiusJoe Telecoms

In the sample screen above, I entered N3,000. That means I want to pay N3,000. But that is not important, you can enter any amount, make sure it is more than M100 (One hundred naira).

Then click on the select method of payment and choose one by clicking on it. In my example screen above, I choose Cash Deposit or Mobile Transfer or Internet Banking.

The distributor who runs the portal says the platform is secure. And you can see from the website address that the connection is over a secured socket. In addition, they use interswitch which is a very well-known platform.

But if you are sceptical about entering your bank details or if the money you want to deposit is cash with you; select cash deposit. After that, click on Click to Proceed.

Immediately you click on the “Click to Proceed “above, you will see your VTU Wallet bank account details like the one of the earlier friend in screenshot 3 below:

From the screenshot 3 above, you can see Your VTU Wallet Bank Name & Account Number. It is not compulsory for you to repeat this process every time you want to fund your wallet. Simply transfer money into the account and it will automatically go to your VTU on the portal.

Once you fund your wallet, you are set to buy airtime and data and also make payments for your electricity and cable tv at cheaper price. See the description of to perform that below:

3. Buy and Sell Airtime and Data and Make Electricity & Cable TV payment at cheaper prices

You have created a VTU account. You have funded your wallet. So, I say congratulations!!

You are now set to start saving cost or start the business. But let me first tell you that doing the VTU business is simple. Anyone with VTU Account can do the VTU business. To do it, you simply buy and sell airtime and data as well as make payments for other people. No matter how simple this is, there are people who do not even know that it exists. There are people who will not be able to do it – due to lack of understanding and other factors like time. And of course, there are the arrogant rich people and pitiable poor people who though understands how it works and have the means will deliberately refuse to do it.

These are the people you render the business services to.

Whether you are doing for yourself or you are doing it as a business (for other people). The steps are the same.

Steps to Buy and Sell airtime on VTU Portal
  1. Login to your VTU portal.

Click on this link to login or simply type The screen below will load.

VTU Business - PiusJoe Telecoms

Enter the phone number you register with and then your password and click login.

Go to Quick Actions and click on Buy Airtime

  • Choose Network, enter amount and phone number
  • After you click on the Buy Airtime in the Quick Actions area, it will show you where to choose the mobile network – whether MTN, Airtel, Glo or 9Mobile; Enter the amount of airtime you want to buy/sell; and the phone number you want to recharge. Then Click Buy Now. And the phone number will automatically be recharged.
  • It is as simple as that – no scratching, no dialling code.
  • Points to Remember about buying airtime from VTU website/Portal
  • Remember the following when buying airtime from VTU portal:
    1. The minimum amount you can recharge is N50
    2. If you set Auto renew to Yes, anytime the person’s airtime finishes; the system will automatically recharge the phone number from your wallet – whether the person pay you or not, long as you have money on your wallet.
    3. As a free member, if you want to do airtime business; then your profit is between 0 to 3%. This depends on the macro economy in the country for the day. The best assurance for your airtime is to sell at a price a little above the actual value. For example, you can sell N100 airtime at N105; N200 at N210, etc.
    4. You can also print airtime recharge card for glo, airtel, and 9mobile. MTN is currently unavailable for printing.
    5. If you upgrade your VTU account, you will get up to 5% discount on all airtime purchases in addition to other benefits.

Steps to Buy and Sell Data

1.   Login to your VTU portal.

Click on this link to login or simply type The screen below will load.

VTU Business - PiusJoe Telecoms

Enter the phone number you register with and then your password and click login.

2. Go to Quick Actions and click on Buy Data bundle

3. Choose Network, data plan and enter phone number

After you click on Buy Databundle on the Quick Actions Area, it will load a page where you can choose the mobile network, the data plan and enter the phone number. Then click on Buy Now

Points to Remember About Buying Data from VTU Business
  1. You get most of your saving or profit from VTU data

If you are getting into VTU so as to cut cost, purchasing data through VTU is your best bet. You will be getting your data at nearly half the regular prices from your mobile network operator – sometimes even less than that. It is the same if you are into VTU for business. You will be buying at about half the regular prices. This means about 20 – 50% profit or more. See the regular prices of the most popular data plans and the price you get from VTU website (as at August 11, 2020) below:

Network &
Data Plan/Worth


Regular Price from Mobile Network (NGN)
Price you get from VTU website (NGN)
Amount you save/profit you make (NGN)
Percentage profit (%)
1.5GBNGN 1,000N578N42273
3GBN 1500N1080N42039
2.9GBN 1000N817N18322
4.1GBN 1500N1155N34530
5.8 GBN 2000N1274N72657

Imagine the amount of money you could be saving or making through VTU – especially if you are using MTN and GLO. These prices are not static. It changes with the macro economy in the country for the day. But the prices WILL NOT EXCEED those of the regular from the mobile network providers. Instead, it is usually lower.

Even at the prices above, the cost reduction/profit margin is still high. This is because 7 out of every 10 mobile network subscribers in Nigeria uses either MTN or GLO.

  1. The prices above are all available to every VTU member – even free members!
  2. If you are a business owner and you upgrade your membership to VIP, you will get even more discount. See prices that are available to VIP members in the table below:
Network &
Data Plan/Worth (NGN)
Regular Price from Mobile Network (NGN)
Price for VIP VTU members (NGN)
Amount you save/profit you make (NGN)
Percentage profit (%)
1.5GBNGN 1,000N330N67073
3GBN 1500N990N51039
2.9GBN 1000N817N18322
4.1GBN 1500N1155N34530
5.8 GBN 2000N1274N72657

Can it be better than this? There are not many businesses that you can start with zero naira and make a profit above N100 in a single sale.

Now, look at the tables above; how much do you think you will save a month? If you haven’t started but would like to; remember I can guide through the process.

Get in touch with me:

By Call/SMS – 08067689217

On WhatsApp – 08067689217

On Facebook – PiusJoe Ankpa

On Twitter – PiusJoeAnkpa

How Much I Saved/Made from VTU in 20 Days

Earlier in the post, I promised to state whether I profited from VTU in the first 20 days of operation. Well, if I must give a number, I made exactly N5,155 in the first 20 days (July 8 – 27, 2020). That is plus the fact that I didn’t have to pay for my data anymore – I saved the entire money I normally use to buy data. This too is around N 5,000. And I consumed exactly 19.03 GB of MTN data bundle within the period. If I had purchased the data from MTN, that would have cost me extra N5,000 – minimum.

So, in total; I could say I earned about N15,155 from VTU in 20 days. That is not too bad for one who only planned to save N 5,000 cost on data at the start. In fact, I am officially a VTU businessman.

Wait! That gain is despite the fact that I advertised on twice – 2 separate facebook posts and broadcast message to selected WhatsApp contacts actually. I maintained my usually workaday activities. I was still reporting to office to work on our ongoing web project. It is while there and a prospective buyer places a request across that I attend to it. My client circle was narrow – about 15 people max.

What if I had up to 100 people buying from me in a month! In fact, that is my target for next month. If you are not already doing the VTU business, and you are not interested in joining soon; please get on my client list.

PiusJoe Telecoms

I sell directly to you, at a very affordable rate and timely. See my pricelist below:

NOTE: All plans valid for 30 days.
The process is simple:
  1. Send me a request on Call/SMS (08067689217), WhatsApp (08067689217), or Facebook (PiusJoe Ankpa). In the request, just state the data plan and phone number you want me to send the data or airtime to.
  2. I send you the data and
  3. You make the payment.

For those interested in the VTU business, there’s another aspect I will reveal in another post.

I hope you gained some insight into VTU business from the post. I will keep guides coming on this topic coming – on my free time.