The mobile money business in Zambia has created many employment opportunities as it does not require any specialized knowledge to run. You will only need to have startup capital, register your business, and get the necessary licenses. With mobile money, you can choose to become an Airtel money agent, MTN mobile money agent or Zamtel Kwacha agent.
How Profitable is Mobile Money Business in Zambia?
Is mobile money business profitable? Mobile money business is profitable in Zambia because of high penetration rate of mobile telecommunication. There were 20.2 million mobile subscribers in Zambia in 2021. The number of people with bank accounts in the country is less than 40%. However, for your business to be profitable, you need to find a location with high traffic such as near a market, college or a bus station. If you facilitate few transactions a day, your profit margin will be very low. Therefore, your choice of location and the amount of float you have will determine how profitable your mobile money business will be.
How to Start Mobile Money Business
To start a mobile money business in Zambia, you need to do thorough research to know how mobile money business works and learn the tips to succeed in this business.
Mobile Money Business Plan
You need to plan well for your business to succeed. Conduct a market research and find out the money money services in high demand and those you can provide. Consider the security of the area you intend to operate your business (a mobile money agent was recently kidnapped and some have been robbed), the market share, competition, availability of customers, cashflow projections, risks and strengths of the business. To know how to about writing a successful mobile money agent business plan, read our previous article on what a business plan should include. If you can afford, you can hire a professional to help you draft your mobile money business plan.
Choose a Good business Location.
Mobile money business works well in areas with high traffic and buying and selling of goods such urban centers, near colleges and hospitals. Such an area will maximize your profits. The more customers transact, the higher your commissions.
Get Business Permits and Licenses
You need to secure business licenses to operate a legal mobile money business in Zambia. For instance, you need to get a TPIN the Zambia Revenue Authority for tax purposes. You may also need a business trading license from the local authority. You also need to register a business name in Zambia in order to operate legally. Find out also how to register a company in Zambia.
Get Started and Advertise Your Mobile Money Business
Once you have secured the necessary business permits and licenses, you can launch your business.If you provide quality and reliable customer service, and your customers will keep on coming back and refer more customers to your business. You can advertise the business using social media, posters, flyers, and business cards.
How to Become an Airtel Money Agent in Zambia
Airtel is one of the fastest-growing GSM mobile telecommunications network providers in Africa. The Airtel mobile money electronic system allows sending and receiving money from one mobile user with a registered SIM card. You can become an Airtel money agent or dealer.
Airtel Mobile Money Agent Requirements in Zambia
The following are Airtel mobile money agent requirements in Zambia.
At the moment, you can get Airtel agent line without providing TPIN or business registration certificate. Moreover, you don’t need to provide the Kwacha 2000 capital as it was before.
- You will need to collect, fill and submit Airtel money agent application form.
- Provide certified business registration certificates. If you want to be an Airtel money agent, you must have a registered business or company. You cannot register as an agent through an individual name.
- Airtel money agents must ensure that they have at least one shop or booth but not more than 3 to carry out their operations.
- You will need to collect your tax identification number from the Zambia Revenue Authority and provide a TPIN certificate.
- Submit a copy of identification of business owner (s)
- You will be required to provide passport photographs of the business owner.
- A minimum capital of 2, 000ZMK for each outlet is required to register an Airtel agent outlet.
You can start operating as an Airtel money agent once you complete Airtel money agent registration and your application is approved. You will receive trading SIM cards and manual user guides from Airtel representatives.
Airtel Money Agent Commission Structure in Zambia
Airtel Money agents earn in terms of commissions. Airtel Money agent commission in Zambia is measured using Cash In (CI) and Cash Out (CO) tools. Cash In refers to mobile money deposits customers make while Cash Out refers to any customer withdrawals. Each customer withdrawal amounts to 1% (of the amount withdrawn) agent commission and profit. On the other hand, every customer’s cash deposit amounts to 0.5% agent commission.
How to Become an Airtel Money Dealer
Airtel mobile money dealers have more privileges compared to Airtel mobile money agents. They can operate more than one outlet, engage in other business activities such as SIM card registration, among other benefits. The following are requirements to become an Airtel mobile money dealer.
- Collect, fill, and submit an Airtel mobile money dealer application form, which you will then submit to any Airtel office for approval.
- Get company registration certificates from the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) to show proof of company registration. Your company/business must have a limited company registration license.
- You will need to submit an original certified copy of identification of company directors.
- Provide passport photographs of company directors and company CEO.
- You must have a minimum of three shops or outlets in different locations to qualify as an Airtel money dealer.
- You must also have a P4 computer with a fast internet connection.
- You must have an active email address through which all communications with Airtel representatives will be carried out.
- Airtel mobile money dealership requires you to have a startup capital of 5,000 ZMK for each outlet.
MTN Mobile Money
MTN mobile money is Zambia’s leading mobile financial management service that allows MTN mobile and non-mobile users to send money to each other using MTN Zambian SIM cards. You can send a maximum of 10,000ZMK on a personal account. Both registered and unregistered users can receive money through MTN mobile money. A registered user can access the mobile money self-service menu, pay bills, and send money. On the other hand, unregistered users can only withdraw money using a PIN and transaction code through MTN mobile money agents. With MTN mobile money, you can become an agent or merchant.
How to Become an MTN Mobile Money Agent
An MTN mobile agent is responsible for helping customers send money, make bill payments and withdraw cash. Agents also sell airtime. The following are MTN mobile money agent requirements in Zambia.
At the moment, you can get MTN Zambia agent line after showing your NRC, TPIN and K2000 as your starting capital. Other requirements that were needed before are not mandatory.
- Business Registration Certificate from the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Certificate to show proof of business registration.
- You must have registered your business as a limited company and have existing MTN mobile money outlets.
- You will need a Value Added Tax or Tax Identification Pin certificate from Zambia Revenue Authority.
- Trading license.
- Two passport size photographs.
- You will be required to provide a valid national photo ID (it can be a voter’s card, driver’s license, NHIS ID, or a passport).
- 2 copies of mobile money agency contracts.
- Fill an agent account handler form and an agent recruitment form.
- You will need a minimum capital of 2,000 ZMK for each outlet.
- The processing of successful applications takes a maximum of 23 days from the date of submission. Successful applicants are notified via email or phone call.
How to become an MTN Mobile Money Merchant
The following are the requirements needed to become a mobile money merchant in Zambia.
- You will need to get a certificate of incorporation from PACRA.
- Provide a certified VAT/TPIN from ZRA.
- A certified trading license.
- Certified national IDs of relevant principals.
- Stamped bank statements.
- An MTN mobile money agent will be dispatched to inspect your location.
- When your location is approved, you will need to fill and submit a Merchant Recruitment Form, Merchant Account Handler Form, and a Merchant Agreement for processing.
- You can start your operations as soon as you receive a merchant SIM, which should be ready within 72 hours if submitted documents are accurate.
MTN Mobile Money Agent Commission in Zambia
MTN promises to offer flexible commission structure with best earnings monthly. MTN Mobile Money commission in Zambia depends on the type of transaction you perform your MTN customers. For example, when a customer wants to make a withdraw, your commission ill be 1 percent of the amount before tax. For MTN Money deposits, your commission is 0.5 percent of the deposited amount before tax.
Zamtel Mobile Money (Zamtel Kwacha)
Zamtel has fewer subscribcers compared to MTN and Airtel. It also entered the mobile money market late. Zamtel Kwacha is an electronic Zamtel mobile money service, which allows you to send and receive money and pay bills from your mobile phone. All Zamtel subscribers can access Zamtel Kwacha using either a basic handset or smart phone.
How to Become a Zamtel Kwacha Agent
You can become a Zamtel Kwacha agent and offer different services to its subscribers and non-subscribers. To become an agent, you need to meet the following requirements.
- Certificate of incorporation from PACRA or Trading License issued by the local council.
- Copy of your NRC.
- Minimum of k2500(e-value) and k2500 cash.
If you wish to be a Direct Sales Agent(DSA), you need to visit the nearest Zamtel outlet for further assistance.
Zamtel Kwacha Commission
As an agent, you will receive Zamtel mobile money commission twice a month, on the 1st and 16th of every month. The commission will be earned from cash deposits and cash withdrawals
Final Thoughts on How to Start Mobile Money Business in Zambia
Even though Zambia’s mobile money business has created many job opportunities, you cannot rely on this business to become a millionaire. This is because mobile money businesses have low-income profit margins. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot make profits. You will need to increase traffic to your outlet if you want to generate more money.