How to Start Mobile Money Business in Uganda

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Mobile money was introduced in Uganda in 2009. It is among the fastest-growing industries in Uganda. Most countries are moving towards cashless transactions making mobile money one of the profitable businesses. Some of the money service providers available in Uganda include MTN, Airtel, Uganda Telecom, Africell, Micro-Pay and M-Cash.

You can start a mobile money business in Uganda as an agent and earn a commission. Mobile money service providers pay agents for facilitating transactions. In this article, we will show you how to start a mobile money business in Uganda.

What is Mobile Money?

Mobile money is the electronic means of sending, storing and receiving money using electronic devices like phones and tablets. You can start a mobile business and work as an agent.

How Profitable is Mobile Money Business in Uganda?

Is mobile money profitable in Uganda? Mobile money business in Uganda is profitable if you follow the right strategies in starting and running the business. The level of profitability will also depend on factors such as the startup capital, location, number and types of transactions in a given day/week/month.

How to Get a Transaction Line as a Master Agent or Aggregator

You can work as an aggregator or a master agent. An aggregator is authorized to recruit mobile money agents. Master agents purchase and manage e-money from Mobile Network Operators and then sell them to agents.

To become an aggregator or a master agent, you need to fill in an agent Agreement form, exclusivity agreement form and agent application form. In addition, you will need training and branding for your business.

Agents are paid commissions, and the commissions depend on the master agents. Agents have to forego 10% of their income to the Uganda Revenue Authority.

As an aggregator or master money agent, you are responsible for recruiting agents into your territory. You will need to go through the bidding process by presenting an identity card, get a recommendation letter from the local council, and fill in an application form. You will need to make a deposit of Ush 80,000 and have a starting float of at least Ush 2,000,000.

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Duties of a Mobile Money Agent

  • Registering mobile money customers
  • Depositing money into mobile accounts for the registered mobile money customers
  • Processing cash withdrawals by registered mobile money customers
  • Selling airtime to customers
  • Complying with mobile money regulations
  • Customer education

Requirements to Become an MTN Mobile Money Agent in Uganda

To work as a mobile money agent in Uganda, you need to meet the following requirements.

  • Be a registered limited company or sole proprietor and your business must have been in existence for at least one year
  • Original and copies of identity card or passport for the company directors
  • Have permanent or semi-permanent physical premises from where to operate
  • Have a certificate of business incorporation
  • Letter of introduction for the Local Council 1 (LC1)
  • Contact details of your company
  • Have at least three months of business bank accounts
  • Have a copy of articles of association or memorandum of association
  • Proposed outlets for inspection by Telecom’s regional representative
  • Initial startup capital investment of Ush 1,500,000

Requirements to Become an Airtel Mobile Money Agent

  • Proof of residence
  • Recommendation letter from LC1
  • Passport size photo of the applicant
  • Subscriber registration form
  • Trading licenses
  • Subagent application and registration forms
  • Startup capital of Ush 2,000,000

Requirements to Become an Africell Mobile Money Agent

  • National identity card
  • LC1 letter
  • Business registration form
  • Two passport size photos of the applicant
  • Startup capital of Ush 50,000

What You Need to Start a Mobile Money Business in Uganda

Apart from the requirements that you need to meet to register as a mobile money agent or aggregator, you will also need the following to run your business comfortably.

  • Have two transition lines. You should have MTN and Airtel lines because they have a large market share.
  • Have a mobile phone with dual features to operate two lines.
  • Rent a stall or a room. You need a secure place where you can operate your business. Ensure that it is visible by foot traffic.
  • Have a transaction book
  • A secure and lockable desk to keep your money

Some of challenges to expect in mobile money business in Uganda include competition from well-financed competitors, theft, fake money, network problems in some areas of the country, conmen, dishonest workers, etc.

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How to Start a Profitable Mobile Money Business in Uganda

To start a mobile money business in Uganda, you need to understand how mobile money works and how you can succeed in this business. This section will provide you with useful tips you need to venture into the business.

Draft a Business Plan

The success of any business depends on how well it is planned. You need to do market research and find out the money services in high demand and those you can provide. Consider the security of the area you intend to operate your business, the market share, competition, availability of customers, cashflow projections, risks and strengths of the business. If you don’t know how to write a business plan, you can hire a professional to help you.

Choose a Good business Location.

Mobile money business works well in areas with high influx of people like in towns, near institutions like colleges and hospitals. Such an area will maximize your profits. The more customers you serve, the higher your commissions.

Get Business Permits and Licenses

You need to secure business licenses to operate a legal mobile money business in Uganda. You need to get a certificate from the Uganda Revenue Authority for tax purposes. You may also need a business trading license from authorities.

Get Started and Advertise Your Mobile Money Business

Once you have secured the necessary business permits and licenses, you can launch your business. Provide quality customer service, and your customers will keep on coming back and refer more customers to your business. You can advertise the business using posters and business cards.

Final Word on How to Become a Mobile Money Agent in Uganda

The mobile money business is a profitable business in Uganda. Besides, you can provide other income-generating services like selling sim cards, airtime, soft drinks, and sim card registration. With the growing demand for mobile banking, this is a business you are unlikely to make losses with a suitable business location.

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