How does eloading business work? Allow me to share my familiarity with the eloading business model. To start, let us categorize the models into two: traditional and modern.
Traditional model makes use of retailer sim cards. Since we have 3 major telco networks, this will mean 3 retailer sims. So either you use 3 phones as well to sell or use phones with dual/triple sim capabilities.
The retailer sim is not like the ordinary sim card that we use. It is, by its name, meant for retailing load. As such, it has special functions and menus where to input the load amount, and phone number. Then you send the text request to the telco where you’re buying load from. The load on this sim is called load wallet, which is your inventory of load for every telco. You reload this wallet through load wallet dealers so you need to find where these people are in your area. Chances are, those who sell retailer sims are also the load wallet dealers. Say you sell a Smart 30 eload, your customer pays you P30 but the actual amount used up in your wallet is less than P30, say P27 or P28. This P2-3 difference is your profit margin. The traditional model works as easy as that. The main limitation is that you need to invest in 3 sims and if ever 3 phones. Also, the amount you use to load up your Smart load wallet cannot be used to sell Globe or Sun load. So upfront load wallet investment will also be higher since you need to maintain 3 different wallets. So 3 resources are tied up to 3 load wallets.
Modern eloading business model, meanwhile uses your own personal sim card and enables you to sell to all major telcos with that same single personal sim card. How is this possible?
Usually loading business providers (e.g. VMobile’s LoadXtreme) will have your sim card registered and they will create an account for you, with a corresponding retailer ID and password. Further, they will give text templates that you will use to sell load. These text templates acts as the substitute to loading menus only found on retailer sims. You send these text templates (usually contains telco name, load amount, and customer number) plus you retailer ID and password, not to the respective telcos, but to the loading business provider.
Profit margin is similar to the traditional model, where for every P30 Smart eload, cost to the retailer is around P27-28 giving him/her P2-3 gross profits. In this modern model, aside from just using your existing sim (saves you from retailer sim costs), you also need to maintain a single universal load wallet. Which means you can sell any telco load from that single load wallet. No resource gets tied up to any telco load wallet. How to replenish your load wallet here? Usually this is done via bank deposits to the accounts of the loading business provider. Deposits go through some verification and processing, then gets credited to your retailer account after a few hours. This reloading of load wallet part consumes more time than the traditional one, since reloading of your traditional load wallet happens just a few minutes after the reload request.
Now you might ask, how about prepaid cards? Obviously for the traditional one, you will buy the cards at a discount, then sell the physical card at a marked-up price. Again, your resources will be tied here since you need to purchase cards which might not be sold immediately. For the modern model, prepaid cards are sold over-the-air, meaning instead of getting a physical card, customers will actually get a text message containing the call card number and PIN. No need to scratch here. And no need to buy cards in advance, you use your resources to buy load as and when needed.
Next question probably is which one is better? Based from personal experience, sari-sari stores and older people in general prefer the traditional one since they are more used to using and clicking sim card menus than texting templates. Also, mobility (having three phones and sims vs one) is not much of a factor since the business is a mainstay in sari-sari stores. They also find load wallet reloading easier since there are load wallet dealers who actually roam around and visit stores, so you need not go out of your way to reload and replenish inventory.
The younger ones, like me, prefer the modern model, since it gives me flexibility (one sim card and wallet for all telcos) and mobility (I can carry my business with me since I need not carry 3 phones). I am also young and techy enough to comprehend the text templates I need to use. Lastly, reloading the load wallet is not much of a hassle for me since I regularly visit banks anyway.