Skype launches prepaid cards for UK users

Skype launches prepaid cards for UK users

Conceived to help Skype users take advantage of services including videoconferencing multiple people and using its worldwide network of over 1 million wi-fi hotspots, Skype prepaid cards will come in £10 (about $16) and £20 (about $ 32) denominations when they go on sale on Monday, November 5. Initially available from 1,400 shops and stores around the UK, the cards can be used as an alternative to a debit or credit card payment or can be sent to others as gift vouchers.

This is a significant new direction in Skype's retail strategy, according to Enrico Noseda, Head of Market Development for the EMEA region at Skype: "We see Skype Prepaid Cards as yet another option for users to get more out of the Skype experience, either as a way to add Skype Credit to their account or as a perfect gift for friends and family to allow them to keep in touch more easily. The Skype Credit can be used in whichever way and on whichever device best suits the user, making it as easy as possible to be together whenever we are apart."

The launch follows the success of a similar scheme in Mexico where Skype introduced prepaid cards to the region in August.

As well as its free, ad-supported service that allows two people with Skype software to voice or video call each other via their computers, Skype also offers a number of premium features for a monthly fee including low-cost calls to landlines and mobile phones worldwide, text messaging, unlimited calls to a selected country and access to its growing number of wi-fi hotspots.

Skype currently has 250 million active users worldwide and up to 49 million people use the service concurrently at any one time. Created in 2003, it was bought by eBay in 2005 before being acquired by Microsoft in October 2011. To date, over 3 billion people have downloaded and installed the service's software.