VOICE OVER IP (VoIP) service Skype has launched a series of prepaid cards in the UK today, adding a way for users to buy Skype credit and add premium features to the free software they already use.
Skype has partnered with five UK retailers for the launch - Asda, Currys, PC World, Sainsburys and WHSmith - that will stock the prepaid cards in the gift card sections of their stores. According to Skype, more retailers will be getting involved soon too.
Skype prepaid cards will be available in £10 and £20 denominations and can be redeemed online at skype.com against Skype paid features such as making calls to mobiles and landlines globally, sending low cost text messages, holding video calls with multiple people, making unlimited calls to any country and connecting to global WiFi hotspots.
The cards are redeemed via a PIN under the scratch panel on the back. Users can then enter the details on a password protected website for activation.
Skype's head of Market Development for the EMEA region Enrico Noseda said, "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 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."
Users will be able to use the prepaid credit to pay for Skype subscriptions, including unlimited world calling bundles starting from £8.49 per month, Skype said. More countries can expect to see cards in their own currency later this year.
Skype rolled out the latest version of its client software last month, Skype 6.0 for Windows and Mac OS X.
The application software update brings a host of new features including support for signing in through Facebook for Windows users and Retina display support and multiple chat windows for Apple users. µ