Skype has rolled out prepaid cards for the UK market, making cellphone calls, text messaging, video calls, or WiFi hotspot access straightforward without a credit card. The new cards, which will be available in £10 and £20 values, will be offered at Asda, Currys, PC World, Sainsburys', and WHSmith across the UK, and can be used to pay for any of the VoIP client's premium services.
As with other types of prepaid card, the Skype vouchers will have a simple scratch-off panel on the rear. That will reveal a PIN code which, when entered at Skype's site, adds credit to a new or existing account.
Microsoft-owned Skype hopes that the cards will encourage premium service adoption among a new audience of users, who might be unwilling or unable to register credit card details with the service. That will become all the more important as Skype on Windows Phone 8 gains traction - or attempts to - with Microsoft counting on VoIP over data connections taking market share from traditional mobile voice calls.
Skype cards will be offered in over 1,400 locations in the UK, "with more to follow" according to the company. They can also be used to pay toward international calls for those planning to use Skype while abroad, such as to avoid hotel phone charges.