Skype goes prepaid through retail

$10 and $25 pre-paid cards to sell first through Allphones, then through other retailers, newsagents, and major service stations

Voice and video service provider, Skype, is entering the retail market for the first time in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) with the launch of two pre-paid cards aimed at growing the brand through product awareness.

Skype Asia-Pacific head of marketing, Nick Gundry, told ARN that the pre-paid credits will be available as $10 and $25 cards. Standard call charges will apply for all standard and premium Skype services.

While there are no credit bonuses included for using the prepaid offer (such as those users may be used to with the major telcos), the cards do offer unlimited calls to a country of the consumer's choice, as well as connection to Skype's global Wi-Fi hotspots.

Credits are redeemed through Skype's website using the PIN printed under a card's scratch panel.

The cards will hit Allphones on Thursday, November 21, and then move into Harvey Norman , Network Communications, 7/11, selected newsagents and major service stations (BP, Caltex, Mobil, for example) from next week.

Gundry also revealed that Skype will be launching more products in March 2013. He said that while there are no confirmations for bulk packs (for businesses), it is something the provider is looking at for future releases.

“This is the first time we have done any direct on-ground marketing in A/NZ,” Gundry said. “I think people will be surprised to see Skype on the shelf.”

The pre-paid cards are targeted at impulse buyers, cash-carrying buyers, and shoppers looking for a gift idea.

Gundry said that the people who have a higher capacity to use the solution are international students, travelers, and ex-patriots, with the premium services to see most interest from small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Skype did not reveal its revenue generation predictions, nor the number of units it expects to sell.

Follow Nermin Bajric on Twitter: @nermin_au

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