Skype has announced a deal with Sainsbury’s that will allow consumers to buy the voice over IP firm’s eVouchers – credits for calls to landlines or mobiles – in more than 500 UK stores.
The eVouchers system allows users to buy Skype credit for calls to traditional telephone and mobile numbers in a similar way to the pre-payment system used by mobile phone operators. Calls between Skype users via PCs would “always be free”, the company said.
Shoppers will be able to buy eVouchers at Sainsbury’s checkouts, and will soon also be able to buy Skype-certified headsets and handsets in UK stores.
Skype’s UK market development manager, Alistair Shrimpton, said the supermarket tie-up would make Skype more accessible to existing and new users.
Sainsbury’s home services commercial manager Adam Zeiderman said the supermarket giant was delighted to be the first retailer in Europe to sell Skype eVouchers. “We think our customers will welcome the convenience of being able to purchase inexpensive worldwide internet calls when they shop.”
Skype’s bid to extend consumer use of its IP telephony service follows a recent push into the business market. The company, a subsidiary of online auction firm eBay, last week announced an interpreter service covering more than 150 languages.