Paysafecard, an Austria-based provider of pre-paid cards for online payments, is set to launch its services in the UK.
So far the Paysafecard has been rolled out to consumers in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia and Spain.
In Slovakia the card is distributed by retail bank Istrobanka at 60 outlets. The firm has teamed with e-payments firm Telerecarga to launch the pre-paid card in Spain and the Paysafecard will be available across 5000 sales outlets across the country by December 2006.
The card is also used by people playing Entropia Universe - a role-playing game that has a real world cash economy. The card enables "Entropians" to deposit money into virtual accounts without having to use a personal debit or credit card.
Michael Mueller, CEO of paysafecard, says: "In July 2006 paysafecard's monthly transaction volume reached eight million euros, counting 30,000 sales outlets and 2,000 web shops. Over the last 12 months sales are up more than 100%."
The company behind the Paysafecard has now received a 'small e-money issuers certificate' which allows it to launch services in the UK market. The firm's British operations are expected to launch in September 2006 and the pre-paid card will be available at 15,000 sales outlets across the country.