Ireland-based 3V Transaction Services has partnered with Visa, Irish Life and Permanent and cash acceptance network, payzone, to launch pay-as-you-go online shopping vouchers for UK consumers.
The UK launch follows a successful year-long pilot programme in Ireland, which signed over 60,000 users. The majority of users are aged between 18-35 years old, says the company, and one-third already have a credit card.
The move to offer the service in the UK comes after the company commissioned research which indicates that almost a fifth of the UK adult population want to shop online but don't - due to either not having a bank card, the fear of online fraud or the worry about losing control of their spending.
The 3V Voucher enables everyone over the age of 16 to shop online wherever Visa is accepted, without using a credit or debit card. The vouchers - which can be bought over the counter at 25,000 payzone outlets in the UK - come in amounts between £20 and £200, and cost £3.50 per voucher. Security details are delivered separately to the customer's email or mobile phone at the time of purchase.
Kieron Guilfoyle, chief executive of 3V Transaction Services Ltd says: "Simple and easy to buy - just like purchasing mobile phone top-up - the 3V Voucher gives people all the benefits of a bank card without the hassle of credit checks, filling out lengthy application forms or getting bank references."
He says the company plans to roll out the service to Germany, Holland and Spain in 2007.