Ukash, a United Kingdom-based firm that sells prepaid vouchers for online shopping, is expanding its South African presence in an agreement with supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings Ltd.

South African consumers now may purchase Ukash vouchers at 560 Shoprite locations.

“Shoprite has a great footprint across South Africa and in complimentary locations to our existing partners in that market,” says Paul Coxhill, Ukash marketing director. “This [agreement] means that we are opening up our product to a wider demographic within the South African market.”

The vouchers are available in any values ranging from 50 rands (US$6.88 or 5.14 euros) and 1,500 rands.

Ukash vouchers have unique 19-digit codes consumers enter when initiating purchases on merchant Web sites. Ukash sells the vouchers to consumers who prefer not to use payment cards for online purchases or who cannot use cards.

“The appeal of the product cuts across [these different groups of consumers],” Coxhill says. “The deal with Shoprite enables us to target both of these groups in a wider range of locations across South Africa.”

Last week, Ukash made two significant announcements regarding its European expansion. It announced an agreement with QIWI, a Moscow-based electronics payments company. The deal enables consumers to purchase Ukash vouchers at 100,000 locations throughout Russia.

Ukash also has signed a deal with Transact Network Ltd. to issue a “virtual” prepaid MasterCard for Ukash customers in Germany and the United Kingdom (see story). 


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