Skype has signed deals with several top UK high street shops which will sell prepaid cards for the video calling service.

Available in £10 and £20 denominations, the cards will be stocked in 1,400 Asda, Sainsburys, Currys, PC World and WHSmith stores country wide. They will be found in the gift card sections of those shops and customers will be able to use them to top up their Skype credit or pay for premium services.

Although the basic Skype services are free, calling a land or mobile phone line and accessing other more advanced features, such as video conference calling, are charged. The prepaid cards are seen as a way to help customers both enhance their experience and allow for friends and family to "gift" extra functionality.

Katie Walley, head of Cards and Lending at Asda Money, said: “At Asda we are committed to helping our customers save money every day. We see Skype as an ideal way to make communicating more affordable, and the Skype Prepaid Cards will be available in over 200 stores over the coming months."

Her counterpart at Sainsburys, buyer Shelly Roberts, concurred. "It’s great news that our partnership with Skype means that these cards, which will be available in over 400 Sainsbury’s stores, will allow our customers to remain in contact with their friends and family cost effectively," she said.

The prepaid cards can also be used to pay for Skype subscriptions, which start at £4.99 a month for unlimited calls to European landlines.