This Western Union press release indicates that cash-based consumers can now utilize Western Union agents to top up their Skype Out account with Skype Credits and indicates that this paves the way to enable walk-in bill pay customers to access additional digital-rich content:
“This strategic alliance advances Western Union’s market leadership in enabling digital-age participation by using a walk-in payment solution for consumers. It also paves the way for value-add offerings for companies with digital-rich content or online merchandisers seeking to attract new customers.
Under the agreement, consumers can now use Western Union services to purchase Skype Credit, which enables calls to mobile and landlines worldwide. Calling rates start as low as 1 cent per minute1. Skype Credit also offers the ability to send text messages directly from Skype to mobile phones, which is ideal for consumers wishing to stay in touch while travelling.”
While clearly It makes good business sense to maximize the services that consumers can fund once they have decided to visit a Western Union agent, the economics of paying more and more bills this way will eventually dictate the consumer consider a prepaid card that enables billers to be paid for only the cost of the prepaid card – which is also available from Western Union.