According to 3V’s research, almost a fifth of the adult UK 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. This, the company says, means around nine million people have been left out in the cold from the internet shopping revolution.

3V believes that its new pay-as-you-go Visa voucher will provide a solution to these consumers, offering them a secure way to buy goods online using cash rather than cards.

The 3V Voucher is available to anyone over the age of 16 from up to 25,000 participating Payzone shops across the UK, and will be useable anywhere Visa is accepted. The vouchers will be available in amounts between GBP20 and GBP200, at a one-off cost of GBP3.50 per voucher.

The innovative product is designed to substantially reduce fraud as 3V Vouchers can’t be cloned, and security details are delivered separately to the customer’s email or mobile phone at the time of purchase.

The UK launch follows a successful pilot in Ireland. Over 60,000 have signed up for 3V Vouchers since launch in October 2005. The majority of users are aged between 18 and 35 years old and, interestingly, 33% of users already have a credit card.

There are also plans to introduce the vouchers in Germany, Holland and Spain in 2007.