It is not possible to fund a prepaid debit card using a paper check deposited into an ATM. Prepaid debit cards are not linked to traditional banks and credit unions – or their ATM networks. That means a person wanting to place funds from a paper check onto a prepaid card must first cash the check, and then deposit proceeds onto the prepaid card.
Unfortunately, it isn't possible to deposit a paper check to an ATM for funding a prepaid debit card.
Check Cashing Considerations
Possibly Problematic Checks
Personal checks and some payroll checks are problematic some check cashing establishments because of the questionable legitimacy with these types of checks. Without controls in place, some people desperate for cash could deposit fraudulent personal checks on their prepaid debit cards, and then quickly withdraw cash. Check with the location you're planning to conduct the transaction before you go in to make sure they can handle person or payroll checks.
People choose to use prepaid debit cards for a variety of reasons, including a desire to avoid fees associated with traditional checking accounts. However, it is helpful to maintain at least a savings account with a bank or credit union. Placing a personal check into a savings account may result in a waiting period for availability of the funds, but it is an option. Once funds clear, the account holder can withdraw cash to place onto a prepaid debit card. However, the bank or credit union may charge fees for excessive withdrawals from a savings account.
- The New York Times: Prepaid, but Not Prepared for Debit Card Fees; Andrew Martin; October, 2009
- Walmart Money Card: Adding Money
- MoneyGram: Reload Your Prepaid Card With Ease
- Nerdwallet: How Do Prepaid Debit Cards Work?
- Federal Trade Commission. "Prepaid Cards." Accessed Oct. 9, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards." Accessed Oct. 9, 2020.
- Experian. "Do Prepaid Cards Help Credit Scores?" Accessed Oct. 9, 2020.
Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.