Prepaid cards allow the unbanked to have a way to participate in the banking systems requirement for plastic cards. It also allows people to have an amount of money saved that is easy to access through ATM's. While there are still banks that provide a free checking accounts, if you follow their rules, the prepaid card user enjoys no such thing. The unbanked is subject to a slew of fees, which are mostly excessive.
The infographic below demonstrates the statistics of a growing use of prepaid cards.
Infographic courtesy of caxtonfx.com