A growing number of consumers are turning to prepaid debit cards instead of traditional checking accounts. Users also include consumers who have such checking accounts but who still use check-cashing businesses. Companies such as Wal-Mart, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo are selling their own prepaid debit card services. This part of the payments industry could account for nearly $100 billion in buying power this year. Reloadable prepaid cards, which included store-branded gift cards and payroll cards, carried a total balance of $483 billion in 2011 -- double that of 2007 -- reported Mercator Advisory Group. Banks can use prepaid cards to tap sources of fee revenue and broaden their customer bases. Consumers with prepaid cards benefit from many of the same conveniences of credit cards without relying on credit. However, consumers also should be on the alert for fees charged on the card, such as transaction fees or fees for replacing a lost card. A September 2012 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the median fee to buy a prepaid debit card was $9.95, ATM fees were $2.25, and monthly fees averaged almost $6.