Many businesses and banks have increased efforts to reach unbanked and underbanked households through alternative financial services. Prepaid cards have been among the most popular products in these initiatives, while the wide variety of businesses offering this service has helped keep competition strong and terms preferable for consumers. Retail technology recently reported that Visa is now offering prepaid cards that can be obtained through ATM machines across the nation. This, the news provider noted, is the latest in many initiatives to create the most convenient and cost-effective prepaid card product for customers, as it is a challenge to reach these new demographics. "ATM networks are secure distribution channels that are already in place in high traffic areas throughout the U.S., and are ideal for new features and services such as Visa prepaid cards," Todd Nuttall told the source. "This joint market pilot has demonstrated that they are the perfect vehicle to deliver value-driven products that meet consumer needs." Businesses can penetrate the unbanked and underbanked markets through the use of alternative financial services. Estimates say that millions of households across the nation fall into these categories, and are increasingly using prepaid cards and other forms of alternative finance to conduct business with merchants and retailers.