The increasing popularity of prepaid cards, and especially payroll and government benefits cards, is driving up transaction volume at two of the biggest surcharge-free automated teller machine networks.

The use of payroll cards to replace paychecks and debit cards to replace unemployment checks, coupled with the widespread use of general-purpose reloadable debit cards by consumers, has expanded the universe of potential ATM users, said Ben Psillas, the president of Allpoint Network, a Bethesda, Md., unit of Cardtronics Inc. that operates 35,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.

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