There are two ways that consumers can use their prepaid debit card account to send money.
A caveat: these methods only apply to general-purpose-reloadable prepaid debit cards. I am not writing about gift cards, cards that hold store credit, or funds received as an incentive for signing up for a new service. The techniques here work for FDIC-insured accounts, including prepaid debit cards as well as other bank accounts.
First, you can send money with an add-on service that interacts with your bank account.
Venmo, Pop Money, and Square's Cash App will let you send money from your bank account to a bank account of one of your friends. These are bank-to-bank transfers routed through a national ACH network. If you are willing to wait, they will send your money for free. These companies must pay a slight fee (less than 10 cents) to the ACH provider. As the networks charge a higher price for immediate settlement, each of those services asks the consumer to pay a modest fee for instant payments.
The payment function inside Facebook Messenger does not accept a prepaid debit card, nor will it allow funds to be sourced from a credit card. To pay with Messenger, a person must hve a debit card issued by a US bank.
Google, Apple, and most of the smartphone providers have a payment service, too.
Usually, it would be next to impossible for a consumer to set up an ACH payment. Historically, banks have done the behind-the-scenes work to orchestrate these transactions. Venmo and its competitor services use application programming interfaces (“APIs”) to facilitate the communication between itself and the banks on both ends of the transaction. Venmo uses Plaid. Square Cash employs its in-house API developers.
Second, some banks have bundled money transmission services inside the overall basket-of-goods in their traditional account.
Don't expect to be able to use Zelle. At this moment, Zelle does not work with prepaid debit cards.
Third, many will let you send money between accounts at the same bank. For example, you could get a Varo Money bank account (in only a few minutes) and if your intended recipient also had one, then you can send money back and forth between those accounts instantly. The funds will settle right away. OK - in some cases it make take a few minutes - but your recipient will have good funds very quickly. This technique works because the bank does not have to send the money through a third-party service like the automated clearing house or FedWire. Instead, the bank only has to debit and credit accounts inside its own holdings.