T-Mo Goes After Banking Fees with Mobile Money Product
T-Mobile Wednesday announced a new side project with the launch of a personal finance and mobile payments service.
The company calls the new project Mobile Money by T-Mobile. The service includes a combination of smartphone money management applications designed for use with a re-loadable T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card. Users can load their account with funds and use it to pay for goods via the app or by using the physical payment card. T-Mobile is also offering up 43,000 ATMs from which customers can withdraw money.
There is no minimum balance required or overdraft fees. Users can also depost checks directly from a smartphone.
While the service is open to everyone, only T-Mobile customers can make transactions without having to pay fees.
“We’ve already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there?” said CEO John Legere in a statement. “Millions of Americans pay outrageous fees to check cashers, payday lenders and other predatory businesses – just for the right to use their own money. Mobile Money shifts the balance of power for T-Mobile customers and keeps more money in their pockets.”
The service is on par with the one Boost Mobile's Mobile Wallet service, which that company launched to service its customers who may not have traditional banking systems in place.
Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile, noted in a statement that the typical household using a check casher to cash their paychecks could save about $1,500 per year on fees.
"Customers tired of getting hit with overdraft fees can switch and save an average of $225 a year," Sievert said.
Starting today, individuals can register for a personalized T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card. Cards will also be available in participating T-Mobile retail locations and beginning in February will be available in Safeway stores in the United States.