T-Mobile is extending their Uncarrier initiative past mobile perks to now include… mobile banking? That’s right – the company on Wednesday announced they are getting into the banking / check-cashing business with a new service dubbed Mobile Money.
In a press release on the matter, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said 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 is a program that shifts the balance of power back to the customer and keeps more money in their pockets, he noted.
T-Mobile will launch a branded Visa prepaid debit card next month though T-Mobile retail locations as well as Safeway stores. The card, issued by The Bancorp Bank, is reloadable and can be used to make purchases and withdrawal cash at over 42,000 ATMs nationwide. No minimum balance is required and there will be no overdraft fees, we’re told.
Within the Mobile Money account, users will be able to set up direct-deposit for their paychecks, perform check deposits using their smartphone camera, transfer funds and even pay bills.
Users aren’t required to be T-Mobile customers to participate although we are told there are extra perks available for wireless subscribers. It’s all offered at a reduced fee or at zero cost but there will be some fees for “non-typical” use, such as overnight shipping for a card, using an out-of-network ATM or putting a rush on a check to be cashed.