T-Mobile’s Checking Accounts Turn The Carrier Into A Phone-Controlled Bank
Mobile Money gives you access to 42,000 ATMs around the country that don't charge for withdrawals.
T-Mobile customers can now gain access to Mobile Money, a free money management service that works almost exactly like a checking account. The difference is that withdrawals are free at over 42,000 ATMs nationwide, you can deposit checks by taking a picture of them, and making payments are free from unwieldy bank charges.
It’s easy to walk into a T-Mobile store and open your very own account with an initial cash deposit, after which you’re given a prepaid Visa card. From that point it’s easier to think of T-Mobile retail stores as banking branches, and retail employees as tellers. Unlike a regular bank, Mobile Money is totally free except for the occasional fee you might have to pay for same-day bill payment and other premium services.
While it does lack some higher-end features offered by banks, the service promises to make life easier when it comes to daily cash management. Other benefits include a network of international ATMs that you can use for free, money transfers to other Mobile Money customers if you have their T-Mobile phone number and the last four digits of their debit card, as well as electronic bill payment.
It’s safe to say the company wants to prove that it can do almost everything a traditional bank can, but perhaps with fewer charges and less hassle all-round. Whether T-Mobile will lead the charge for other companies with established networks that can offer something similar is yet to be seen, but it could reshape the face of banking services.