T-Mobile already beats to a different drum than most wireless carriers in the US, offering contract-free plans, unlimited international text and data, and an offer to pay your early-termination fee if you switch from another carrier.

Now the company is taking another unusual step… into the banking industry.

T-Mobile Mobile Money

T-Mobile’s new Mobile Money service is basically an online checking account. Customers can deposit checks at an ATM or by snapping a photo with their smartphones, pay bills online, withdraw cash from 42,000 in-network ATMs across the US, or use a pre-paid Visa debit card to make purchases at stores.

You don’t need to be a T-Mobile wireless subscriber to use Mobile Money, but if you are then all service fees are waived — so I’m not sure why you’d bother setting up an account if you’re not already a T-Mobile customer.

While there’s no shortage of banks willing to hold onto your money for you, T-Mobile is hoping Mobile Money will appeal specifically to households that might not already have a bank, or who don’t keep much money in one.

The company’s press release points out that households that use check cashers can pay up to $1500 in fees per year, and folks with bank accounts that charge overdraft fees can pay up to $225 per year.

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6 replies on “T-Mobile gets into banking, wants to replace your checking account”

  1. Who in their right mind would ever trust a telco with their money?? Those are the only corporations even more sleazy than banks…

    1. You forgot Monsanto, the world’s kingpin of sleazy, with 4 of their lawyers placed on the U.S. supreme court…

    2. This has it’s roots in MPesa in Africa which as pretty much wiped out the retail banking industry in several countries.

  2. Interesting. I guess they are appealing to those low income families who switch over to T-Mobile because of the reduced monthly bills.

  3. How about getting the “wireless carrier” thing down to the point where you have a good network and don’t require wacky gimmicks to get business?

  4. I can’t decide if this is a really smart move or a really dumb move. I guess time will tell.

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