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T-Mobile's Mobile Money Service: Prepaid Visa/No-Fee Checking
by Karl Bode 04:18PM Wednesday Jan 22 2014 Tipped by IPPlanMan See Profile
T-Mobile's latest effort at trying something new involves attempting to be a bank. According to a company announcement, the company's new Mobile Money service offers T-Mobile subscribers a combination of a money management app, a T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card, incorporated with a "surcharge free" nationwide ATM network (no purchase or withdrawal fees).

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"We’ve already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there?" said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile 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."

Mobile Money users can have paychecks deposited into the account via direct deposit, and checks can be deposited by taking a picture of the check using their smartphone.

Many people are unlikely to switch from their existing banks or credit unions, though this could be appealing in particular to T-Mobile's younger customers, or the estimated 70 million U.S. adults who don't have a bank account. While T-Mobile's banking partner Bancor will likely make the lion's share of profit off of this endeavor, adding layers of services reduces customer motivation to switch to another carrier.

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buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Hmmm

Let me guess, no ATMs anywhere near me...
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

1 recommendation

Re: Hmmm

Everyone has one- make a pin purchase of a soda for $2 and get cash back free at a local store.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Hmmm

USPS is a good bet too. One stamp is $0.46 and they'll give you up to $50 in cash back.

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY

Re: Hmmm

said by Crookshanks:

USPS is a good bet too. One stamp is $0.46 and they'll give you up to $50 in cash back.

Stamps are $0.49 as of this Sunday (January 26) so soon that $0.46 will be a past price.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
It clearly says no ATM fees, so why the fuss. My small bank allows me to go to any predatory ATM and not pay a fee.

This is smart because the only reason I ever go into a bank is to deposit a check, and now they have check-fee imaging I have almost zero need to go in. I also don't like getting hassled for crap banking services every time I go in there.

I can imagine the customer has a "bank" for the prepaid portion and can use other monies for miscellaneous activities.

Think teen. I load $100 bucks a month into the card. You use it as you wish. No chance of blowing out the card, and if they are dumb and use their prepaid $$$ their phone doesn't reup. Good way to teach these kids to learn about real life. Check out Visa Buxx...

I think TMO is really thinking out of the box, and this is just dipping the toes into mobile payments as in the US we are WAY behind. Go to Japan and you can get away without a CC for a very long time. ISIS will follow...

Elector

join:2000-05-25
Albany, NY

Re: Hmmm

Like most major banks have this check image feature. However its based on bank factors such as length of time with the bank or credit union, amount of funds in your account, loans with the bank, even if you have a credit card with that bank. Don't think depositing a check for any amount over $100 will be credited. My bank allows me to deposit checks up to $2500 per day, access is available after 6 PM same day. But other customers have lesser amounts that can be deposited from $250-$5000

So this new debit card will not be that simple for larger amounts.
And most banks and credit unions have a network of fee free ATM's so there is no big deal with the T-Mobile branded debit card.
--
Knowledge is a terrible thing to waste. That is why I post when I can.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Hmmm

This is targeted at people who can't have a banking relationship with a normal banking institution.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

The Bancorp Bank - NOT Bancor

The partner back is The Bancorp who actually partners with many of the prepaid cards- including www.card.com which allows most any one to start their own prepaid card services.
watts3000

join:2002-01-21

Re: The Bancorp Bank - NOT Bancor

Buy a pack of gum at Walmart and get 100.00 cash back don't see the point in this.
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:3

Re: The Bancorp Bank - NOT Bancor

You circumvent surcharges by asking for cash back.

But you can always use the card at your local ATM and pay up.

anonome

@verizon.net

Long, long ago...

and not so far away, you had to actually pay the bank to establish and keep an account. I haven't paid fees to the bank since sometime in the last century. Does anyone ever have to do that anymore?
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Google Voice
·Verizon FiOS
·Future Nine Corp..
·T-Mobile US

Re: Long, long ago...

The last few bank accounts I've opened online without ever signing a paper document. Bank confirms your identity the same way credit bureaus do it. Quite scary the information credit bureaus ask you to verify.

Electronic signature for the win.
etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1
Banks still do that this is why I cancelled my Wells Fargo savings/checking account and went to a credit union.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Possibly useful to international students

Depending on how easy it is to deposit money into this, I could see international students studying in the U.S. liking this. If it's convenient to set up, they can do everything when they get a local cell number, and they're off and running. Then, if they've got a job at their school, they can get their pay deposited straight to their card each pay period.

I'm thinking that this service won't make T-Mobile much money, but it will certainly bring in customers. Plus, add in their free international data roaming, and these students will love this, since they can use their phones when they go home for breaks, especially when you factor in T-Mobile's wi-fi calling feature.

tmh

@comcastbusiness.net

Cash caps on the horizon

Your first $300 comes out lightning quick. Thereafter, you're limited to 30 cents a day.

crazyk4952
Premium
join:2002-02-04
united state
kudos:1

ATMs

They have a surprising number of no fee ATMs near me. This is many more than my current bank has (and it's a big national bank)!

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·callwithus
·T-Mobile US
·localphone.com
·Google Voice
·Callcentric
·AT&T U-Verse

not bad

Not bad- IF TMO can survive the Japanese invasion. Except for the foreign transaction fee the fees are very reasonable. You better keep a spare smart phone, if one breaks you use the spare one to deposit your check and order a new phone.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable

Really???

70 million adults in the US don't have banking accounts???? How can that be true??? How do these people function??? I know about the under ground cash economy out there but still these people don't kick some money in a checking account just to make life easier???

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US

Re: Really???

The only thing I use my bank account for is paying stuff that I'm afraid the company might lose or screw up (ala deathstar) or have to cash a check on the fly and not pay a fee. It's easier and feels more secure for me to deal in cash for everything else. No extra charge for gas or anything else.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC

Re: Really???

I'm starting to go back to mostly cash for everything, I've never been a fan of debit cards. Some times you get a check or you need to use a check ........just surprises me people go bank less completely.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
It is assumed, incorrectly, that the 30 million illegals are unbanked. Add to that the oft-cited 47 million uninsured and food stamp recipients, and you have a big number.

Given some of the corrupt practices we've witnessed with banks and credit card firms over the past decade, one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to determine that having a checking account or credit card may not be the wisest choice for a person on the margins.

I work with the unbanked quite often, and while there is an emphasis on teaching them conservative money management, some times, that includes NOT dealing with the money-changers.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable

Re: Really???

said by elray:

It is assumed, incorrectly, that the 30 million illegals are unbanked. Add to that the oft-cited 47 million uninsured and food stamp recipients, and you have a big number.

What does uninsured have to do with anything??? I was uninsured for years when I was young. I made plenty of money, I had a checking/saving and brokerage account but no insure for a few years....Why would anyone count the uninsured as not having bank accounts??? You're right about illegals and accounts but they tend to distrust banks and prefer cash. In fact the like the US currency better then their home countries for sure.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Really???

We've heard of "47 million uninsured" for over a decade - I've worked with the population for a long time. It tends to go hand-in-hand that if you don't have the employment benefits and/or the right to work and/or sufficient income to buy insurance, you are also culturally inclined not to buy it, nor be banked.

My point was that there are ways to get to a theoretical figure of 70 million, not that TMobile or any of their marketeers actually vetted those numbers.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Ghetto Wireless

...gets even more Ghetto.

SteelerRaw

@72.5.190.x

Didn't...

Boost Mobile already do something like this awhile ago? Without all the fanfare and hype, of course.
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Too Exposed

I don't have any issue with debit cards, but I can't see having your income deposited directly into something that is so exposed to fraud. I feel the same about income being directly deposited into a checking account that has an associated debit card. If anything, I would limit direct deposit to a savings account with no attached debit/atm card at a separate institution from where I kept a checking account.

jose

@172.56.37.x

huum

Its very easy to use